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Noon Edition

Little Richard: Tutti Frutti

Richard Wayne Penniman was born December 5, 1932 one of twelve children. As a child, Richard sang gospel with the Penniman Singers before leaving home by age 15 to become a regular with Sugarfoot Sam's Minstrel Show. Later working as a dishwasher, he sent a demo tape to Specialty Records and was invited to a recording session about six months later. The session went poorly, as Richard chose to record only slow blues. During a break, Richard and recording engineer Bumps Blackwell went to a tavern, where Richard began crazily playing a piano and singing raucous songs with gloriously lewd lyrics. After a frantic re-write, the pair returned to the studio where, with only 15 minutes remaining in the session, Richard recorded "Tutti Frutti." From early 1956 to mid-1957, everything Little Richard recorded was a hit. In 1957, he quit to become a preacher in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In October 1962 he returned to rock ‘n' roll, touring England and later all of Europe with the ROLLING STONES as his opening act.

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