New edition of Scarborough man's Little Richard biography released

A brand new edition of Charles White’s authorised biography has been released with a redesigned jacket by specialist music publishers Omnibus Press in London.
Charles White aka Dr Rock with his new book on Little Richard pic Richard PonterCharles White aka Dr Rock with his new book on Little Richard pic Richard Ponter
Charles White aka Dr Rock with his new book on Little Richard pic Richard Ponter

In historian Professor Sir Ian Kershaw’s second volume of his two-part history of the 20th Century titled Roller Coaster of 2018, Scarborough rock biographer Charles White expounds his reaction to listening to Little Richard for the first time in 1956: “Hearing ‘Long Tall Sally’ was like getting out of the Bastille after 40 years – FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM!”, he typically stated.

This lifelong obsession for the music of his teenage idol would lead Mr White (AKA Dr. Rock) to doggedly pursue writing what would become the official and definitive biography, of one of the key figures in the rock n’ roll revolution.

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After 12 transatlantic trips and 12 rejection slips from other publishing houses, The Life and Times of Little Richard - The Quasar of Rock with a foreword by Sir Paul McCartney, was published in 1984 by Crown Harmony to much critical acclaim internationally and became a best seller.

A passion for musicA passion for music
A passion for music

In the wake of the original book’s release, not only did this establish the author’s credentials as a music writer, but the ensuing publicity also became the catalyst for regenerating the public’s interest in Little Richard’s innovative music once more.

This would consequently lead to a significant resurgence of the singer’s career.

Little Richard began a series of talk-show appearances across the television networks in the US which would reaffirm his leading status within 20th Century popular music.

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He would then embark on recording and working on new material for the first time in a decade.

Little Richard who died in 2020 aged 84, would become a profound influence on subsequent generations of major music artists.

His powerhouse voice, showmanship, image, flamboyant costumes and theatrics were a source of inspiration across numerous genres from pop to heavy metal.

Mr White commented to The Scarborough News at the time stating: “Everybody from Elvis Presley to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles were influenced by his music, his style and delivery.”

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In 2013, the book was listed as one of David Bowie’s favourite titles in a landmark exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Last year, the author was featured in a major television documentary of the music legend which was broadcast on BBC2.

Produced by London-based Minnow Films, the programme included interviews and exclusive footage portraying the extraordinary life of Little Richard, the self-proclaimed ‘Architect of

Rock and Roll’.

Dublin-born Mr White, a former broadcaster and Scarborough chiropodist is especially well known in the North Yorkshire region and far beyond, for his long-standing rock programme which was a mainstay of BBC Radio York’s weekend output for over 25 years.

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Additionally, he hosted a music-based television series The Dr Rock Show on Tyne Tees.

Mr. White is also the official biographer to another of the major protagonists of the rock n’ roll genre, that of the late and similarly inimitable Jerry Lee Lewis.