Little Richard was incredibly influential on rock & roll, his backstory to getting there is from a place of true emotion and blues. His early works are some of the most exciting, dynamic music ever recorded. Were it not for Little Richard's influence, The Rolling Stones might not have been formed, Elton John and Rod Stewart and David Bowie might not have taken to music, The Beatles might not have been formed - Paul, John, and George were all inspired by Little Richard before they met, when the film The Girl Can't Help It played in England, teenaged John and Paul were introduced to each other and bonded over Little Richard and the other rockers in that film, which led to John offering Paul a place in The Quarrymen.
Little Richard's sound is a watershed moment for pop culture, he never got as much respect as he deserved for taking that blues sound and punching it like a freight train through the wall of early '50s tame rock. His personal life was never entirely healthy, but his energy on those early songs comes from that strife.
I remember watching one of those history of rock programs. They were talking about the early blues and rock tunes by black artists that wouldn’t get played on mainstream stations, but a white artist might do a version of it. The contrast between Little Richard’s version of “Tutti-Frutti” and Pat Boone’s version was quite striking.
Carl Reiner, Johnny Mandel,and Benny Mardones are the some of the luminaries whose lives ended this week. Carl is known for his comedy pioneering, Johnny as a composer (mostly for MASH theme song) and Benny Mardones for having the same song hit twice in Billboard, almost 10 years apart.