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Little Richard

Born Dec 5, 1932

Richard Wayne Penniman, known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American recording artist and musician, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the early development of soul music.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Little Richard.


1932 Birth Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia, on December 5, 1932, the third-eldest of 12. … Read More


1947 - 1948 2 More Events
1950 17 Years Old 1 More Event
After his tenure with the band ended in 1950, Little Richard began performing for various vaudeville groups including Sugarfoot Sam from Alabam, the Tidy Jolly Steppers, the King Brothers Circus and Broadway Follies, earning a reputation as a drag performer. … Read More
1951 18 Years Old In 1951, Wright put Little Richard in contact with his manager, Zenas Sears, a local deejay. … Read More
1952 19 Years Old Little Richard left RCA Victor in February 1952 after his records failed to catch on. … Read More


1953 - 1955 2 More Events
…  During Little Richard's show at Baltimore's Royal Theatre in June 1956, several fans had to be restrained from jumping off the balcony. … Read More
His success continued in 1957 with international hits such as "Jenny, Jenny" and "Keep A-Knockin'". … Read More
1959 26 Years Old They began dating that year and wed in July 1959. … Read More
1962 29 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1962, concert promoter Don Arden persuaded Little Richard to tour Europe after telling him his records were still selling well there. … Read More


1963 - 1965 3 More Events
1966 33 Years Old 1 More Event
He left that label in early 1966 for Okeh Records.
1967 - 1968 2 More Events
1969 36 Years Old Little Richard returned to the national spotlight in 1969 as a performer at the Atlantic City Pop Festival, where he stole the show from top performers such as Janis Joplin; he did the same to headliner John Lennon at the Toronto Pop Festival. … Read More
1970 37 Years Old Following this, Little Richard signed with Reprise Records in 1970, releasing the album, The Rill Thing, which included the charted singles "Freedom Blues" and "Greenwood, Mississippi". … Read More


1977 44 Years Old 1 More Event
Following over ten years of drug and alcohol abuse and a string of recent personal tragedies, Little Richard quit rock and roll music again in 1977 and returned to evangelism, releasing one gospel album, God's Beautiful City, in 1979.


1984 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1984, Little Richard filed a $112 million lawsuit against Specialty Records, Art Rupe and his publishing company Venice Music and ATV Music for not paying him royalties after he left the label in 1959. … Read More
1985 - 1989 3 More Events
1990 57 Years Old In 1990, Little Richard contributed a spoken-word rap on Living Colour's hit song, "Elvis Is Dead", from their album Time's Up. … Read More
1992 59 Years Old He also recorded a rock and roll version of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" that year that led to a deal with Disney Records, resulting in the release of a hit 1992 children's album, Shake It All About. … Read More


1993 - 2005 4 More Events
2006 73 Years Old In 2006, Little Richard wedded twenty couples who won a contest in one ceremony. … Read More
2008 75 Years Old In 2008, Little Richard and Lewis performed alongside John Fogerty at the Grammy Awards of that year in a tribute to the two artists considered to be cornerstones of rock and roll by NARAS. … Read More
2010 77 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 2010, Little Richard recorded a gospel track for an upcoming tribute album to songwriting legend Dottie Rambo. … Read More
Despite his health issues, Little Richard continued to receive critical acclaim for his performances, with Rolling Stone reporting after a performance at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. in June 2012 that Little Richard was "still full of fire, still a master showman, his voice still loaded with deep gospel and raunchy power."
In 2013, Little Richard elaborated on his spiritual philosophies, stating "God talked to me the other night.
2015 82 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture honored Little Richard for his pivotal role in the formation of popular music genres and in helping to shatter the color line on the music charts changing American culture forever.
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Richard.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.