Little Richard was no overnight sensation. Richard Penniman had been performing since 1947 at the age of 14. It was Sister Rosetta Tharpe who heard him cover one of her songs and invited him to open for one of her shows.
Richard’s first record was the 1951 single ‘Taxi Blues’ backed with ‘Every Hour’. The song was a hit only in Georgia. He went on to record four singles (eight songs in total) for RCA.
In 1953 Richard moved from Atlanta to Houston and recorded two singles for Peacock Records. Like the four RCA records, no real chart success happened for Little Richard. Richard took a job then as a dishwasher for Greyhound.
It could have ended there but it didn’t. Next came a deal with Specialty Records. Little Richard had a new song to record called ‘Tutti Fruitti’ and the rest , as they say, is history.
Here are Little Richard’s six flops before his first success.
Taxi Blues (released November 1951)
Get Rich Quick (released February 1952)
Ain’t Nothin’ Happenin’ (released May 1952)
Please Have Mercy On Me (released November 1952)
Ain’t That Good News (released June 1953)
Always (released March 1954)