Good Golly, Miss Molly is, without exaggeration, a legendary song that music critics have long called the standard of rock and roll. It was performed by hundreds of famous and thousands of little-known artists. Many covers have risen high in the charts, but the version by Little Richard, recorded back in 1956, remains the main and most popular.
The story of the creation of the song Good Golly Miss Molly
Although Little Richard had a hand in creating the track, only lyricist John Marascalco and producer Robert Blackwell are officially credited for the composition.
Music in the style of jump blues, they composed under the influence of the work of the American saxophonist Jackie Brenston. Moreover, they borrowed the intro from Ike Turner’s Rocket 88 song, recorded with the participation of Branston.
Richard later recalled:
I always liked that record and used the riff in my performances. When we were thinking about how to start Good Golly, Miss Molly, I took it and it came up.
Release and achievements
In July 1956, Little Richard recorded the track at J&M Studios in New Orleans. The first version was very fast. Robert Blackwell decided it should be performed by The Valiants. In 1957, the composition performed by this group was released as a single.
But Little Richard’s slow version of Good Golly, Miss Molly by Little Richard, recorded in October 1956 and released only in January 1958, became a hit. The song climbed to number four on the R&B chart and peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
Many years later, Rolling Stone ranked her 94th on their list of the 500 greatest musical compositions of all time.
Meaning of Good Golly Miss Molly
Now let’s try to figure out what the song Good Golly, Miss Molly is about. The name of the composition was a favorite expression of DJ Jimmy Pennick (Jimmy Pennick). Little Richard often listened to his broadcasts.
In Richard’s time, the verb “to ball” was commonly used to mean “to dance.” It became a popular euphemism for oral sex a little later. It is difficult to say whether a vulgar hint was meant, or the authors simply had incendiary dances in mind.
And after some time, the word “ballers” began to be called the rich youth, littering with money, which only contributed to the popularity of the track in the circles of the offspring of rich parents.
Cover versions of Good Golly, Miss Molly
It is impossible to list all the performers of the composition, if only for the reason that their number is constantly growing. Let’s highlight several versions.
In the early sixties, the song became a hit in Latin America thanks to the Mexican group Los Teen Tops, which featured youth idol Enrique Guzman. He sang Good Golly, Miss Molly in Spanish. The track was called La Plaga.
Thirty years later, the version performed by Alejandra Guzman, Enrique’s daughter, was popular.
In 1964, a cover by The Swinging Blue Jeans climbed to number 11 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1966, listeners were delighted with a cover of Good Golly, Miss Molly by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. This version reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Creedence Clearwater Revival performed Good Golly, Miss Molly with slightly altered lyrics.
Also Good Golly, Miss Molly were played by Deep Purple, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Sonics and many others. Finally, a video clip of Good Golly, Miss Molly with footage from the movie “King Ralph” (King Ralph).
- Little Richard’s publisher was suing rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. He accused the musicians of using the melody Good Golly, Miss Molly in the Travelin’ Band song. Under the agreement reached, CCR paid him a portion of the royalties.
- An episode of the TV series Hannah Montana is named after the song.
Good Golly Miss Molly Lyrics Little Richard
Good Golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball
Good Golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball
When you’re rocking and rolling
Can’t hear your mama call
From the early morning
Till the early, early night
You can see Miss Molly
Rocking at the House of Blue Lights
Momma, pappa told me
“Son, you better watch your step
If I knew my momma, pappa
Have to watch my pappa myself”
I am going to the corner
Going to buy a diamond ring
Would you pardon me
Kiss me make me ting-a-ling-a-ling
By John S. Marascalco/Robert Alexander Blackwell
Lyrics to Good Golly Miss Molly, © Peermusic Publishing
Good Golly Miss Molly Lyrics Little Richard Alternative
By God, Miss Molly, you’ll definitely rock
By God, Miss Molly, you’ll definitely rock.
When you get off
You don’t hear your mother calling you.
From early, early morning
And until the very night
You will find Miss Molly
Breaking away in the House with blue lanterns1
Mom, dad said to me:
“Son, be careful.”
If I knew my mom, dad.
I have to look after my dad myself.
I’m about to go around the corner
And buy a diamond ring.
Kiss me, let the “ding-ding” sound in my head!
- Reference to Ella Mae Morse’s The House of Blue Lights