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Little Richard: A Whop Bop a Lua - A Whop Bam Boom

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Review

It says a lot for a performer when the likes of Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix all cite you as an influence. But rock and roller Little Richard, whose 80th birthday is celebrated in this programme, is a man who touched them all.

Dylan, a man who knows a bit about crafting a telling lyric, once said that the line “a whop bop a lua — a whop bam boom” from Richard’s 1955 hit Tutti Frutti “just about summed up the essence of rock and roll”. McCartney wanted to sing like him — and made a pretty good fist of it on the Beatles’ 1964 EP Long Tall Sally.

And Hendrix famously said, “ I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice”. Not a bad set of references.

Summary

Documentary celebrating one of the most outrageous performers in the history of rock 'n' roll, exploring the influence he had on generations of musicians, from the Beatles to Bruno Mars.

Music

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