Some folks say that Little Richard invented rock 'n' roll. Others say Van Halen did, but those people usually smoke a pack of "Reds" a day and ride dirtbikes even though they're in their twenties and still carry a big comb in their back pockets. If Little Richard didn't invent rock 'n' roll, he's certainly responsible for reshaping its sound and style. By merging Gospel music with Cajun R&B and hyper Boogie-Woogie piano playing, Little Richard spawned a high-voltage, kinetic sound that has influenced everyone from Pat Boone to Jimi Hendrix, as well as almost every British Invasion band of the 1960s. Adrenaline-surged songs like "Tutti Frutti" and "Keep a Knockin" have been covered time and again by artists who appreciate and respect Little Richard's ongoing no-holds-barred electrifying performances and his uplifting, soulful songs. Anyone who has ever tried to sing along with one of his tunes has soon found out that it is nearly impossible to match Little Richard's elasticity and intensity. Just ask Cindy Crawford.
Little Richard Concert Films
Keep on Rockin'
Runtime: 28 minLittle Richard was one of the first great wildmen of rock, with his sky-high pompadour, manic scream and frantically rockin' tunes like "Tutti Frutti" and "Keep A' Knockin'." Keep On Rockin' captures the self-proclaimed "quasar of rock" in fine and unfettered form in this 1969 date at a Toronto festiva
Legends in Concert
Little Richard And Friends
Runtime: 42 minAn American singer-songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor - Little Richard stars in this fabulous television special, along with performances from other legendary artists including Chuck Berry and Billy Halley.
Little Richard Top Tracks
Black and White Night
Runtime: 1 hr 5 minIn 1987, Roy Orbison crowned his critical rehabilitation with this concert in Los Angeles, where he runs through his greatest hits with the help of some famous friends. Those joining the Big O for such classics as 'Only the Lonely', 'Crying', 'It's Over' and 'Oh, Pretty Woman' include Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Soles, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes.
Live At Rockpalast: Loreley 1983
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minWhen the Stray Cats entered the scene in the 80s, rockabilly was hot. Grease quiffs and tattoos were the outside badges; upright drums and bass the characteristic instruments. Includes two performances in Germany: one in 1981 in Cologne and one in 1983 at the Loreley that were recorded by WDR. These are genuine recordings that make the trio's sound still accessible today.
Story of Rock and Roll
Jerry Lee Lewis
Runtime: 52 minJerry Lee Lewis - Story of Rock and Roll is a biography of pioneering rock-and-roller Jerry Lee Lewis, with clips from his past concerts, television and movie appearances.
Classic Album: Elvis Presley
Runtime: 50 min"It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't issued in album form until well after the fact) backs up that claim. The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the program) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style. Sun producer Sam Phillips, author Peter Guralnick, Presley's musicians, and others are on hand to provide insight and background. But in the end, of course, it comes down to the music--and when you're talking about the likes of "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tutti Frutti," "Money Honey," and "Heartbreak Hotel" (a single that actually wasn't on the album), "classic" hardly begins to cover it.