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In 1947, singer and musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe overheard then-14-year-old "Lil' Richard" Penniman singing her gospel songs before she took the stage at Macon City Auditorium. She invited him to open her show — much to the dismay of the local concert promoter — and was so impressed that she paid him for his performance.
The experience persuaded the young artist to pursue a music career professionally.
After performing at the Tick Tock Club in Macon and winning a local talent show, Penniman landed his first record deal, with RCA, in 1951, “Rolling Stone” reported.
» A deeper look at the musical career of Little Richard Penniman. He taught pop music to scream
» Little Richard's songs - remembering his biggest hits