While our Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts music and social media project was on hiatus for the summer, we shared a song every Monday to start your week. We’ve decided to make Sharp Notes Monday a permanent feature.
Little Richard is an unusual choice for an artist for Sharp Notes Monday, and “Tutti Frutti” is a departure from our usual selections.
But Little Richard caught our attention because today would have been his 90th birthday. (He passed away on May 9, 2020.)
His signature songs such as “Tutti Frutti,” :Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” were not compositions that addressed social justice issues, but as an artist he did connect music and social justice.
His concerts attracted integrated audiences at a time of segregation in the U.S.
As CNN reported when Little Richard died:
“Richard opened the door. He brought the races together,” said arranger H.B. Barnum in Charles White’s 1984 biography “The Life and Times of Little Richard.”
“When I first went on the road, there were many segregated audiences. With Richard, although they still had the audiences segregated in the building, they were there TOGETHER. And most times before the end of the night, they would all be mixed together.”
Click here to learn more about our Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts music and social media project and view videos of our presentations.