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.