Why I preferred the Rivingtons suddenly, although I loved dearly loved Little Richard's version, is that a friend of mine and I had encountered a fellow in the Greyhound bus station in Los Angeles as we were waiting to board a bus to San Francisco sometime in the summer of 1964.
I thought, "He looks a lot like Little Richard ... Can't be! What's he doing here?"
And I kind of smiled at him and he smiled back. I went to get a coke or something, and came back to find this man now sitting and talking with my friend (she was wearing sunglasses, sandals, a lightly flowered blousy top with blue design, and light brown corduroy jeans and he was in a greenish brown suit and white shirt and had taken off his sunglasses.)
She was sitting with her sandaled foot on the wooden bench. Her right knee was up in the air with her arms wrapped casually around her leg, the beginning of a casually defensive posture if I've ever seen one, as he was seated on her right. Then he turned and looked at me as I settled back down with my coke, and he smiled and cupped his hand and whispered something in her ear.
At which point she exploded in laughter. And he got up and left.
So I asked her what he had said. And she would just break into laughter again.
That was Little Richard in the Greyhound Bus Station in Los Angeles
sometime during the daylight hours in the Summer of 1964, and he had suggested something that involved me to my friend, which caused her to explode in disbelieving laughter right in his face.
So I shoved the much beloved black and white labeled Specialty Records to the back of my collection for quite some time after that encounter, and in my mind I thought "Hollywood."
But Little Richard actually is how I first got to know John Fahey, in the summer of 1964, at some little coffee house recording of Mississippi John Hurt. Because my friend related that story to him, again with much laughter on her part (and I was sitting at a table away from them and I knew what she was telling him which .... was irritating beyond belief) and he moved close so we could all sit together and he soon began launching into all the stories he had been collecting on the pervy behaviors of black folk musicians, Rev. Gary Davis in particular.