Rock and roll legend Little Richard remembers, buried Wednesday in Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) – A music icon was laid to rest in Rocket City on Wednesday.
Little Richard, born Richard Penniman, died in Tennessee on May 9. Outside of music, his faith was his passion. He studied this faith in the Tennessee Valley at Oakwood University.
Little Richard was buried at Oakwood University Memorial Gardens cemetery in a closed-door ceremony on Wednesday.
Oakwood allowed the public to come and pay homage to him during the funeral procession. They asked people to park in the shopping and technology center at Wynn Drive and Adventist Boulevard.
People also settled in at Oakwood Farms Market across from the main campus entrance at Adventist and Sparkman.
It is impossible to underestimate how much Little Richard has had an influence on the history of music and rock & roll. Without him, artists like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, and Michael Jackson might never have had the success they found after Richard.
He was one of the first black artists to find success with fans from all walks of life, and he was in the very first class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
WAFF spoke with Oakwood University President Dr Leslie Pollard on Tuesday. Pollard says he has a great deal of respect for Richard, and the way he took care of the people in his life will be remembered.
“If he knew you, he knew you and you would always be his friend, so he never forgot the people in his life,” Pollard said.
“Pat Boone took one of those songs, said he never sang songs like that, said it was sick, he called it all kinds of names and then he sang it and c “became a hit for him. Richard never fought back. He said right, his singing made him more popular, I mean, it was Richard!”
Little Richard’s band mates came from various parts of the country to pay homage to the legendary rock and roller.
Some of his band mates described Richard as a “father figure,” as many had learned lessons about life and music over a career spanning more than 30 years.
Millions of music fans knew Little Richard for hits such as “Tutti Frutti”, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly”, all sung with the enthusiasm of a gospel singer to a catchy rock beat. while sporting her signature pompadour hairstyle and pencil-thin mascara mustache.
But his family knew and loved him like Richard – a husband, father, brother, mentor, and devoted Christian.
The rock legend was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1932. He was the third oldest of 12 children, seven of whom are still alive. The surviving siblings are Leva Penniman, Gail Penniman, Freka Merrell, Walter Penniman, Peyton Penniman, Elaine Harmison and Peggy Connor.
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