Little Richard News Forum
Talking about Little Richard!

Home » Little Richard News forum » Little Richard » Long Tall Sally: who covered whose song? (Chronicle of first releases)
Long Tall Sally: who covered whose song? [message #5672] Wed, 17 January 2018 23:38
Messages: 11
Registered: December 2014
Location: Moscow, Russia
Junior Member
"The white radio stations wouldn't play Richard's version of 'Tutti Frutti' and made Boone's cover Number One," recalled [Robert 'Bumps'] Blackwell. "So we decided to up the tempo on the follow-up and get the lyrics going so fast that Boone wouldn't be able to get his mouth together to do it!" Recorded at J&M Studios in New Orleans, "Long Tall Sally" was Little Richard's biggest hit ( from ).

According to Blackwell, he was introduced to a little girl by Honey Chile, a popular disc-jockey. Apparently, the girl had written a song for Little Richard to record so she could pay the treatment for her ailing aunt Mary. The song, actually a few lines on a piece of paper, went like this:

Saw Uncle John with Long Tall Sally
They saw Aunt Mary comin'
So they ducked back in the alley.

Not wishing to upset an influential disc-jockey, Blackwell accepted the offer and took the idea to Richard, who was reluctant at first. Nevertheless, the line "ducked back in the alley" was exactly what they were looking for, and Richard kept practicing until he could sing it as fast as possible. They worked on the song, adding verses and a chorus, until they got the hit they wanted. The credit to Enotris Johnson, Richard's adoptive father, was added, probably as an act of benevolence. Featuring a tenor saxophone solo by Lee Allen (as did "Tutti Frutti"), "Long Tall Sally" was the best-selling 45 of the history of Specialty Records. (from ).

Two first Little Richard's recording sessions with "Long Tall Sally" took place on November 29 and on December 3, 1955. None of takes from these sessions of 1955 has been released at the time (three takes have been released on three bootlegs in 1974 and 1985, and three takes, not just the same, on Ace LP and CD sets ABOXLP1 and ABOXCD1 in 1989, but that is another story...). And the musicians were not same as for "Tutti Frutti". Probably none of takes satisfied Little Richard and Bumps Blackwell...

The session which produced the largely known master of "Long Tall Sally" took place on February 7, 1956. The musicians (except the "new" Edgar Blanchard on guitar) were same as for "Tutti Frutti": Frank Fields on bass, Earl Palmer on drums, Lee Allen on tenor sax and Alvin 'Red' Tyler on baritone sax.

The single Specialty 572 with "Long Tall Sally" and "Slippin' and Slidin'" on flipside has been released (BB) on March 17, 1956 (please remember this date, taken from ).

And "Rolling Stone" says: Unfazed, Boone also recorded "Long Tall Sally," taking it to Number Eight.

Really, very unfazed, this guy! Because the Pat Boone's session with "Long Tall Sally" took place (according to booklet of 12-CD Bear Family box "Pat Boone: The Fifties Complete" BCD 15884 LK, p. 60)... heads up!... on early March 1956!

And that's not all. The Boone's single with "Long Tall Sally" has been released on... mind your eye!... March 14, 1956. Fanfare for our winner!

So, who was covered whose song? You have to answer to it yourself...

* * *
P.S. I just received an answer for Pat Boone here: .
Someone wrote: "Dot has an ad in Billboard 31 March for the Pat Boone Version".

And the release date of Boone's single was 14 March.

We have 31 - 14 = 17 days between the issue and its ad in BB.

So, as LR has an ad in BB 17 March, its issue could be circa 1 March.
Boone could record it on 2-3 March and release the single in 14 March.

Very quickly, but possibly.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 January 2018 16:05]

Report message to a moderator

Previous Topic: Mystic Valley Label / Little Star recordings
Next Topic: Here's Little Richard reissue with alternative takes and demos
Goto Forum:

Current Time: Wed Sep 22 05:32:37 EEST 2021

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.00843 seconds