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  1. I was having a private conversation with somebody on this site, and we were agreeing that more than anyone else, the founding father of rock and roll was Chuck Berry. But Chuck Berry wasn't an exceptional singer, or an exceptional guitarist, although he certainly wasn't bad as either. But I would like to put forward the claim that the founder of rock-and-roll singing was Little Richard. When you listen to his mid-fifties iconic vocal performances, you hear prefigured just about everything to come: Elvis, John and Paul, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Jackie Wilson, even Bob Dylan. Prince. But also the R & B and soul artists like James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and even Aretha Franklin. You can hear all of them learning what to do when you listen to, and watch, Little Richard murder "Long Tall Sally" (1956): Comment on this extraordinary exhibition is probably superfluous, although I will point out that it seems remarkably like a minstrel show, except the performers are black rather than in black-face. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. But my goodness, the joy shines through Little Richard's vocal technique and the expressions on his face and his physical moves. This was a singer who knew what he wanted to do and damn, he did it. It's also remarkable how beautiful he was to look at.
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