[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/little_richard_177.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Good Golly, Mr Richard!]]

->''A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boom!''
-->-- "Tutti Frutti"

'''Richard Wayne Penniman''' (better known as '''Little Richard''', born 5 December 1932) is an American singer, songwriter and pianist who proclaims himself as "the architect of RockAndRoll". One of the few artists active in TheFifties whose mass popularity approached that of Music/ElvisPresley, Little Richard remains one of the most important figures in the history of rock music, and few would dispute him the title.

Born to a gospel-singing family, Richard Penniman recorded a few minor singles for small independent labels before he was discovered by record producers Art Rupe and Bumps Blackwell, who thought he could be a viable rival to Music/RayCharles. Richard recorded a string of hits, including "Tutti Frutti", "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Long Tall Sally" and starred in rock and roll films around the same time teenagers were recognised as a whole new demographic. His performances were famously wild and frenetic and his playing style, incorporating boogie-woogie influences, {{Funk}} rhythms and raw, energetic vocals, made Richard a huge hit with his audiences.

Things changed in 1957, when Penniman had a seemingly [[DreamingOfThingsToCome prophetic dream]] about the [[ApocalypseHow end of the world]], believed he saw angels carrying a plane he thought was crashing and heard that the Russians had just launched Sputnik. He became convinced that God was telling him to stop playing rock music, so he entered a seminary, became a minister and began recording gospel songs instead. After that, Little Richard oscillated between gospel and his old rock and roll style until he eventually reconciled his roles as a reverend and a rocker.

[[LongRunners And he is still going strong to this day.]]

His song ''Tutti Frutti'' was inducted in the UsefulNotes/NationalRecordingRegistry in 2010.

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!!Studio and Live Discography:

* 1957 - ''Music/HeresLittleRichard''
* 1958 - ''Little Richard''
* 1959 - ''The Fabulous Little Richard''
* 1960 - ''Pray Along With Little Richard''
* 1960 - ''Pray Along With Little Richard Volume 2''
* 1962 - ''The King Of The Gospel Singers''
* 1964 - ''Little Richard Is Back (And There's A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!)''
* 1965 - ''Little Richard's Greatest Hits''
* 1966 - ''The Incredible Little Richard Sings His Greatest Hits Live!''
* 1966 - ''The Wild And Frantic Little Richard''
* 1967 - ''The Explosive Little Richard''
* 1967 - ''Little Richard's Greatest Hits: Recorded Live!''
* 1970 - ''The Rill Thing''
* 1971 - ''Mr. Big''
* 1971 - ''The King Of Rock And Roll''
* 1972 - ''The Second Coming''
* 1972 - ''Friends From The Beginning Little Richard And Jimi Hendrix'' [[note]]Allegedly a collaboration with Music/JimiHendrix. Generally considered to be a hoax.[[/note]]
* 1973 - ''Right Now!''
* 1974 - ''Talkin' Bout Soul''
* 1976 - ''Little Richard Live''
* 1979 - ''God's Beautiful City''
* 1986 - ''Lifetime Friend''
* 1992 - ''Shake It All About''
* 2005 - ''Southern Child'' [[note]]Recorded in 1972[[/note]]

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!! Ready, Teddy, for these tropes?:

* AmbiguouslyGay and/or AmbiguouslyBi: Little Richard's sexual orientation has been debated for more than half a century. The singer himself has described himself as gay in some interviews, but has also named himself an "omnisexual" in other interviews. Nevertheless his outrageously effeminate stage presence is part of his public persona and made him a gay icon nevertheless.
* BigBeautifulWoman: "Long Tall Sally".
* CoolOldGuy: He's now in his eighties and still sounds as good as he did in the 1950s. [[OlderThanTheyLook Not to mention the man looks damn good for his age.]]
* DancingIsSeriousBusiness: Sang and danced as he played piano with an energy that influenced Music/JamesBrown, Music/MichaelJackson, Music/TheBeatles, Music/TheRollingStones, Music/DavidBowie, Music/{{Queen}}, Music/LouReed,... among others.
* IAmTheBand: Little Richard always performs with a band, but he is the star of the show.
* IntercourseWithYou: What else do you assume "Slippin' and Slidin'" is about?
* LongRunners: Little Richard started in 1956, and is still going strong live to this day.
* LyricalTic: He loves his "Whooooooh!"s and "Ah Hoooooooo!"s.
** He also elongates his "i"s into a falsetto.[[{{Aerosmith}} Steven Tyler]] seems to have borrowed this from him.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Only Little Richard could make stupid words like "A-Wop Bop-A-Lula A Whop Bam Boom" and "Tutti Frutti" awesome as hell!
* MusicOfNote: You can't talk about rock 'n' roll in the 1950s without mentioning him, Music/ElvisPresley, Music/ChuckBerry, Music/BuddyHolly and/or Music/JerryLeeLewis.
* TheMoralSubstitute: His gospel recordings, as well as Pat Boone's cover versions of some of his early hits.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Sure, he got cosmetic surgery, but [[http://www.bing.com/getimage?q=FCLB_9c91b5bb-327f-36c5-cd5f-9d2b55aafd48_2&wf=Genimage it seemed to have went well.]] He pretty much ''defines'' this trope. You would need to see his fucking birth certificate to be convinced he's almost 80.
* OneWomanSong: "Good Golly Miss Molly", "Long Tall Sally", "Miss Ann", "Lucille", "Jenny, Jenny", "The Girl Can't Help It".
* RhymingWithItself: "Jenny, Jenny".
* RockAndRoll: One of the pioneers of the genre. His song "Ready Teddy" informs us he's "ready to rock 'n' roll!"
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: He had a very hard-partying lifestyle in the 1950s, but he obviously stopped later on.
* ShoutOut:
** On ''Music/FreakOut'' Music/FrankZappa mentions in the liner notes that ''Wowie Zowie'' is a song Little Richard likes. The singer obviously never heard Zappa's album, by the way.
** "Speed King" on ''Music/DeepPurpleInRock'' is a shout-out to several Little Richard songs. The lyrics reference "Good Golly Miss Molly", "Lucille", "Tutti Frutti" and "Rip It Up".
* SignatureStyle: A mixture of boogie-woogie piano playing with funk rhythms and raspy vocals, or alternatively, "[[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy piano riff WOO!]]".
* SnakeOilSalesman: He worked for a travelling medicine show when he was a teenager. His job was to scream, sing and leap around the stage to attract a crowd and demonstrate the "results" of the stuff the salesman was pushing.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: Almost all of his music was twelve-bar blues.

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