The architect of Rock n' Roll | Little Richard, 1932-2020

Little Richard, Los Angeles, 1956


"Elvis may be the King of Rock and Roll, but I am the Queen."

"I thank God for Elvis Presley. I thank the Lord for sending Elvis to open the door
so I could walk down the road...."

"I invented rock & roll. Jimi Hendrix was my guitar player. James Brown was my vocalist."

"I was really kind of shy as a child. But I would do things for attention."

"I did what I felt, and I felt what I did, at all costs."

"It's not the size of the ship; it's the size of the waves."

"I think they saw me as something like a deliverer, a way out.
My means of expression, my music, was a way in which a lot of people
wished they could express themselves and couldn't."

"I try to be a guide for people, to make their darkness bright and to make
 the pathway light, and never to condemn or control or criticize."

Little Richard

Little Richard, 1956

"Rock 'n' roll offered me a platform to speak what I felt. It also offered me a
platform to support my mama and my brothers and sisters - twelve children."

"Black people lived right by the railroad tracks, and the train would shake their houses at
night. I would hear it as a boy, and I thought: I'm gonna make a song that sounds like that."

"It's hard to have a friend when your name's a household word."

"To me, true rock 'n' roll has a lot of bottom in it."

"But I'm a rock 'n' roll singer; that's my livelihood, my occupation."

"I'm very much a gentleman in what I do."

"I only wore makeup when I went onstage."

Little Richard

Little Richard, Atlanta, 1952

"They shoulda called me Little Cocaine, I was sniffing so much of the stuff! My nose
got big enough to back a diesel truck in, unload it, and drive it right out again."

"I always knew I was a man, always felt that I was a man, always wanted to be a man."

"I am the architect of rock n' roll. I have to be a fan of all its forms."

"I got fame and fortune, and I lost my sense of reasoning."

" People called rock & roll 'African music.' They called it 'voodoo music.' They said that
it would drive the kids insane. They said that it was just a flash in the pan - the same thing
 that they always used to say about hip-hop."

"A-bop-bop-a-loom-op-a-lop-bop-boom."

Little Richard


Little Richard-Rip It Up
Little Richard and Frankie Lymon, 1958                                     Buddy Holly and Little Richard
Little Richard consenting to pose with obscure opening act in Hamburg, 1962
Little Richard studies the bible with a woman, perhaps his wife Ernestine Campbell, 
during the period when he quit rock and roll to convert to Christianity in 1959.


"Kill jazz? Oh no, no, no. I don’t believe rock ‘n’ roll could kill jazz. Nothing can kill jazz. 
Jazz is an original. Jazz is beautiful music. I don’t believe that. Jazz is still here. Real 
rock ‘n’ roll musicians love jazz. A real musician loves all types of music."

"God gives us the ability, but rock 'n' roll was created by men."

Little Richard 
1932-2020

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