Normally the word "I" doesn't appear in my reviews, however in this case an exception; this is one of the very first Rock and Roll performers I ever saw (thank you Allan Freed) and this is the first record I bought (thank you WWRL). Little Richard, AKA Richard Penniman, was one of the most dynamic, incendiary and electrifying performers to ever hit a stage. His music more than holds up today, it still burns with excitement and this disc contains some surprises. He shows his versatility and does a couple of straight ahead blues tunes where he would easily have made a name for himself in that genre. No one can look back and forecast what would have been if he hadn't had a 'religious awakening' and refused to sing the "devil's music." This man, whose admitted main influence was B.B. King, can sing whatever you wish him to sing. With his behavior on the stage he always had the audience screaming for more. Listen to what he does when he plays with his original band, The Upsetters, on the 2 bonus tracks.
Most of this disc is recorded in New Orleans at Cosimo Matassa's studio many of the usual New Orleans crew from that time. Alvin "Red" Tyler on sax, Earl Palmer on drums and Huey "Piano" Smith on piano, helped to give the disc that New Orleans/Fats Domino feel. This band is tight and right on the mark staying with Richard through out the sessions. For those who think his music is old news, listen to what he did back then and feel the passion and excitement it still generates today.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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