Archive for Little Richard

Yow! The Best Rock and Roll Screams

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by 30daysout

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Our greatest rockers are people who apparently never used their “indoor voice.” Why should they? They were future rockers! Anyhow, the other day I was thinking that the one ingredient basic to any good rock and roll song – besides a guitar solo, of course – is a blood-curdling scream.

It could be an expression of rage and defiance, like Roger Daltrey’s classic scream at the end of “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” or it can be a cathartic release of pain and frustration, like John Lennon in “Well Well Well.” Screams can be ominous and threatening, like Axl Rose in “Welcome To The Jungle” or it can be just plain weird and inexplicable, like Jim Morrison in “When The Music’s Over.”

Screams can be old and trailblazing: Bo Diddley and Little Richard loved to scream, although Richard’s were more like a shriek and Bo’s were more like a holler. They can be punk (The Stooges), they can be metal (Iron Maiden), they can be funny (Tenacious D) or they can be very soulful (Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett). As Eddie Murphy once said about James Brown’s famous scream, “He wrote that.”

So let’s celebrate the weekend with a dozen cool rockin’ screams. Turn it up!

MP3: “Welcome To The Jungle” (live) by Guns N’ Roses

MP3: “Shout Bamalama” by Eddie Hinton

MP3: “Run Diddley Daddy” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown

MP3: “TV Eye” by The Stooges

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart (live) by Big Brother and the Holding Company

MP3: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” by Edgar Winter’s White Trash

MP3: “Hold On To Your Hiney” by Wilson Pickett

MP3: “Well Well Well” by John Lennon

MP3: “When The Music’s Over” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who

YouTube: Greatest Rock Screams (thanks to GuyFaux2007)

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Little Richard

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , on March 23, 2010 by 30daysout

Still rifflin’ through the big box o’ records given to me by my sister’s boyfriend, who is also a DJ at a cool radio station.  This one was a bit of a head scratcher for me, until I put needle to vinyl.  The Rill Thing by Little Richard is from 1970, a time when many of the artists from the first rock and roll era had moved on to movies and live shows (Elvis, Chuck Berry) or just got plain psychedelic (Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters).

Little Richard had a bunch of seminal rock hits in the 1950s, then turned religious and became a preacher in the early 1960s.  But by the late 1960s he had gone back to performing in big live shows in the big “Rock and Roll Revival” craze of the era.  And he was also drinking and drugging pretty heavily – guess he’d lost Jesus at that point.

So by 1970 he signed with Warner Bros./Reprise after a three-year layoff from recording.  The resulting album, The Rill Thing, is just that – and it’s pretty good. It kicks off with the joyous “Freedom Blues,” a return to form (at least vocally) for Richard.  Presto- “Freedom Blues” cracked the Billboard Top 50 and became Richard’s first hit single in 13 years.   His scream going right into the sax solo was a refreshing reminder that the Georgia Peach was still a force to be reckoned with.

The psychedelic guitars kick in during “Greenwood, Mississippi,” which became the second single off the album.  “Dew Drop Inn” is another rocker of Little Richard’s old blueprint, and “Somebody Saw You” is one of the swamp rockers that serves as this album’s filler.  Attempting to reach the current audience, Richard wrote “The Rill Thing,” which was a 10-minute instrumental that kind of brings an otherwise fine album to a screeching halt.  It’s a horn-drenched kind of funk thing that wears out its welcome after about two minutes or so.

After that ill-advised title track, the album wobbles to a close with two covers: Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” and Paul McCartney’s “I Saw Her Standing There.”  Richard turns the former into a New Orleans-styled jaunt and blisters through the latter to at least end the album on a rockin’ note.  The Rill Thing is a return to form for an artist who’d been out of the spotlight (on record, at least) for a while.  The album failed to make a splash, and Richard cut a followup for Reprise that mirrored his traditional sound more closely – but it wasn’t nearly as good as The Rill Thing.

After a close call with death and the demise of some people close to him, Little Richard finally went back to the Lord for good in 1977.  He has maintained a pretty decent career in entertainment over the years while also fulfilling his heavenly obligations.  In recent months, he’s given a few interviews where he says he plans to retire soon.  After all, he’s 77 years old!

MP3: “Freedom Blues”

MP3: “Greenwood, Mississippi”

MP3: “Dew Drop Inn”

MP3: “Lovesick Blues”

Review: “Imus Ranch Record,” Various Artists

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2008 by 30daysout

No matter what you think about radio talk show host Don Imus (I happen to like him and listen to him daily) there is one thing you can’t deny…the guy does alot for kids with cancer and their families. He and his wife, Deidre, run the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, a working cattle ranch where kids with cancer can work with animals and get away from their illness for a little while. He has raised millions of dollars for the ranch in a number of different ways throughout the years and his latest fund-raising effort is the Imus Ranch Record.

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