Little Richard – Jenny Jenny

When I think of Little Richard I think of that voice. When Little Richard passed in 2020 he was one of the last fifties pioneers left. His influence passed through generations from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, to Lemmy from Motorhead.

He released this song in 1957 and it peaked at #10 on the Billboard 100, #2 on the Billboard R&B, and #11 in the UK. The song was written by Little Richard and Enotris Johnson.

Jenny, Jenny featured the great New Orleans sidemen Lee Allen and Alvin “Red” Tyler on horns, plus Earl Palmer, later described by Richard as “probably the greatest session drummer of all time.” Production was by Otis “Bumps” Blackwell.

The guy knew how to put on a show. Richard’s producer Bumps Blackwell said that he saw him break piano strings on multiple occasions by hitting the keys so hard.

In the US, he had four chart singles and six chart songs, because two of them had flipsides that qualified in their own right. As rock’n’roll spread on the other side of the Atlantic, Richard was successful there too.

He worked with some of the best musicians and also met the Beatles in Hamburg and they opened up for him in Liverpool. One of the last times they opened for anyone. Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Billy Preston were all backing musicians for Little Richard early in their careers.

In 1957, at the height of his career… he left the music business to pursue a life as a minister. As a child, he wanted to be part of the church, so as an adult he enrolled in Oakwood Theological College in Huntsville, Alabama. During his studies there, the British Invasion took over the musical landscape and Little Richard returned to rock ‘n roll. In 1970, he earned a BA in Theological Studies at Oakwood and became an ordained minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

An ordained minister, Richard officiated weddings for Stevie Van Zandt (1982), Demi Moore and Bruce Willis (1987), Cyndi Lauper (1991), and Tom Petty (2001). He also showed up on the soap operas One Life To Live and The Young and The Restless to preside over weddings.

Mick Jagger:  “I had heard so much about the audience reaction that I thought there must be some exaggeration. But it was all true. He drove the whole house into a complete frenzy. There’s no single phrase to describe his hold on the audience. I couldn’t believe the power of Little Richard on stage. He was amazing. Chuck Berry is my favorite, along with Bo (Diddley), but nobody could beat Little Richard’s stage act. Little Richard is the originator and my first idol.”

Bob Dylan: He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.

Jenny, Jenny

Jenny Jenny Jenny, won’t you come along with me,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
Jenny Jenny Jenny, won’t you come along with me,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
You know that I love, we could live so happily,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.

Spinnin’ spinnin’ spinnin’, spinnin’ like a spinnin’ top,
Spinnin’ spinnin’, ooh, spinnin’ spinnin’,
Spinnin’ spinnin’ spinnin’, spinnin’ like a spinnin’ top,
Spinnin’ spinnin’, ooh, spinnin’ spinnin’,
Crazy little partner, you ought to see us reel and rock,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.

Jenny Jenny Jenny, you know that you’re my girl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
Jenny Jenny Jenny, you know that you’re my girl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
You know that I’ll need, I’ll buy you diamond rings and pearl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.