Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the development of soul music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website entry on Penniman states that:
He claims to be “the architect of rock and roll”, and history would seem to bear out Little Richard’s boast. More than any other performer – save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as “Tutti Frutti“, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll.
excerpted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Richard
I came from a family where my people didn't like rhythm and blues. Bing Crosby - "Pennies from Heaven" - Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard. God would be a very selfish god if he gave all the soul to one race. ... when one sings from the heart and it reaches another heart, that's soul.
James Brown, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry and Little Richard - I think they had strong influences on a lot of people, because these were the guys who really got rock'n'roll going Michael Jackson (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jun/28/michael-jackson-interview) The most exciting moment of my life was appearing on the same stage as Little Richard. - Keith Richards I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice. - Jimi Hendrix (1966) Once you have seen this man you know instantly that you have seen the greatest Rock n Roll legend of our time. - Dick Clark When I was in high school I wanted to be like Little Richard. Paul Simon After hearing Little Richard on record, I bought a saxaphone and came into the music business. Little Richard was my inspiration. David Bowie http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Little_Richard