Before there was a Little Richard, never had someone so incredibly gay (and out) become such a sex symbol for teenage girls and a superstar in mainstream American culture. In the beginning Richard made no attempt to hide who he was and where he came from. He blazed a FLAMING trail and made the path that much brighter for those who would follow him. The fact that it took decades before anyone remotely like him to achieve similar success (Prince, I’m looking at you) demonstrates just how impressive his achievements were. And though Richard has renounced his queerness a couple of times over the years, he always comes back to us. How could he not? He is one of the gayest people to have ever lived.
Richard, I thank you for your immeasurable contribution to not only American music, but for showing that queers can change the world. I love you!
I think that when most people think of the music of Little Richard they think of whoops and hollers, but did you know that Richard was also a master balladeer? Oh he could make you SWOON and melt right down to the ground! My Record of the Day is a fine example.
"Directly From My Heart To You" was first recorded by Richard with Johnny Otis in the mid-50s, then re-recorded for Specialty. He recorded it AGAIN as a soul version in 1966 for Modern. That last version is my favorite. In this version Richard shows the world that although other singers may have been inspired by him, there is only ONE Little Richard and he can burn a ballad just as hot as his disciple Otis Redding or any other 60s soul cat. He starts out with a subtle and sweet smolder, but by the time he's done the fire department is on the way to fight the roaring inferno of Little Richard's soul.