LIttle Richard Turns 81 Today And You Should Definitely Celebrate By Watching Little Richard Videos

LIttle Richard Turns 81 Today And You Should Definitely Celebrate By Watching Little Richard Videos

So Little Richard is 81 today, you guys, which is dope. More dope: he spent 65-plus years of that time performing. He retired only a few months ago, which is insane to think about. When we are in our dotage, we will be lazy as fuck, and it will be a wonder if you get us out of the giant person-swallowing recliner, much less make us perform music.

Trufax: when we were little, we thought Little Richard was SO WEIRD. He was so much more flamboyant and wild than the other people from the late 1950s/early 1960s that we’d seen. Sure, Elvis tore it the fuck up, and the Beatles seemed really happy, but there was nothing like Little Richard.

He had that pompadour and those shoes and that falsetto shout and those eyes that switched from bedroom sultry to wide-eyed delight so effortlessly, and we felt like it was all just a little too much somehow. And then we discovered Prince and thought dayyyyum, we get it now.


If you really want to see the direct line from Little Richard to Prince, check out these never-published-before pix of the former over at Life. They’re from 1971 and never ran in the magazine, and you can see why. There’s no way the staid Life could have ever run these photos. Little Richard’s hair was curly and almost bouffant-level high, he had tons of eyeliner on, his mouth was covered in lipstick just below his tiny moustache, and he’s wearing some sort of full bodysuit with fringe dangling just past his pelvis. In some shots he looks like he’s in the throes of spiritual ecstasy, and in others he’s beautifully androgynous. What we’re trying to say is he looks fucking perfect.

Even when he performed in Vegas earlier this year, which if you are dumb and can’t do math, was AFTER the man already turned 80, he was still vibrant and oh-so-flashy, even if he couldn’t jump around anymore. Instead, he sits on a giant golden-colored chair. But all the other Little Richard trademarks – a purple velvet suit, oversized glasses, a piano line that is somehow both the backbone and the star of the song – are still there.

Happy Birthday, Little Richard. Even if we’ll never get to see you pound the piano so hard it seems like the keys might just snap under the weight of your enthusiasm, you’re still insanely great, on the real.

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  • Farb

    Back in the hood we just called him Little Ricky.

  • Ambignostic

    I LOVE Little Richard so much, I want to scream the fact in the way that only Little Richard can scream. He was and is awesome, was even awesome when he tried to be an ex-rock-and-rolling preacher man.He is beautiful in so many ways, one of them being that he is THE picture of 1950’s White Panic. This is who your daughters want to fuck, Ozzie and Harriet fans! He is a Negro! Who bats for both teams! He is a less safe Cab Calloway, who was not all that safe! Ha ha!

  • Lazy Media

    I used to live in Macon, where Little Richard grew up until he got old enough to be driven out of town for some kinda preversion (he claims he had a young white girl in the back of his car, to which we all said, RIIIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTT). While I was living there, he was brought back for the first time and honored by having a street named after him. At the ceremony, Little Richard said the mayor “makes my big toe shoot up in my boot!”Macon, btw, is the center of the universe. I have been all around the world, and everywhere I go, I run into people from Middle Georgia (there ain’t that many of them, and most never leave). To wit: I ran into a dude from Milledgeville while singing karaoke at an Irish pub in Bavaria. SCIENCE. FACT.

  • Lazy Media

    Also, too, I used to have “Good Golly, Miss Molly” on 78.

  • mtn_philosoph

    Well Jeepers, back in 1971 whose hair wasn’t curly and almost bouffant-level high, who wasn’t wearing tons of eyeliner lipstick just below his tiny moustache, and who didn’t dress in some sort of full bodysuit with fringe dangling just past his pelvis, HENNNGGG?? (I mean, there had to have been others who were rocking that look, besides Mr. Penniman and yr gadfly…)Wait, I know… college women.