5 Little Richard Songs That Prove He Was ‘The Innovator, Originator, and Architect of Rock and Roll’

The late, great, legend, Little Richard, holds an eminent place in the history of rock and roll.  Nicknamed “The Innovator, Originator, and Architect of Rock and Roll,” he was a larger-than-life singer, songwriter, and musician who pioneered the formation of a variety of music genres. Here are five Little Richard songs that highlight his creative genius.

Little Richard
Little Richard 1956 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Little Richard’s 1956 hit, “Tutti Frutti”

One of Little Richard’s most popular songs, “Tutti Frutti” was released in 1955. As his first major album hit, it went on to make it to no. 2 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart. The song was so popular at the time, it was covered by both Elvis Presley and Pat Boone in 1956. 

During their concert tours in the ‘60s and ‘70s, The Beatles performed “Tutti Frutti” with Paul McCartney singing the lead vocals. In 2010, the song was entered into the US Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

“Long Tall Sally”

Little Richard’s 1956 song, “Long Tall Sally,” was his second major hit single. It topped the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts for six weeks and made it the number six position on the Billboard Pop charts. 

Like many of Little Richard’s hits, the song was covered by a number of popular recording artists. In the year it was released, “Long Tall Sally,” was covered by Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, and Eddie Cochran. And in 1964, The Beatles recorded and released the single as an EP.

“Lucille”

When Little Richard released “Lucille” in 1957, the single shot to the top of the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts, and hit number 21 on the US pop charts. The song was covered by The Beatles in 1963 and by The Marauder’s a year later. 

 In 1983, country singer Waylon Jenning’s covered “Lucille,” and brought it to the top of the Billboard Country Charts. The track was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Little Richard’s Iconic single, “Good Golly Miss Molly”

Considered one of his signature songs, “Good Golly Miss Molly,” was recorded by Little Richard in 1956. The track peaked at No. 10 on the US Billboard Pop Charts and No. 4 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart. 

The song has been covered by Jerry Lee Lewis, Mitch Ryder, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. On Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, “Good Golly Miss Molly” was ranked at No. 94.

“The Girl Can’t Help It”

Little Richard’s hit song, “The Girl Can’t Help It,” was featured as the title song for the 1956 Jayne Mansfield comedy film, The Girl Can’t Help It.  It made it to No. 49 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart and went to No. 9 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song was covered by a number of popular artists over the years, including Led Zeppelin, The Animals, and The Everly Brothers. Fergie’s 2007 single, “Clumsy,” featured a sample of the hook.