Tutti Frutti (song) - Early Cover Versions

Early Cover Versions

The song has been covered by many musicians. Recording cover versions of songs was standard industry practice during the 1940s and 1950s. A hit song could generate many different versions: pop and instrumental, polka, blues, hillbilly, and others by a variety of artists.

After Pat Boone's success with "Ain't That a Shame", his next single was "Tutti Frutti", markedly toned down from the already reworked Blackwell version. Boone's version made no. 12 on the national pop chart, with Little Richard's trailing behind only reaching no. 17. Pat Boone himself admitted that he did not wish to do a cover of "Tutti Frutti" because "it didn't make sense" to him; however, the producers persuaded him into making a different version by claiming that the record would generate attention and money.

Little Richard admitted that though Pat Boone "took music", Boone made it more popular due to his high status in the white music industry. Nevertheless, a Washington Post Staff Writer, Richard Harrington, quoted Richard in an article:

They didn’t want me to be in the white guys' way ... I felt I was pushed into a rhythm and blues corner to keep out of rockers' way, because that’s where the money is. When 'Tutti Frutti' came out ... They needed a rock star to block me out of white homes because I was a hero to white kids. The white kids would have Pat Boone upon the dresser and me in the drawer 'cause they liked my version better, but the families didn't want me because of the image that I was projecting."

Elvis Presley recorded the song and it was included in his first RCA album Elvis Presley March 23, 1956. Presley's version uses "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom!" for every verse, finishing the phrase with "bam-boom" instead of "bom-bom."

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