Little Richard NEVER Played In West Michigan
West Michigan has a long and storied concert history, and some of the biggest names in the early era of rock n' roll played here. But strangely, the recently deceased Little Richard wasn't one of them.
Richard Penniman, known professionally as 'Little Richard', passed away over the weekend. He was 87 years old.
One of the cornerstones of the original rock'n roll movement of the mid to late '50s into the early '60s, Little Richard made many trips to Michigan to play shows, most of which were at the old Phelps Club and Vertigo West in Detroit.
But, according to the Michigan Concert Database, the rock'n roll legend never made it to West Michigan, to either Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo. The closest he ever came was Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant late in his career in 2004.
Which is strange, because many of his contemporaries of early rock'n roll stopped here, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry - usually as a part of a road show at the old Welch Auditorium.
Perhaps Little Richard didn't like touring with others, and had made a name for himself as a solo act that kept him from making a stop here. I just thought it odd he never made it to GR. Especially in an era where touring was everything to getting your name out there.