The Story Behind Little Richard’s “Lucille”

Little Richard
Little Richard

Little Richard recorded one of his biggest hits, “Lucille” today. According to Specialty’s notes on the recording, the session took place on (January 16, 1957).

“Little” Richard Penniman himself stated that “Lucille” was inspired by a drag queen named “Queen Sonya” in Macon, Georgia.

Little Richard used the music from an earlier song he’d written titled “Directly From My Heart to You” as the basis for “Lucille.”

The tempo was developed when Richard was staying with a cousin in Georgia, near a railway line.

Little Richard – Lucille

“My cousin used to live in a place called barn hop bottom in macon right by the railway line,” Little Richard explained. “And when the trains came by, they would shake the houses – chocka, chocka chocka, and that’s how I got the rhythm for ‘Directly From My Heart and ‘Lucille.'”

Little Richard
Little Richard
The track reunited Little Richard with his legendary backup band of musicians The Upsetters and stayed on the charts for 21 weeks.

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