So far this has been the longest flight of my life. This “three hour tour” makes the infamously fated voyage of the S.S. Minnow seem like a mellow cruise through Disney’s Jungle Cruise. I don’t have any more Texas-specific inspired albums on my iPod (hey, there is a limit to my collection you know and after about a dozen trips to San Antonio and easily four dozen Texas-related albums, the selection is getting slim) but I do have the ‘Greatest Hits‘ by Little Richard.
With his crazed singing, frenetic piano playing, and wildly swinging backing band, Little Richard came as close as anyone in the early 50’s to reaching the Platonic ideal of rock & roll. From late 1955 until early 1958, Little Richard cranked out one brilliant hit single after another, creating music so unabashedly sexual that it scared people, especially radio programmers. Only three of these records reached the Top Ten of the pop charts, but the greatness of Richard’s work cannot be measured by mere sales numbers. Just ask Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, or any of the thousands of musicians of their era who were inspired by Little Richard to pick up instruments and push ahead with their music.
This album collects Little Richard’s biggest and best early recordings, including all his signature songs, the raucous ‘Tutti Frutti‘, the lupine howl ‘Lucille‘, the rocking ‘The Girl Can’t Help It‘, ‘Ready Teddy‘, ‘Slippin’ and Slidin‘, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly‘, my favorite ‘Long Tall Sally‘, and many more.
It may not be Texan, but it’s certainly better than the 3 episodes of ‘Moonshiners‘ they’re featuring as the only available free watching on the on-board entertainment system.