500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Little Richard, 'Good Golly, Miss Molly'
Writers: Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, John Marascalco
Released: Feb. '58, Specialty
15 weeks; No. 10
Little Richard first heard the phrase "Good golly, Miss Molly," from a Southern DJ named Jimmy Pennick. He turned the words into perhaps his most blatant assault on American propriety: "Good golly, Miss Molly/You sure like to ball." He swiped the music from Ike Turner's piano intro to Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88," recorded by Sam Phillips in Memphis seven years earlier. "I always liked that record," Richard recalled, "and I used to use the riff in my act, so when we were looking for a lead-in to 'Good Golly, Miss Molly,' I did that and it fit." Richard had renounced rock & roll the previous year, but Specialty couldn't leave this classic in the vaults.
Appears on: The Georgia Peach (Specialty)