Today, May 9th 2020, will be recorded in the history books of popular culture as the day that one of rock music’s founding fathers, Little Richard, passed away.
Richard, the iconic and famed American singer, songwriter, and rock musician, has died at the age of 87. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed Richard’s death in a statement issued to Rolling Stone. The cause of his death, however, remains unknown.
Richard, a major influential figure in the development of popular music and a figure who pioneered the culture of rock music for seven decades, started life in the music industry in the mid-1950s and didn’t look back. Forging a career like no other, Richard became as well known for his charismatic, flamboyant showmanship while performing his dynamic and often frenetic music. Heavily credited as being a major player in setting the solid foundations for the genre of rock music, Richard is regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
After already reliving Richard’s masterful 1957 rendition of ‘Lucille’, we’re stepping back to 1964 to remember when the great man himself appeared on American Bandstand to perform his song ‘Bama Lama Bama Loo’ and discuss The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and more.
American Bandstand, a show which was a cultural phenomenon in the US that ran for close to 40 years until 1989, was seen as a massive opportunity to make a lasting impression on a mainstream audience for many bands. After a rendition of his 1964 song, Little Richard sat down with the show host to discuss his career to date and those around him who are thriving.
“I’ve just finished a tour with The Beatles, in fact I toured with The Beatles right before they made their first hit and I was the star of the show… you wouldn’t believe it,” he said with a humble smile. “They had never made a record at the time and I was with them for 15 days and that was right before they got their start,” he added before proudly displaying a picture of himself with the band and describing Ringo Starr as “a wonderful person”.
However, when asked who he thought was the biggest star in England during that time, Richard changed his allegiance somewhat and answered with some certainty: “The Rolling Stones. I just left England about four weeks ago after doing a tour and The Rolling Stones they’re number one in England at this present time.”
Elsewhere in the talk, Richard also foes on to surprisingly claim that The Animals are “the best band he has ever heard of.”
See the clip, below.