Get the Little Richard King of Rock T Shirt . In October 1947, Little Richard‘s Sister Rosetta Tharpe overheard 14-year-old Penniman singing her songs before a performance at the Macon City Auditorium. She invited him to open her show. After the show, Tharpe paid him, inspiring him to become a professional performer. Penniman stated that he was inspired to play the piano after he heard Ike Turner‘s piano intro on “Rocket 88.” In 1949, he began performing in Doctor Nubillo’s traveling show. Penniman was inspired to wear turbans and capes in his career by Nubillo, who also “carried a black stick and exhibited something he called ‘the devil’s child’—the dried-up body of a baby with claw feet like a bird and horns on its head.” Nubillo told Penniman he was “gonna be famous” but that he would have to “go where the grass is greener.
Get the Little Richard King of Rock T Shirt . Before entering the tenth grade, Penniman left his family home and joined Dr. Hudson’s Medicine Show in 1949, performing Louis Jordan‘s “Caldonia“. Penniman recalled that the song was the first secular R&B song he learned, since his family had strict rules against playing R&B music, which they considered “devil music.” Penniman also performed in drag during this time, performing under the name “Princess LaVonne”. In 1950, Penniman joined his first musical band, Buster Brown’s Orchestra, where Brown gave him the name Little Richard. Performing in the minstrel show circuit, Penniman, in and out of drag, performed for various vaudeville acts such as Sugarfoot Sam from Alabam, the Tidy Jolly Steppers, the King Brothers Circus and Broadway Follies.
Get the Little Richard King of Rock T Shirt . In October 1947, Sister Rosetta Tharpe overheard 14-year-old Penniman singing her songs before a performance at the Macon City Having settled in Atlanta, Georgia, at this point, Penniman began listening to rhythm and blues and frequented Atlanta clubs, including the Harlem Theater and the Royal Peacock where he saw performers such as Roy Brown and Billy Wright onstage. Penniman was further influenced by Brown’s and Wright’s flashy style of showmanship and was even more influenced by Wright’s flamboyant persona and showmanship. Inspired by Brown and Wright, Penniman decided to become a rhythm-and-blues singer and after befriending Wright, began to learn how to be an entertainer from him, and began adapting a pompadour hairdo similar to Wright’s, as well as styling a pencil mustache, using Wright’s brand of facial pancake makeup and wearing flashier clothes.
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