MOORE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Richard Penniman, recognized worldwide by his stage name of Little Richard, was known in Lynchburg, Tennessee as “neighbor.”
The rock ‘n’ roll icon died Saturday in Tennessee after a battle with bone cancer, according to his family.
Bonnie Lewis, the mayor of Moore County said there were plenty of Little Richard sightings around town.
“You saw him at the post office. You saw him at Woodard’s. You saw him at Jiffy. And then you’d see him in Tullahoma,” Lewis explained.
She added, “his hair was always fixed and he always looked immaculate. He had all of his stage makeup on, so he always looked exactly like you wanted him to look. Exactly like he looked on stage.”
If anyone asked Little Richard for an autograph, Lewis said he would give them a book of prayers.
“This was his home and we were proud to have him,” Lewis explained. “I’m old enough that I remember seeing concerts. I never got to go but to see that same person on stage riding in the car waving everybody like ‘whoa, hey!'”
Lewis added, “I think his life and how he treated people, speaks volumes. He was a decent man and he spent his last years spreading Christianity.”
Little Richard was 87 years old when he passed away over the weekend in Tullahoma.