Lucille (Little Richard song)

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Lucille Little Richard single.jpg
Single by Little Richard
from the album Little Richard
B-side"Send Me Some Lovin’"
ReleasedFebruary 1957 (1957-02)
RecordedJuly 30, 1956
StudioJ&M Music, New Orleans, Louisiana
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Albert Collins, Little Richard
Producer(s)Robert "Bumps" Blackwell
Little Richard singles chronology
"The Girl Can't Help It"
"Jenny, Jenny"

"Lucille" is a 1957 rock and roll song originally recorded by American musician Little Richard. Released on Specialty Records in February 1957, the single reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, 21 on the US pop chart,[1] and number 10 on the UK chart. It was composed by Albert Collins (not to be confused with the blues guitarist of the same name) and Little Richard. First pressings of Specialty 78rpm credit Collins as the sole writer. Little Richard bought half of the song's rights while Collins was in Louisiana State Penitentiary.[2]

The song foreshadowed the rhythmic feel of 1960s rock music in several ways, including its heavy bassline and slower tempo, inspired by the chugging of a train the band were riding.[3] The scene-setting sections also feature stop-time breaks and no change in harmony, and it has a darker sound because most of the instruments use a low register.[4]


Little Richard sang and played piano on his recording, backed by a band consisting of Lee Allen (tenor saxophone), Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax), Roy Montrell (guitar), Frank Fields (bass), and Earl Palmer (drums).[5]


In 2002, "Lucille" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[6] Music critic and writer Dave Marsh included the song on his list of The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made at number 670.[7]

Other recordings[edit]

Little Richard re-recorded "Lucille", like many of his other hits, multiple times throughout his career. The first substantially different version of the song was recorded in 1964 and appeared on Little Richard's Greatest Hits. His last recording appears on the 1992 album Little Richard Meets Masayoshi Takanaka.

In 1994, Little Richard appeared on the television series Sesame Street performing a rewritten version of "Lucille" entitled "Rosita", about the Muppet character of the same name.

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1960 The Everly Brothers recorded the song, whose version peaked at number twenty-one on the Hot 100.[8]
  • In 1963 The Hollies recorded their version.
  • On September 3, 1963, the Beatles recorded "Lucille" for the BBC's Pop Go the Beatles #14 (aired September 17, 1963). They recorded a second version on September 7, 1963, for Saturday Club's 5th Birthday Edition (aired October 5, 1963).
  • In 1964 Ralph Williams/The Marauders recorded a version of "Lucille" on Decca Records.
  • Deep Purple frequently performed "Lucille" as an encore during the 1970s and 1980s. One performance is included as a bonus track on the 1998 reissue of their album Made in Japan. In 1984, during their tour in Australia, George Harrison joined Deep Purple on stage to perform the song.
  • In 1977 Queen performed the song at two nights in Earl's Court.
  • At the closing day on December 29, 1979 of the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, the supergroup Rockestra performed the song.[9]
  • In 1983, Waylon Jennings recorded his version of "Lucille". Released as a single, it became Jennings' twelfth number one on the country chart.[10] In Canada, it reached number four.


  1. ^ Jay Warner, On this Day in Black Music History (Hal Leonard, 2006), 84.
  2. ^ "Our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame".
  3. ^ "Little RIchard Recorded LUCILLE this Day in 1957". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  4. ^ Michael Campbell & James Brody (2007), Rock and Roll: An Introduction, page 117
  5. ^ Vera, Billy. The Specialty Story 1944-1964 (Liner notes). Berkeley, California: Specialty Records. pp. 10, 35. 5SPCD-4412-2.
  6. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame – "Lucille": Little Richard – Specialty (1957) (Single)". The Recording Academy. 2002. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Marsh, Dave (1999). The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Da Capo Press. p. 431. ISBN 9780306809019.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 282.
  9. ^ "40 Years Ago Paul McCartney's Rockestra Rocked the Concerts for Kampuchea". December 26, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 175.

External links[edit]