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Little Richard (Richard Penniman)


This weekend we have heard the sad news of the passing of “Little Richard” – one of the greatest musicians of the 1950s, who is often considered as the founder of rock ‘n’ roll.  This week for our music lesson, we will use his music and enjoy some rock ‘n’ roll dancing!



Little Richard - Long Tall Sally - 1956

Watch this video of Long Tall Sally.  

Little Richard is the man on the left – the main singer. What instrument is he playing?  

What other musical instruments can you see on stage?

Everyone in the band is dressed very smartly in a suit. Have a look at some modern pop/rock music videos – what do musicians wear these days? Probably not a suit!

The people in the audience are clapping along in time – can you join in?

Quick fact: About 1 minute into the song, a man comes and stands on the piano to play his saxophone. He is playing a solo – this is when one person plays by themselves. 

Little Richard - Long Tall Sally - 1956

Little Richard-Tutti Frutti

This song has the very famous line “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!” These words are nonsense words – they have no meaning, but they sound very punchy and effective! Another of Little Richard’s songs is called Bama Lama Bama Loo – more nonsense lyrics!

Can you practice saying or singing these words?

Can you make your own words up to create your own funny set of lyrics?

Watch the dancers in this video. Can you copy any of the dance moves? You can look on YouTube to find Rock n Roll dance tutorials if you want to learn any of the dance steps properly!

Enjoy dancing along to this song and any others of Little Richard’s – he was an entertainer who wanted his audience to have fun!

Many of Little Richard’s songs included the names of people.  For example some of his songs are “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Ready Teddy,” “Miss Ann” and “Lucille.”  Little Richard created rhyming lyrics with these names, such as:

“Oh, oh, oh, Miss Ann, you're doin' something no-one can.”

“Lucille… I love you still.”

“Lawdie, Miss Claudie.”


Can you come up with some words that rhyme with your name?


My name is Jenny.  There aren’t many words that rhyme with “Jenny” – the main ones I can think of are “penny” and “any”.  I could use other names, such as “Lenny” or “Benny.”  

My rhyme could be: 

“My name is Jenny.  I’ve got a friend called Benny.  We went to the shop and bought a sweet for a penny.”  I’m sure you could come up with something much better!


Use the words that rhyme with your name to create your own rhyming song lyrics.  Maybe you could create a tune to sing them to?  And then add a backing rhythm or drum/clap beat?  Please record your compositions if you can and send them to us!

1950s Rock and Roll playlist

Enjoy dancing along to these Rock n Roll songs!

Other Rock n Roll songs you might recognise and enjoy dancing to include:
Bill Haley and His Comets - Rock Around the Clock / Shake, Rattle n Roll
Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock / Hound Dog
Chuck Berry - Johnny B Goode
Bobby Darin - Splish, Splash
Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire