Not all of our heroes worked behind the scenes or ended up broke or bitter. Many of the acknowledged masters of American music got their starts on the chitlin’ circuit, among them Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Tina Turner.
Three more future superstars figure prominently in The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll—B.B. King, Little Richard, and James Brown. While all are the subjects of multiple books and have given countless interviews over their long careers, The Chitlin’ Circuit features new research about their formative years.
You’ll learn about B.B. King’s supporting role in a bootlegging venture, witness Little Richard’s transformation from medicine show drag queen to pop phenomenon, ride shotgun on Richard’s last go around the circuit, and see James Brown mature from Little Richard impersonator to rising star. All three grew with the support of veteran chitlin’ circuit businessmen, whose influence on the music has been overlooked, who seasoned the young performers.
The Chitlin’ Circuit includes rare photographs of all three in their early years, some previously unpublished.