Lucille is an incredibly catchy song by Little Richard. Released in 1957, the song was 21st on US pop charts. It is now considered to be a rock standard and has been covered by many artists including AC/DC, The Beatles, Queen, The Everly Brothers, and Van Halen.
The song begins with an instrumental intro that predicts the song’s later energy. The intro features a really bright piano part. Little Richard has a really powerful voice that is all at once whiny, screaming, growling, and incredibly melodic. He is able to ghost many of the notes as he sings and glides through runs effortlessly.
The song features a very common rock n roll structure, which makes sense due to the time period, within the early years of the genre. Everything from the instrumentation to the chord structure are very common to early rock n roll. The song features vocals (by Little Richard,) piano, guitar, drums, and saxophone. Additionally, it was written in the 141541 structure, which is common to blues, which came before.
The song is about a woman named Lucille who has run off and married someone else, although the protagonist doesn’t care and is still in love with her.
The song’s message and structure are relatively simple, but the song is incredibly well-crafter and catchy. For this reason, it is considered one of the most popular pop songs of all time. Additionally, Little Richard helped desegregate music. Often, shows were all-black or all-white events, with the other race banned from attendance or forced to stand in another section of the performance space. Little Richard’s music was so widely popular that it brought out diverse audiences that broke the boundaries, both societally and physically, to dance with one another during live shows.