Happy Birthday Little Richard: Playing ‘Tutti Frutti’ At Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concert
Watch The Architect Of Rock and Roll deliver "Tutti Frutti" to open up the Rock Hall in '95.
Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia on this date in 1932. While the world lost The Architect of Rock and Roll on May 9, 2020, his influence remains ubiquitous in popular music as it has been for the past six decades. His piano playing laid the foundation for generations of keyboardists to come and his voice set the standard for rock singing. And his stage presence: electrifying.
Little Richard’s far-reaching influence began in earnest in 1955 with his first hit, “Tutti Frutti,” a co-write with songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie. The raucous number is, to put it simply, a template for rock ‘n’ roll and has a well-deserved place in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Little Richard was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1986 alongside fellow pioneers Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino and The Everly Brothers.
When those legends were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in ’86, there was no “hall” to speak of although Cleveland had been settled upon as the location for the future building which was designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei. The Architect Of Rock And Roll was present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Rock Hall’s permanent home on the shores of Lake Erie on September 1, 1995.
The following evening, Little Richard also performed at the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, sharing the bill with Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen and more. Before a rollicking performance of “Tutti Frutti,” Little Richard uttered the famous saying “Rhythm and Blues had a baby, and they called it Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and then added, “I just want you to know that.”
In honor of Little Richard, watch The Architect Of Rock and Roll perform “Tutti Frutti” in 1995 below: