Cosimo Matassa’s New Orleans studio recorded “Tutti Fruiti” by Little Richard

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J & M Studios owned by Cosimo Matassa recorded Little Richard and recorded “Tutti Frutti” in 1955 at 840 North Rampart Street. Matassa is part of a trio of New Orleans Italians honored with a Historic Marker at the Jazz Museum in New Orleans. Nick Larocca recorded the first Jass record in 1916 and later changed the name to Jazz. Louis Prima was part of the Swing era. Matassa is credited with the New Orleans sound that contributed to Rock ‘n Roll.

Charles Marsala of New Orleans Insider Tours in front of J & M Studios holding a listing of the artists that recorded with Cosimo Matassa.

“Little Richard rolled into Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio (1947-1956) at 840 N. Rampart in New Orleans and cut the epochal “Tutti Frutti” in the fall of 1955. Richard wailed “A wop bop a loo mop a lomp bomp bomp” and kicked off one of the first great wailers in rock history.

In 1956’s Here’s Little Richard — his boogie-woogie piano stylings weren’t all that different from what Fats Domino had been laying down since 1949, and his band pumped out the New Orleans backbeat that would define the Crescent City’s R&B for the next two decades, albeit with precision and plenty of groove.”

“Little Richard rolled into Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio (1947-1956) at 840 N. Rampart in New Orleans and cut the epochal “Tutti Frutti” in the fall of 1955. Richard wailed “A wop bop a loo mop a lomp bomp bomp” and kicked off one of the first great wailers in rock history. In 1956’s Here’s Little Richard — his boogie-woogie piano stylings weren’t all that different from what Fats Domino had been laying down since 1949, and his band pumped out the New Orleans backbeat that would define the Crescent City’s R&B for the next two decades, albeit with precision and plenty of groove.” Charles Marsala of www.AWE.News and the self-guided tour app “New Orleans Insider Tours” explains the story in front of the former site of J & M Studios.

Former site of J & M Studios
Cosimo Matassa
Marker of J & M Studio
Cosimo Matassa

Rolling Stone reported on Little Richard’s death with “A Founding Father” in the title. In New Orleans J & M Studio opened in 1947. Two years later, Fats Domino’s was recognized with converting the New Orleans Beat into Rock and Rock starting in 1949 with the song the “Fat Man.” For nine years Matassa’s J & M Studio turned out artists that became stars by converting the New Orleans Beat into Rock ‘n Roll.

Rolling Stone wrote: “Little Richard, a founding father of rock & roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone. The cause of death was bone cancer, the musician’s lawyer Bill Sobel told Rolling Stone.

Cosimo Matassa

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.” ”

2 COMMENTS

  1. We are from california
    My great grandmother immigrated
    From sicily to america via NOLA
    We love to visit your city
    Stay at the Monteleone
    But several years ago i heard there
    Was a sicilian museum
    Concierge never heard of it
    Cab driver either i had to tell him
    I was looking for any info on my
    Great grandmother mary lombardo
    Who married peter troia
    Came to calif about 1915
    Do you know of any way to
    Find out when they arrived in
    NOLA?
    Thanks

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