In the summer of 1996, Cinema Dave spent the summer on the Florida State University Campus in Florence with the Robert O.Lawton Distinguished Professor of English himself, David Kirby and his lovely wife, Barbara Hamby.
This book is not another biography of Little Richard. "Little Richard and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll" is about the musician's impact in musical history. Living and teaching in the south, Professor Kirby captures the tone of Little Richard's hometown of Macon, Georgia and the culture.
The historical passages are strictly personal. While the Beatles talk with fondness about Little Richard's performance in "The Girl Can't Help It," Kirby spotlights this 1956 Alan Freed film "Don't Knock the Rock."
A relaxing read, Professor Kirby sneaks in a profound thought with this passage on page 166;
"The Italians have a saying; the perfect is the enemy of the good."
With this passage, Professor Kirby describes the , perfection of entertainment technology and how it makes the art less personal. Citing examples from "The Exorcist" and Ray Harryhausen movies, Kirby describes how the rawness of "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Lucille" still claims authenticity that technically trained musical artists do not seem to comprehend.
"Little Richard and the Birth of Rock 'n" Roll" is pleasurable experience, especially if you have some Little Richard Music playing in the background.