After years of singing and playing piano everywhere from street corners to church choirs to traveling medicine shows, Little Richard Penniman made a test record of some of his own songs on a home recorder and sent it to Specialty Records in Hollywood.
In spite of the scratchy rendition, I recognized the artistry and uniqueness of Little Richard, and signed him to a recording contract.
Even though Little Richard fulfilled only about one year of his contract because he claimed he was entering the ministry, the recordings he did make made musical history. His style, mannerisms, and emotional treatment of the lyrics were the model for most rock ’n’ roll performers from then through today. Indeed, most musical critics and knowledgeable collectors concede that Little Richard was an originator and the greatest contributor to contemporary music. --Art Rupe