“The Fabulous Little Richard” by Little Richard - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1959Album Chart of the Decade: 1950s

TJR says

“The Fabulous Little Richard” arrived in March – a full year and a half after the unpredictable star had retired from Rock n Roll, citing religious grounds. The recordings stem from sessions 1955-57 and predominantly feature the old gang: Little Richard (vocals, piano); Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin Tyler (baritone sax); Frank Fields (bass); Earl Palmer (drums) and Edgar Blanchard (guitar). Head of A&R at Specialty was Sonny Bono and he came up with the idea of adding female backing singers, the Stewart Sisters (Darlene Paul, Trudy Hancock and Irene Diaz), to many of these tracks. The trio were releasing their own singles at the time, and it probably seemed like a win-win situation for the Specialty camp. The idea was passed off on the liner notes as being Little Richard’s request to add a “gospel” feel to the songs – almost certainly baloney. Many were horrified. Ideally, they would have been a bit more soulful, but they certainly don’t do any harm – they add a pop-ish, Shirelles-y feel to proceedings, and give Richard’s third LP a unique identity. Their presence is evident from the word go on “Shake a Hand”, which could hardly be any more perfect. Generally speaking, the set is far bluesier than the preceding two albums – “She Knows How To Rock” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” are the only two rockers on-board. For the third album in-a-row, excellence abounds whether blues, rhythm n blues or rock n roll. In the Little Richard story, the “Specialty Part 1” chapter was simply unbeatable.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:10] 10.0.png Little Richard - Shake A Hand (Joe Morris) Rock n Roll Ballad
A2 [01:43] 7.6.png Little Richard - Chicken Little Baby (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [02:11] 8.3.png Little Richard - All Night Long (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A4 [02:23] 8.8.png Little Richard - The Most I Can Offer (Just My Heart) (William L. Scott) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A5 [02:13] 8.5.png Little Richard - Lonesome And Blue (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [02:47] 8.6.png Little Richard - Wonderin’ (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A7 [01:59] 9.2.png Little Richard - She Knows How To Rock (Willie Perryman) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B1 [02:37] 7.3.png Little Richard - Kansas City (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:18] 7.7.png Little Richard - Directly From My Heart (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B3 [02:11] 7.6.png Little Richard - Maybe I’m Right (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B4 [02:13] 9.2.png Little Richard - Early One Morning (Richard Penniman) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:34] 8.2.png Little Richard - I’m Just A Lonely Guy (All Alone) (Dorothy La Bostrie) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [01:52] 8.5.png Little Richard - Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On (Dave Williams, Roy Hall) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly

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