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‘Tutti Frutti,’ Little Richard’s graphic ode to butt sex?
03.20.2015
10:08 am
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‘Tutti Frutti,’ Little Richard’s graphic ode to butt sex?


 
Never forget that “Tutti Frutti”—the song grandma danced to, the song you sang at the church picnic, the song that lent its name to a popular chain of frozen yogurt stands—began as a bawdy celebration of butt sex. Little Richard recorded bowdlerized lyrics for his 1955 hit single, and the popularity of the throwaway tune, whose main appeal seemed to reside in the original version’s goofy lyrics about lust and lube, took its author by surprise:

I’d been singing “Tutti Frutti” for years, but it never struck me as a song you’d record. I didn’t go to New Orleans to record no “Tutti Frutti.” Sure, it used to crack the crowds up when I sang it in the clubs, with those risqué lyrics: Tutti Frutti, good booty/If it don’t fit, don’t force it/You can grease it, make it easy…

But I never thought it would be a hit, even with the lyrics cleaned up.

Well, I was at home in Macon when I heard them play it on Randy’s Record Mart, Radio WLAC out of Nashville, Tennessee. The disk jockey Gene Nobles said, “This is the hottest record in the country. This guy Little Richard is taking the record market by storm.” I couldn’t believe it. My old song a hit!

Friends, imagine the kind of world we’d be living in today if Pat Boone had gotten his hands on the original version of “Tutti Frutti.” Below, Charles Connor, who was Little Richard’s drummer in the 50s, recites the original lyrics as he remembers them:

Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.20.2015
10:08 am
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