Yes, Little Richard played a concert in Utica in 1973. Were you there?

Richard Wayne Penniman, Little Richard, passed away on May 9, 2020, at the age of 87. The legendary singer died of bone cancer at his home in Tennessee.

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He sold over 30 million records worldwide and influenced many musicians, including The Beatles, Otis Redding, Elvis even David Bowie, and Mick Jagger. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says this:

He claims to be "the architect of rock and roll", and history would seem to bear out Little Richard's boast. More than any other performer—save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly" defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll.

While we could go on and on about his many accomplishments, we were shocked to discover that he played at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on May 13, 1973. Wikipedia says at that time, Penniman's performances began to suffer from his voice problems and quirky marathon renditions of songs. He later admitted that he was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol at the time.

(Photo by Angela Deane-Drummond/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Here are some of the local and regional shows he played throughout the years that we found on Fandom.

April 8, 1956, Municipal Auditorium, Buffalo, NY

July 6-12, 1956,  Zanzibar Club, Buffalo, NY

June 1-7, 1965, Union College, Schenectady, NY

July 27, 1970, Melody Fair Theatre, North Tonawanda, NY

July 31, 1970, Private Function in Lambertville, NY

May 6, 1973, Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY

May 12, 1973, War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, NY

May 13, 1973, Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY

June 3, 1973, Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY

Here's a live performance from May 18, 1973, at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, MI., just six days after his Utica show.

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