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Little Richard and Solomon Burke: Sex & God & Rock & Roll

Vernon Gibbs, Village Voice, The, 10 August 1982

THE FIRST time I encountered Little Richard, his face was plastered against a Bedford-Stuyvesant wall — the poster advertised a show at the Breevort Theater. It may have been 1962, I don't quite remember. I do remember the shock of seeing his face for the first time, the open mouth and blackened lips (or so I thought since I couldn't imagine a man wearing lipstick), the sweat running through the pancake makeup, the hair piled crazily on his head Like a barely contained torrent cascading across his forehead to join the streams of sweat. I also remember the animated crowd gathered around the poster. They were saying that Little Richard was planning to get a sex change operation so he could marry another popular black singer. Even today I can still hear the delighted roars of laughter as the crowd by the Fulton Street bus stop feasted on this malicious bit of nonsense.

Total word count of piece: 4171

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