A musician often finds himself or herself in roles other than playing a musical instrument or variety of instruments. Nor are their voices only for vocalizing in harmony for the chart topper melodious tunes. This latter is especially noted in animated films or cartoons. The characters speak, even the animals, but what about the voices? Robotic, digitized voices are unnatural. Our cartoon and furry friends of television and movies need voices unique to their character. In addition, there are opportunities where a musician turns actor or actress. This may require the speaking voice, as well as the singing voice. In other words, in the life of a musician, versatility rocks 'n' rolls. Such is the case for today's spotlight who also left the music business for five years to go into ministry.
Richard Wayne Penniman The first name is more than likely somewhat familiar but there are various performers with that same given name. However, only one goes by the stage name Little Richard. Why Little? "Little Richard" was his childhood nickname, and even though he was not a little adult (almost 6 feet tall), he kept the name. His family listened to singers like Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. Richard couldn't find any music he liked, so he created it.
♥~voiced the "Special Edna" episode during the 14th season of "The Simpsons"
♥~sang the title song with Phillip Bailey to the movie "Twins" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. Bailey was a member of the band Earth Wind and Fire.
♥~performed at the President Clinton's inauguration
♥~appeared in several early rock films, such as Don't Knock the Rock (1956), The Girl Can't Help It (1957) and Mister Rock ‘n’ Roll (1957).
♥~featured in Down and Out in Beverly Hills and had roles in Last Action Hero, The Naked Truth and The Trumpet of the Swan.
♥~shared the spotlight with The Beatles and toured with The Rolling Stones.
With his blood-pumping piano playing and suggestive lyrics, Little Richard, along with the likes of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, established rock as a real musical form and inspired others, most notably the Beatles, to make a go of it.
A Bit of 'Tutti Frutti' Trivia...1955 Little Richard entered a New Orleans recording studio to begin two days of recording. Things were not going well and during a break, Richard and his producer; Bumps Blackwell went to the Dew Drop Inn for lunch. Richard started playing the piano in the bar like crazy, singing a loud and lewd version of ‘Tutti Frutti'. With only fifteen minutes left in the session, Richard recorded the song and coined the phrase, ‘a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom'.
Little Richard did not invent the name "Tutti Frutti," it was a popular flavor of ice cream. The phrase is Italian for "All Fruits," and the ice cream had little bits of candied fruit mixed in. In 1938, the Jazz duo Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart, who recorded as Slim And Slam, released a popular song called "Tutti Frutti," which was about the ice cream. Little Richard's was a completely different song.[Songfacts.com]
In 1957, Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard) left the music business to pursue a life as a minister. In 1962, concert promoter Don Arden convinced Penniman to tour Europe after telling him his records were still selling well there. Penniman struggled when he returned to secular music in the 1960s. Read MORE about his return and comeback...
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...