Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll, passed away on May 9 at the age of 87. His mix of boogie, gospel, and jump blues crossed racial barriers. His flamboyant performing style with his trademark pompadour and makeup set the standard for rock & roll showmanship. He was instantly on the level of his contemporaries Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. He was born Richard Wayne Penniman and wrote "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally" in 1955 and '56 while washing dishes at a Macon, Georgia greyhound bus station. Briefly he switched to gospel music.
Little Richard's music influenced many artists, including the Beatles, James Brown, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Little Richard was one of the ten original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
Watch Little Richard perform Tutti Frutti at the 1995 concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.