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Sunday, February 20 (9-11 p.m. ET)

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As one of twelve children growing up in segregated Macon, GA, Richard Wayne Penniman got his start as a gospel singer in his church choir. He went on to play at clubs throughout the south, making a name for himself with an electrifying new sound unlike anything audiences had heard before. Breaking through considerable racial barriers, the frenetic, flamboyant entertainer recorded his first hit single, "Tutti Frutti," in 1955. From then on, there was no stopping the man widely recognized as the architect of rock 'n' roll.

With legions of fans that included an unprecedented mix of both black and white audiences, Richard went on to write and record a steady stream of hits, including the now-classic "Long Tall Sally," "Keep A Knockin'," "The Girl Can't Help It," "Lucille" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly." By 1968, the "wild man of rock 'n' roll" had sold over 32 million records internationally and influenced countless performers from Elvis to the Beatles. He was later inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame and honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

As a recording artist, Richard was phenomenally successful. But his life away from the spotlight was another story, one shaped by a troubled relationship with his disapproving father, a devastating family tragedy and a shocking decision to quit rock 'n' roll at the height of his fame to pursue religious studies and preach the gospel through the Little Richard Evangelical Team. The story of his extraordinary life on stage and off, highlighted by original recordings of some of the most popular rock 'n' roll songs of all time, is finally told in "The Little Richard Story."


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