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He’s often called himself The Innovator. Sometimes, he even dared to call himself the King of Rock And Roll even though we know who holds that title.
Whatever you call him, make sure you call Richard Penniman one of rock and roll music’s true pioneers. He was a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’s first class of 1986. 
Little Richard turns 85 Tuesday. When he had trouble breaking into the mainstream pop music spotlight, he got a lot of help from the two top rock and roll acts of the 1950’s. 
Elvis Presley and Pat Boone both recorded “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.” Plus, Elvis recorded four other songs Little Richard did…”Ready Teddy,” “Rip It Up,” “Crying In The Chapel” and “Shake A Hand.”
But neither Elvis nor Pat nor anyone else in the 50’s recorded what I consider Little Richard’s landmark song…

“Good Golly Miss Molly” went Top 10 for Little Richard in 1958. Eight years later in 1966, it happened again for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in a medley that included “Devil With The Blue Dress On.” Meanwhile, check out this scene from the movie “Don’t Knock The Rock”…
There’s no telling how many more hits Little Richard would’ve had…but he chose to go into the ministry by the late 1950’s after a plane he was riding in nearly crashed. Still, he eventually hit the oldies tour.  I was lucky to see him and Chuck Berry on the same night in 1975.


Meanwhile, check out the way Elvis opened one of his TV appearances by redoing Little Richard…