Commentary: America’s Rock-n-Roll Architect Little Richard Has Died

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as “Little Richard,” died on Saturday at his Nashville home. He was 87. Millennials and such may be unaware of the man and the great American music he pioneered.

As the big-band era of the 1940s began to wane, musicians opted for smaller combos. They pounded out a rollicking sound with a heavy backbeat, honking saxophones, percussive pianos, and simple lyrics that lingered in the mind. When Chuck Berry sang “roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues,” that was the music he was talking about. By the mid-1950s, rhythm and blues had been rebranded as rock and roll, and Little Richard was the king.

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Music Spotlight: Mia Morris

When I first heard Mia Morris play and sing with the Song Suffragettes, it was obvious that she was super-talented. What I did not know initially was that this young musician was just 15 years old and that playing for the Song Suffragettes is just a small part of what this talented rock drummer does. I had to find out more about her.

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