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Little Richard used James Brown as a stand-in when he couldn’t make gigs – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Little Richard used James Brown as a stand-in when he couldn’t make gigs

James Brown reportedly served as a stand-in for Little Richard.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lisa Cortes premiered her new documentary “Little Richard: I Am Everything” at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. During a Q&A session with Henry Louis Gates, Cortes shared the story of James Brown acting as a substitute for Little Richard when he was too busy to fulfill all his gigs.

Cortes’ documentary highlights Little Richard’s role as “the originator… the emancipator… the architect of rock n roll,” as he stated when accepting the Merit Award at the 1997 American Music Awards. The film aims to remind music fans, especially those who credit Elvis Presley as the first rock ‘n’ roll god, of Little Richard’s significant influence.

Notable musicians like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and James Brown were inspired by Little Richard.


Little Richard

James Brown used to act as a double for Little Richard, it seems.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lisa Cortes screened new doc “Little Richard: I Am Everything” at Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival this week and revealed the “Tutti Frutti” tale during a Q&A with Henry Louis Gates.

According to a source who attended the screening she told the crowd, “Little Richard would get so busy that he had no time to fulfill all his gigs, so his protege James Brown would dress up like him and take his gigs.”

Cortes’ rock doc reminds music fans — especially ones who might think a certain Elvis Presley was the first rock ‘n’ roll god — that Little Richard is “the originator.. the emancipator… the architect of rock n roll” (as Richard himself coyly put it when accepting the Merit Award at the 1997 American Music Awards.)

Little Richards influenced rockers like Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Brown.


Little Richard
CNN will premiere a documentary on Little Richard and black queer origins of rock n’ roll.
LightRocket via Getty Images

Cortes is expected to host a second screening of the film on Thursday and CBS News’ Michelle Miller will moderate a Q&A after, we hear.

The doc, which “tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll, exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator — the originator — Richard Penniman,” will make its debut on the small screen this fall when CNN premieres it on September 4.


James Brown
Brown was one of many musicians Little Richard influenced.
Redferns

“I made this film because the story of Little Richard is the story of rock ‘n’ roll — and rock ‘n roll is the American idiom,” Cortes has told Deadline.

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