Roots of Bob

Open The Door, Homer

A connection to "Open The Door, Richard!" (composer?), a popular novelty song, recorded by artists such as Jack McVea and his All Stars, 1947 (Jukebox Lil JB-607). There is no similarity between the tunes.

"Open the Door, Richard" was recorded in the 1940s by the great R&B musician Louis Jordan, sometimes referred to as "the Grandfather of Rock'n'Roll" due to his influence on Chuck Berry, often called "The Father of Rock'n'Roll."

Jordan's song was so popular and so well known that in the 1950s it gave rise to an "answer" song by the New Orleans guitarist Smiley Lewis (with Huey "Piano" Smith on piano) called "I Hear You Knocking." This too was a major R & B hit.

Richard Penniman, a.k.a. Little Richard, working the clubs in New Orleans in the 1950s, got hit with so many requests for "Open the Door, Richard" and "I Hear You Knocking" -- for obvious reasons -- that he recorded a Rock'n'Roll "re-response" song called "Keep A Knockin' But You Can't Come In." It also became a top-selling record.

(thanks to Catherine Yronwode & Ben Taylor

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