Richard Penniman (AKA Little Richard) was 45 years old and in his second go-around with the ministry when he visited Youngstown for a pair of gospel music programs on October 8, 1978 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. Hit by ample doses of personal tragedy in the mid ’70s, Little Richard took a step back from rock ‘n’ roll music for the second time in his career (the first coming from 1957 to 1962). His primary function at this juncture in his career was using his celebrity to sell bibles for Memorial Bibles International.
From what I gather from looking through old concert lists and databases, this is the first appearance by Little Richard in Youngstown. Like many acts from his era, there is a strong possibility he could have played in the early ’50s at small clubs in the area. I have yet to locate any proof that he did, however.
Here’s a sample of what Little Richard sounded like in the late ’70s: