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Send Me Some Lovin' - Little Richard

Of the Rock 'n' roll originators, Elvis had rockabilly roots, Fats Domino's were New Orleans piano good time blues and Jerry Lee Lewis was churchy country and western but it always struck me that Chuck Berry and Little Richard were the guys who stood at the crossroads where the blues met gospel and could have gone either down the soul road, or the rock and roll road. In fact, to my mind they are really soul singers who speeded everything up, so that it became rock. If you listen, it's a mile away from the rhythm of Bill Hailey and the Comets, and closer in spirit to the high paced rock of today.

And both were extrovert performers and showmen, both sang about euphemism sex cloaked in day to day incidents with characters that their fans could identify with, and both were among the biggest influences of pop music of the sixties from the Beatles onwards.

Never is the soul singer in Little Richard more apparent than in this, the original version of "Send Me Some Lovin'".

The backing is pure New Orleans style (yes it was recorded in New Orleans). It seems pretty normal fare, until the end of the first verse when there's a little yelp, as though he's holding back his feelings.

" can I love you

when you far away?"

Listen again, and you might be forgiven for thinking it's suppressed lust! If it is then the next lines may have new significance......

"Send me your picture.... I can hold it

pretend you are here

Can you send me your kisses

I still feel their touch

I need you so badly

I miss you much"

By now there's a whole lot more short, sharp wordless (I won't use the correct word for fear of being misunderstood - slightly) exclamations. And now the song really takes off:

"Honey, I can feel that great love I need you so bad I miss you, you so much

My days are so lonely

my nights are so blue

I'm here and I'm lonely

I'm waiting for you"

In case we are in any doubt about why he's missing her, the sublime sax solo by the Louisiana legend Lee Allen makes all clear: this is not the solo in a song about a lovesick man mooning over his absent girl. The reason why he's missing her isn't just love, it's love and a whole lot more. It's the same sensual passion that emanated from every visible pore of the performing Little Richard's body that scared the parents of American white kids in the mid fifties so much, and it's here in spade loads, even in this little ditty about absent love.

At a mere 2 minutes 19 seconds, you've plenty of time to listen again, this time with the sound turned way up.

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