Charles Connor, drummer for Little Richard, dies at age 86

Aug 1, 2021, 3:54 AM | Updated: 3:55 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Connor, known for being Little Richard’s drummer who performed with other music greats including James Brown and Sam Cooke, has died. He was 86.

Connor’s daughter, Queenie Connor Sonnefeld, said her father died peacefully in his sleep early Saturday while under hospice care at his home in Glendale, California. She said her father had been diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus, a brain disorder that causes fluid buildup.

Connor Sonnefeld called the drummer a “great father” who was always positive and a person who never gave up on his dreams.

“He was one of those drummers that was a bricklayer of creating that rock ‘n’ roll genre,” she said. “He played behind so many legendary musicians in the 1950s. He was a loving grandfather and was very proud of his family and took a lot of pride in his contributions to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Connor began playing drums at age 12. Three years later, he started his professional career when Professor Longhair, a singer and pianist, hired him as a last-minute replacement for the 1950 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

After Connor turned 18, he joined Richard’s original road band, The Upsetters. The band appeared in several popular feature films including “The Girl Can’t Help It” with Jayne Mansfield along with “Don’t Knock the Rock” and “Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

During his career, Connor toured with various musicians such as James Brown, Jackie Wilson and the original Coasters. He also received a certificate of special recognition from Rep. Maxine Waters in 1994.

Connor released his motivational book “Don’t Give Up Your Dreams: You Can Be a Winner Too!” 2008. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame two years later.

In 2013, Connor released his EP album “Still Knockin.” At the time of his death, he was working on his autobiographical documentary.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this April 27, 2016, file photo, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert departs the fed...
Associated Press

Hastert’s settlement with accuser to be finalized Monday

YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The deadline for attorneys to finalize an out-of-court settlement between former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and a man who accused him of child sexual abuse was delayed until next week, the court clerk’s office said Friday. A hearing on the agreement and an order to dismiss the lawsuit that the […]
1 day ago
Gov. Bill Lee speaks to local media at the front of McConnell Elementary School on Wednesday, Aug. ...
Associated Press

Second Tennessee judge blocks Gov. Lee’s mask opt-out

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday handed down a second blow to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s contentious order allowing parents to opt out of school mask requirements, ruling that Knox County Schools must implement a mask mandate to help protect children with health problems amid the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge J. […]
1 day ago
In this photo provided by the United Nations, United Nations General Assembly President Abdulla Sha...
Associated Press

Minister: Iran will return to nuclear talks `very soon’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s new foreign minister said Friday the country will return to nuclear negotiations “very soon,” but accused the Biden administration of sending contradictory messages — saying it wants to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal while slapping new sanctions on Tehran and not taking “an iota of positive action.” Hossain Amir Abdollah […]
1 day ago
FILE —11 In this Dec. 17, 2010 file photo, trucks make their way eastbound, in Livermore, Calif. ...
Associated Press

Companies, activists push to speed zero-emission truck sales

BOSTON (AP) — Officials from companies with fleets of trucks are urging governors across the country to embrace a rule meant to speed the adoption of zero-emission trucks and reduce a potent source of greenhouse gases spewed from the large commercial vehicles. In a letter released Friday, representatives of companies including IKEA, Nestle, Siemens, Etsy, […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, a house burns on Platina Road at the Zogg Fire near Ono,...
Associated Press

PG&E charged in California wildfire last year that killed 4

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Pacific Gas and Electric was charged Friday with manslaughter and other crimes after its equipment sparked a Northern California wildfire last year that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes, prosecutors said. It is the latest action against the nation’s largest utility, which pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts […]
1 day ago
FILE - This photo from Friday May 9, 2008, shows R. Kelly arriving for the first day of jury select...
Associated Press

R. Kelly’s fate now in jury’s hands in sex trafficking trial

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly’s fate is now in a jury’s hands after weeks of lurid testimony in his sexual misconduct trial. A jury of seven men and five women began deliberating racketeering and sex trafficking charges against the R&B superstar Friday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys finished their closing arguments this week. The 54-year-old […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Charles Connor, drummer for Little Richard, dies at age 86