Little Richard, while performing in Australia in 1957, saw a fireball flying across the sky and took it to be a sign from God to repent from secular music and his wild lifestyle at the time; he wouldn’t return to secular music until 1962. The fireball that he saw was the launch of Sputnik 1.

Little Richard, rock’n’roll pioneer, dies aged 87

Little Richard, one of the pioneers of the first wave of rock’n’roll, has died. He was 87.

Little Richard – a life in pictures

View gallery

Richard, whose real name was Richard Penniman, was born in Macon, Georgia in December 1932. He had been in poor health for several years, suffering hip problems, a stroke and a heart attack.

Richard’s son, Danny Penniman, first confirmed the pioneer’s death. In a statement, Richard’s agent, Dick Alen, said: “Little Richard passed away this morning from bone cancer in Nashville.

“He was battling for a good while, many years. I last spoke to him about two or three weeks ago. I knew he wasn’t well but he never really got into it, he just would say ‘I’m not well.’”

Richard’s career b… Continue Reading (6 minute read)

9 thoughts on “Little Richard, while performing in Australia in 1957, saw a fireball flying across the sky and took it to be a sign from God to repent from secular music and his wild lifestyle at the time; he wouldn’t return to secular music until 1962. The fireball that he saw was the launch of Sputnik 1.”

  1. poopellar

    On a drunken night I thought I saw some these collection of lights in the sky that resembled god. In that moment I had a deep look at myself and vowed to turn my life around and never drink again. Those lights turned out to be light burned into my retina from staring at street lights for too long, but I did stop drinking for a week.

  2. _JPH_

    Someone watched Jeopardy! yesterday

  3. SlowTalkinMorris

    Alternative title: 5 years of making jesus music wasn’t as profitable.

  4. tsunamiblackeye

    I don’t think so. That would have been a tiny rocket by later standards and would have been launched from Russia and the engines shut down after 5 minutes. He may have seen Sputnik as a tiny dot but it wasn’t a fireball. Or he may have seen a fireball that wasn’t Sputnik.

  5. ironroad18

    Little Richard wrestled with his spirituality, life style, and sex life for most of his life. He would go back and fourth between, being a “holly roller” and renouncing rock and pop-culture, to embracing it, to being a minister, then getting addicted to coke, sex, etc., and then back to devote religion.

  6. LordFelcher

    The original lyrics to Tutti Frutti are hilariously bad and tone-deaf for the 1950s USA. I would love to have been privy to the conversation between the producer and Little Richard:

    *His breakthrough single, Tutti Frutti, was originally about anal sex – “If it don’t fit, don’t force it / You can grease it, make it easy” – until producer Bumps Blackwell suggested it be cleaned up.*

  7. Capt_Thunderdump

    Someone watched jeopardy last night

  8. marmorset

    “Some people can read *War and Peace* and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.”

    The fact that it was Sputnik doesn’t matter, he took it as a sign and it changed his life.

Leave a Comment