Cut as a single in the winter of ’57 before his landmark “A wop bop alu bop, a wop bam boom!” spark of genius on Here’s Little Richard, “Lucille” is the sexually frustrated howls of a young man in the era of the white-picket fence, itching to offer some energy other than the Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald tunes that were still dustin’ up his local juke joint.
Racy stuff for the times, Richard has said the roots of the pining tale tied to a drag queen that used to hang around Macon, Georgia. None of those ambiguous pronouns shook out overt, though, as the then 25-year-old married a “chocka chocka chocka” rhythm section based on another Macon-area charm – the sounds of his cousin’s house he used to stay at when trains rolled through a nearby railway line – and demanded lovelorn satisfaction from “Lucille” and “her” jet-set ways. And the rest is trademark pompadour-shaking guttural scream infamy.
But now you know. Drag queen, people. Drag queen:
Lucille, baby, satisfy my heart, Lucille, baby, satisfy my heart
I played for it baby, and gave you such a wonderful start