As the 1970s dawned, Little Richard was busy rebuilding his career after a brief hiatus from recording and an overall decline in popularity through the 1960s. What was never really in doubt was Richard’s unmatched ability to command a room, so in the late ‘60s, he focused his energy on touring. By the spring of 1970, he had reminded enough people of his greatness that Reprise Records offered him a deal to make a new LP. The result, The Rill Thing, produced two charting singles, “Freedom Blues” and “Greenwood, Mississippi.” The album would come out in August of that year. A few months earlier, Richard was on the road, but he wasn’t so much interested in unveiling his new material as offering a city-by-city exhibition of his seismic impact on the creation of rock ‘n’ roll. The sets for these shows consisted largely of his greatest hits, including “Tutti Frutti,” Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally.”
Listen to a rejuvenated Little Richard play those hits in Boston 48 years ago on this date: May 23, 1970. And while you’re here, check out our roundup of the 10 Best Little Richard Songs.