Certain Songs #930: Little Richard – “Good Golly, Miss Molly”

Single, 1958

Like all of Little Richard’s greatest songs, “Good Golly, Miss Molly” is a pure unfettered jolt of adrenaline and energy.

With Richard himself leading the musical attack on the piano and drummer Earl Brown doing some serious demolition in between leading the band in and out of all of the stop times, “Good Golly, Miss Molly” must of felt so weird and wild that nobody noticed how incredibly dirty it was.

Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’
Can’t hear your momma call

Which isn’t true, of course. Everybody must have known exactly how dirty it was with the exception of the bluenose gatekeepers who much not have understood what “ball” meant as a verb. Or maybe because Richard didn’t say explicitly “fuck” or “screw,” they let it pass.

But the kids knew, and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” was a top ten single and an almost instant standard, to be covered and referenced and parodied down through the ages.

Me, I just imagine how much fun Little Richard was having singing this song at the top of lungs, constantly overpowering the mic, pinning the recording needle, slyly kicking his voice up at the end of each line and tossing that great lung-rending scream leading into the sax solo as Brown jumps up and down on his drums in glee.

“Good Golly, Miss Molly”

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