Little Richard – Good Golly, Miss Molly

No one has a voice like Little Richard. His voice would have worked in any generation. He has one of the most primal aggressive voices I’ve ever heard. He sings these rockers great but he also can sing ballads.

Little Richard recorded this song in 1956 and it was released in 1958. The song peaked at #10 in the charts and #4 in the R&B Charts in 1958… as well as #8 in the UK.

The song is ranked #94 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Good Golly, Miss Molly was written by John Marascalco and Robert “Bumps” Blackwell.

From Songfacts

The title was taken from the pet phrase of one of Little Richard’s favorite DJ’s, Jimmy Pennick. Musically, the song was inspired by the sax player Jackie Brenston, famous for singing lead and playing with Ike Turner on the song “Rocket 88.”

Like most of Little Richard’s songs, this contains a lot of innuendo (“sure like to ball”) but most people were too busy listening to the music to notice, or didn’t get the reference. At the time, the most common meaning for “balling” was dancing; only later did it became a popular euphemism for oral sex. The term later took on a new meaning when it came describe a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, with these guys flashing their cash known as “ballers.”

This song was a huge influence on many musicians in the early years of rock and roll. Speaking with Songfacts, Roger Reale, who was in the group Rue Morgue with Mick Ronson, said: “It’s revolutionary, rebellious and celebratory all in one, starting with that rolling piano intro, before moving into a totally unique vocal performance. I had never heard such a direct, crazed, almost otherworldly vocal before in my life.”

Little Richard’s publisher sued Creedence Clearwater Revival over their song “Travelin’ Band,” which they claimed lifted from “Molly.” A settlement was reached with Creedence giving up some of their royalties.

Good Golly, Miss Molly

Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’, can’t hear your momma call.

From the early, early mornin’ till the early, early night
When I caught Miss Molly rockin’ at the house of blue light.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’ can’t hear your momma call.

Momma, poppa told me: “Son, you better watch your step.”
If I knew poppa’s momma’s, have to watch my poppa myself.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’, can’t hear your momma call.

Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’, can’t hear your momma call.

I am going to the corner, gonna buy a diamond ring.
Would you pardon me kiss me ting-a-ling-a-ling.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’ can’t hear your momma call.

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Little Richard – Good Golly, Miss Molly”

  1. Always loved this one! Little Richard was such an important part of that first decade of rock and roll. I wish his slower songs would have gotten more recognition, because they are just as good!

    I loved his song “Great Gosh Almighty” from the Down and Out in Beverly Hills soundtrack. It is old school Little Richard, and sounds great!!

    There used to be a guy I worked with who always called him “Little Dick” on the radio – just to see how often he could get away with it! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree! I interviewed a guy once when I was working in country radio. His biggest beef was that he felt that half of today’s artists would never make it because their voices were being “manufactured”. He said that if you heard them live and without processing, they would sound like “off key school children”. I would probably agree with him. That natural and raw talent is rare today! I watch old Dean Martin show’s where he just sings … no altering of his voice … just him singing! Not many can do that today. Those old singers didn’t have the technology they have today – autotune and all those other things can make ANYONE sound good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lol off key school children…that is the truth. I’ve heard Brittany Spears without autotune…it’s terrible.
        The older guys and women had to sing…that is the only reason they could make it.

        Like

      3. HA! No surprise there! She isn’t that good!!!

        Here is a GREAT example of a voice that can sing!! I am sure you have heard this …. it’s simply the vocal of Grapevine from Marvin…..check it out and be blown away!! PERFECT vocal!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Those isolated tracks can really tell you a lot about a performance and how a mix comes together. Remember listening to the ‘won’t get fooled again’ guitar part and realising how important the rhythm section was to townshends guitar sound…but I digress!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. You know what! I think they are now…the “live” on was from the late sixties early seventies and someone replaced the sound with the original. Sorry about that…why in the hell would they do that? He is great on that performance.

      Liked by 1 person

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