Little Richard: Why He’s An Underrated Rock Pioneer
Little Richard live in 1957 - the rockabillie / Youtube
When somebody says rock n’ roll, we’d bet that the majority would cite Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, or The Beatles – literally anyone in the white demographic would and will be brought up, except for notable names like Chuck Berry or Sister Rosetta Tharpe. But one black musician that has been frequently overlooked by the throng is Little Richard.
Criminally-underappreciated, Little Richard had everything going for him to be a trailblazer in rock music. His time in the underground entertainment scene – most notably his time as the drag queen LaVonne – Little Richard already mastered the blues that his lineage had bestowed upon him. What’s even more interesting is Richard’s conflicting religious beliefs and secular affiliation, which clashed with either principle, but also contained the collective factors that contributed to his lively, earth-shattering charisma and performing prowess.
His queer background was also a big part of the Little Richard legacy – in which he purposefully utilized no matter what kind of music he was affiliated at the moment. Gospel or secular, it was all the same. The passion that he took up from his formative years manifested itself poignantly to where he pointed his conviction at. One can say that Little Richard rose up against the adversity of a wall that was built of societal norms, breaking it to dish out art that would ultimately trickle down into one of the world’s most consumed musical genres.
Gone but never forgotten, the architect that is Little Richard.