In the mid-50s, Little Richard was singing a song he called Wop-Bop-a-Loo-Bop in clubs. The song had suggestive lyrics. During a break in a recording session in New Orleans in late 1955, Little Richard and Bumps Blackwell of Specialty Records went to a nightclub called the Dew Drop Inn. After a while, Little Richard began to sing in an attempt to impress the club's patrons. One of the songs he sang was his Wop-Bop-a-Loo-Bop. Blackwell flipped over the song. He knew it had the makings of a hit. But first he had to rewrite the risqué lyrics.
Songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie happened to be in the studio watching Little Richard record her song I'm Just a Lonely Guy, when Blackwell asked her to rewrite the lyrics to Wop-Bop-a-Loo-Bop. After hearing Little Richard sing the song, she left the studio. Some time after, she came back to the studio with Tutti Frutti.
It should be mentioned that LaBostrie denies the scenario given by Bumps Blackwell. She says she simply wrote the song after being inspired by a new falour of ice cream she had eaten, Tutti Frutti. She claims never to have heard Little Richard's Wop-Bop-a-Loo-Bop.
Little Richard's recording (he played piano) was a #2 rhythm & blues hit in late 1955. Tutti Frutti (Specialty 561) reached #17 on the Top 100 chart in early 1956 and sold over three million copies. Pat Boone's cover version (Dot 15443) was actually more successful, reaching #12.
Elvis recorded Tutti Frutti on January 31, 1956, at RCA's New York City studios. He sang the tune on Stage Show twice (February 4 and 18, 1956). Elvis's September 1956 single release failed to chart.
Tutti frutti au rutti tutti frutti au rutti tutti frutti au rutti
au rutti tutti frutti au rutti tutti frutti au
I got a gal named Sue, she knows just what to do
I got a gal named Daisy, she almost drives me
First released on Elvis Presley »
- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 20-6636) September 1956. Standard 78 rpm release »
- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 47-6636) September 1956. Standard 45 rpm release »
- Blue Suede Shoes / I'm Counting On You (RCA 47-6492) September 1956. Disc Jockey Record Prevue (Canada only).
- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 447-0609) March 1959. Gold Standard Series reissue »
- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA PB-11107) October 1977. One of the 15 singles in the boxed set 15 Golden Records - 30 Golden Hits (RCA PP-11301), and the 20 Golden Hits In Full Color Sleeves (RCA PP-11340 boxed set released two months later.
- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA PB-13885) October 1984. One of six singles in the boxed set Elvis' Greatest Hits - Golden Singles, Volume 1 (RCA PP-13897). The record was pressed on gold vinyl with a gold "50th" anniversary label.
- Elvis Presley (RCA EPA-747) (1956) »
- Elvis Presley (RCA EPB-1254) (1956) »
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- Elvis Presley (RCA SPD-23) (1956) »
- Elvis Presley – The Most Talked About New Personality in the Past Ten Years of Recorded Music (RCA EPB-1254) (1956) »
- Elvis Forever (1974) »
- Elvis - A Collectors Edition (1976) »
- The Legendary Recordings of Elvis (1979) »
– For LP Fans Only (2018) - FTD »
- Dorsey Shows (1976) – Golden Archives Records
- Superstar Outtakes, Volume 2 (1977) – E.P. Records