“Why don’t you have Little Richard’s Almanac in your library?”


1739 Edition of Poor Richard's Almanac

Image via Wikipedia

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) first began compiling, writing, and publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1733, joining a long popular tradition. Franklin deliberately based his almanac on English predecessors, even borrowing the name of his alter ego, Richard Saunders, the Poor Richard of the title.

Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman) changed the direction of American popular music by pioneering rock music in America and, through his success, helping black artists break into mainstream popular music. While he did not do this single-handedly, the contrast between his flamboyant image and exuberant performance of “Tutti Frutti” and the staid version by a well-scrubbed Pat Boone in V-neck sweater and saddle shoes is convenient shorthand for the shift.

Learn more about Poor Richard, Little Richard and Pat Boone in U.S. History in Context

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6 thoughts on ““Why don’t you have Little Richard’s Almanac in your library?”

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