Sunday, December 05, 2010
One of Little Richard's biggest hits was also his first; Tutti Frutti first appeared in 1955, at the dawn of the rock and roll era, following a string of poorly received records he'd made at small labels, which he promoted by touring gay clubs throughout the American South. It was producer Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell who first heard the promise in the flamboyant performer's voice, who also saw the potential in his persona; overnight one of Peacock Records' weakest acts became one of Specialty Records' finest, and more than just history was made, possibly even rock and roll itself...
Even though Tutti Frutti would become an even bigger hit for the white artists who covered it - namely Pat Boone - it's Little Richard's version we remember today, on the legend's 78th birthday. It's shown here in an excerpt from the 1956 film Don't Knock the Rock, starring Alan Dale and legendary disc jockey Alan Freed.
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