Friday, May 14, 2010

Little Richard - Get Rich Quick! The Birth Of A Legend 1951-1954 (Rev-Ola 2005)

I was checking a few days ago at some net-mailorders and found a recently released long play with material that King Little Richard cut before the Specialty wisecats found him and got him on a studio (the record just came out by Jerome Records under the title 'The Implosive Little Richard - The Pre-Specialty Sessions 1951-1953'). So yes, the wop-bop-a-lou-bop master and if you don't know it already, began and recorded a bunch of tunes before his Specialty peak.
RCA & Peacock labels were the first pit stops for the real king of Rock N Roll. Officialy were recorded 16 tunes. The first thing one can see clearly here, is that Little Richard before Esquerita was a good R&B artist although just another one. What this blogger heard in this terrific compilation by Rev-Ola (a very hard to find CD with all known to this day recorded material from that era), it's the sonic evidence that Norton's mascot had a HUGE influence on him. The vibrato almost operatic voice and falsetto, the pounding, frantic and outta control 88s were all Esquerita's patent! He acknowledged this on some interviews even if he told the half truth (namely only the piano style was SQ's)...Also huge influence on Richard at this period of time was Billy Wright! A great flamboyant artist whose unique performances and "glam" dressing stylings made big interest on both Richard and Esquerita.
Anyway, the bands on these sides were Johnny Otis' and the Deuces of Rhythm along with the Tempo Toppers. Of course none of the two can match the Upsetters (the best rock n roll outfit EVER - better known to most of the world as the backing band of King Richard), but were arguably excellent rhythm & blues cats (especially Johnny Otis band...). What documented on this rare as heck CD are obviously the Peacock/RCA years plus some never released before alternate takes (six) plus three tunes by Christine Kittrell with Richard accompanied her on piano. To my opinion all these recordings are historically "must hears" for every LR fanatic, but if you're a beginner you must buy in every cost the Specialty material  which is what wrote history and created rock n roll!

Get Rich Quick!


  1. Thanks a million. I never knew he had recorded before Specialty. Keep rocknrollin'

  2. Yeah, this one is great, but "rare as heck"? You can get it directly from rev-ola for a mere 10 quid + p&p:

  3. Great post. And yeah, I definitely agree with you. His Specialty material is an absolute must for anyone who loves R&B or R&R. In fact I would recommend the Ace Little Richard 6 or 7m disc box if it is still available.

  4. @ flamingo: I feel embarrassed! I was searching for this CD for years. All the mailorders I use usually, didn't have it but i never thought ask for it on the label produced...What a dumb! All i was finding was Bear Family's version but with less tracks than this!

    @ YankeeBoy: Yes! Ace's Box is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL but i don't know if it's still around. I'm pretty sure the same label got 1 or 2CD versions with Specialty material though!

  5. hey,
    great blog!dunno how i've never come across it before.
    i noticed your 'wants list'.
    the RUMBLERS punch drunk lp ive been raving about since it came of my fave lp's.
    anyway theres a couple of copys at
    one at a ridiculous $130 and one at $7 in better condition i think.thought about gettin a spare copy myself.the BACKBONES lp is on ther too for $'s pretty good for rare stuff.
    i'll be a regular visitor of your blog from now on.thanks,dave p,uk

  6. Hey Dave P! Many thanks for the information you just gave me! I was a little kid when the Rumblers' long play came out and due to this reason I've lost it. I got it from an old torrent download at a poor 128 kbps quality but i was lookin' for the original like a maniac! About the Backbones check an interview Philippe Marcade gave me a few months ago. It's posted here: