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Little Richard Biographer Remembers his Subject

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Continuum
The cover of David Kirby's 2009 biography of Little Richard.

1950s and 60s rock 'n roll star Little Richard's death was announced over the weekend. The music legend had a Tallahassee connection.
That connection is FSU Professor David Kirby who wrote an exhaustive biography of Little Richard in 2009. He said Little Richard was truly a self-made star.

"When you look at today's Grammy winners - God bless them - half of them were discovered when they were 10 years old, were groomed and had managers and publicists. Little Richard just clawed his way to the top at a very early age with nothing except a tremendous amount of talent and gumption."

But Kirby also thought Little Richard's impact went well beyond music to the culture at large.

"You know, Little Richard was out; Little Richard got out and that made it possible for other people to come out of the closet, too. And I say thank God for it to make a world we can all live in."

Little Richard left that world at the age of 87.