Night Music: Little Richard, “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)”

More making-dinner music. Sort of. I was cooking tonight and put on Little Richard’s Essentials album, because Moyer mentioned him the other day.

I love Little Richard. I know I’m piling on, but for me he’s the quintessential Ur-rock guy. Others played rock before. Others were trying to play it at the same time. But at that point Little Richard was better than all of them. Maybe put together.

But while making dinner, totally blown away again by Rip It Up and the Girl Can’t Help It, I kept trying to remember the name of the soul tune of Richard’s that first made me realize that he wasn’t just a rock n roll oldies guy, but was instead a rock giant. (No slight to him, that was my mistake.)

This is is. And sometimes I even moan.

I think we could hear any number of soul masters perform this excellent tune just fine, but I would bet not one could match Little Richard when the day was done.

He’s hardly an overlooked genius, but I think the towering of his talent and style and achievement is often overlooked.

Oh, and it turns out the guitarist in this band is the young Jimi Hendrix.

5 thoughts on “Night Music: Little Richard, “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)”

  1. Surely doesn’t get much better or rock ‘n’ roll than LR. In that Bowie movie I saw the other night, they showed a framed 5×7 of Little Richard that a young David Jones bought at Woolworth’s and had hanging on his wall as a kid.

  2. Agreed with both you guys.

    For sure part of what defined LR as rock’n’roll was the fact that he scared the shit out of the establishment. Yet, he could not be denied (ask Pat Boone, ugh).

    I think had he been new today, he still would scare the shit out of the establishment, even though he has lived long enough to be iconic.

    How was the Bowie film Steve?

  3. Definitely worth seeing if you’re a Bowie fan. A lot “Bowie is god” and a little Spinal-Tappy at times (a visitor to the Bowie exhibit comments, “His DNA’s in those clothes!”), my conclusion after enjoying the movie was, “Geez, if they’re doing this now, the circus will really come to town when he dies.”

  4. Pingback: The Great Little Richard is Dead | Rock 'n' Roll Remnants

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