lucille

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