Little Richard, born Richard Wayne Penniman, will be the next subject of CNN Films and HBO Max’s newest documentary.
Little Richard: I Am Everything has just been put into commission by the two media giants.
The music documentary is going to showcase the showman’s seven decades within and outside of music. The doc will include never-seen-before archival footage and interviews from his family, colleagues, fellow musicians and historians. The Macon, Georgia product was the third child of 12 children, and in his youth he honed his vocal and piano playing skills in church.
After signing a deal with RCA in 1951, genre defining hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally”, helped shape and break barriers within the 1950s rock n’ roll era. His music influenced many acts that followed including Prince, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Richard Penniman died in 2020 during his battle with bone cancer. Little Richard: I Am Everything will be directed by Lisa Cortés who is no stranger documentary filmmaking. Her recent doc, All In: The Fight for Democracy, featured Stacey Abrams in her battle against voter suppression.
In a conversation with Deadline, she expressed her appreciation for the music legend.
I am delighted to give Little Richard the royal treatment he so deserves, this magnificent rock n’ roll icon changed the world for all of us.
Black and white, straight and gay, everyday people and stars.
His story is the history of rock n’ roll: musical genius mixed with the sheer audacity to morph and change at will, seeking permission from no one.
The film is called I Am Everything because that was Little Richard’s triumph, transcending all categories and expectations to be everything he dreamed.
Little Richard: I Am Everything was first revealed in December 2020 but had a hard time getting clearance for a streaming partner. Now that it has found a home, the film is currently in production and is expected to be completed later this year.
If you needed a reminder of Little Richard’s greatness below is a two piece of the showman in his element.
Little Richard – “Long Tall Sally” Live