• Jason Toynbee

Tribute to Little Richard

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Jason Toynbee

Little Richard is dead. He was 87. What an extraordinary and supremely creative life. Apart from inventing a vocal style whose echoes can be heard down the twists and turns of popular music history, he was a performance artist avant la lettre.

In particular, he constructed a pansexual identity of voluptuous and absurd proportions. And of course he was an African American artist in the trickster tradition who subverted sterotypes, confounding the exponents of race hate through his lip gloss brilliance.

With Tom Jones in 1969 in this clip. Notwithstanding the Saturday night TV show setting (or partly because of it?) he delivers an incredibly powerful vocal. Rest in power Richard.