- Long Tall Sally
Name = Long Tall Sally
Cover size =
from Album = "
Here's Little Richard"
A-side = "Long Tall Sally"
B-side = "
Slippin' and Slidin'"
Released = March
Format = 7"
Recorded = February 10, 1956, at J&M Studio
Rock and roll
Length = 2:10
Label = Specialty
Writer = Enotris Johnson,
Robert Blackwell, Richard Penniman
Chart position =
Billboard R&B Singles
Billboard Pop Singles
Last single ="Tutti Frutti"
This single ="Long Tall Sally"
Next single ="Rip It Up"
Misc =Infobox Single
Name = Long Tall Sally
Cover size =
from Album =
B-side = "
I Took My Baby Home" (R. Davies)
Format = 7"
24 January, 1964 at Pye Studios (No .1), London
Genre = Beat
Label = Pye 7N15611
Chart position =
Last single = ---
This single = "Long Tall Sally"
Next single = "
You Still Want Me"
Misc =Infobox Song
Name =Long Tall Sally
Caption =EP cover
alt Artist =
Album =Long Tall Sally
19 June 1964
Chart position =
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = Long Tall Sally
Tracks = ;Side one
# "Long Tall Sally"
I Call Your Name";Side two
# "Slow Down"
# "Matchbox""Long Tall Sally" is a
rock and roll 12-bar bluessong written by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Enotris Johnsonand Richard Penniman (known as " Little Richard"), recorded by Little Richard and released March 1956on the Specialty Recordslabel.
The flip side was "
Slippin' and Slidin'". Both songs were subsequently released in the LP " Here's Little Richard" (Specialty, March 1957). The single reached #1 on the rhythm and bluescharts, staying at the top for six of 19 weeks.cite web
title=Long Tall Sally
accessdate=2006-11-25] It received the "
Cash Box" Triple Crown Award in 1956. [ [http://www.kolumbus.fi/timrei/lre.htm Little Richard ] ] The song as sung by Little Richard is #56 on " Rolling Stone"'s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11028260/the_rs_500_greatest_songs_of_all_time/1|title=The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time|publisher=RollingStone.com|accessdate=2007-06-02]
It became one of the singer's best-known hits and has become a
rock and rollstandard covered by hundreds of artists.cite book
title= The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll
edition= (2nd Ed.)
publisher= Da Capo Press
location=New York, N.Y.
pages= p. 26
id= ISBN 0-306-80683-5]
The song was originally called "The Thing", recorded in New Orleans by Little Richard. [ [http://www.jpgr.co.uk/gep8913.html The Beatles - Long Tall Sally ] ]
Tutti Frutti" had been a big hit for Little Richard and Specialty in October 1955, reaching #2 in the R&B charts. Pat Boone's cover version of the song reached #1 in the pop charts. Although this meant an unexpected cash income for the Specialty publishing firm, A&R man and producer "Bumps" Blackwell and a proud Richard decided to write a song that was so up-tempo and the lyrics so fast that Boone would not be able to handle it (Boone eventually did record his own version, getting it to #8).
According to Blackwell, he was introduced to a little girl called Enortis Johnson by Honey Chile, a popular
disc-jockey. Apparently, Johnson 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.cite book |first=Charles
last=White| year=2003| title=The Life and Times of Little Richard. The Authorised Biography| edition=| publiser=Omnibus Press| location=London| pages=pp. 60-62| id=ISBN 0-7119.9761.6]
The recording session took place on February 10, 1956 at
J&M Studioin New Orleans, the legendary studio owned by Cosimo Matassaon the corner of Rampart and Dumaine where Fats Dominoand many other New Orleans luminaries recorded. "Tutti Frutti", as well as many other Little Richard sides, were also recorded there.
The backing was provided by the house top session men:
Edgard Blanchard( guitar), Frank Fields(bass), Lee Allen ( tenor sax), Alvin "Red" Tyler( baritone sax) and Earl Palmer(drums), plus Little Richard on vocals and piano. Blackwell was the producer.
The music was a fast
up temponumber with Little Richard's hammering, boogie piano. Richard plays staccato eighth notes while Palmer plays a fast shuffle. The shuffle was the most common rhythm and blues beat; Richard added the eighth notes, much less common in that time, although now standard for rock music. Together this created an ambiguity in the ride rhythm -- known to musicians as "playing in the crack"-- that came to characterize New Orleans rock and roll. Little Richard sang in a very high key (F), in his raw, aggressive, exhilarating style the lyrics of self-centered fun.
::Well, Long Tall Sally,::She's built for speed,::She's got everything that Uncle John needs.
Although the lyrics are lightweight, Little Richard's style triumphs over content and provides a wonderful vehicle for his enthusiastic exhibitionism.cite book
title= Honkers and Shouters
publisher=Macmillan Publishing Company
location= New York
pages= p. 189-193
id= ISBN 0-02-061740-2]
Notes on the lyrics
* On the original recording, the opening line states the singer is going to report to Aunt Mary that Uncle John does not, as he claims, have "the misery", a Southern expression meaning generalized weakness and illness.
* The line in the original recorded version, "Long Tall Sally is "built for speed", is a reference to the proverbial
African-Americandistinction in sexual types: "Built for comfort or built for speed", terms originally applied to passenger sailing ships. When sung rapidly, this line is sometimes rendered "built sweet", even by Little Richard in a recorded live performance, though it does not rhyme with "need".
elective list of recorded versions
The Tornadoson their " Tornado Rock" EP
The Rivingtonson their " Doin' The Bird" LP.
The Kinks-- their first single
Barbara Greene-- a female version made for Atlantic
The Beatleson their "Long Tall Sally" EP
Scorpionson their Tokyo Tapes album
Blind Guardianon their " The Forgotten Tales" album.
The Beatles wild version featured
Paul McCartneysinging in G, a whole step higher than Richard, in an apparent attempt to surpass his master. In the early sixties, The Beatles played as an opening act for Little Richard in Englandand in Hamburgand made friends with Richard, who taught them -and especially McCartney- a few lessons in singing. The famous 'ooohs' in " She Loves You" and other Beatle songs came directly from the ones in "Long Tall Sally" and they are actually a Little Richard trademark.
"Long Tall Sally" was also covered live by
Led Zeppelinat the Royal Albert Hallin 1970, but was omitted from their DVD.
It was performed by
John Fogertyduring his PNC Bank Arts Center show on August 5, 2006. Bruce Springsteenaccompanied him on stage for the song.
* [http://ntl.matrix.com.br/pfilho/html/lyrics/l/long_tall_sally.txt Little Richard lyrics]
* [http://www.mp3.com/bumps-blackwell/artists/39690/summary.html Robert Blackwell biography]
* [http://stevesbeatles.com/songs/long_tall_sally.asp The Beatles' "Long Tall Sally"]
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