"I don't know whether I've mentioned this to you before, but I haven't exactly become fixated, but I know that somewhere in my collection of seven inch singles, there's a really good cover version of a Little Richard song, except that I can't remember which Little Richard song it is, nor can I remember who it is who's recorded it. So, out of sheer desperation, I'm having to make my way through my entire collection of seven inch singles until I find it, and of course, in the course of doing this, I come up with one or two interesting records that I forget I've ever owned, and if you'd asked me a week ago, "Do you have a record by somebody called Eddie Buster Forehand?", I'd have said, "No, I don't think I do, as a matter of fact", but I do, and it's a stormer as well." (JP, 07 December 1992 (Ö3)
As Peel states above, the hunt for the elusive Little Richard cover developed into something of an obsession for the DJ and playing records unearthed in the course of it became a regular feature of his shows. Although the exact starting date of "The Search" is not presently known, it is hoped to compile a comprehensive list of the records he re-discovered and played on his Radio One shows, along with any comments about the tracks. All records are 7-inch singles. Please add further information if known.
The object of the search eventually turned out to be a version of Tutti Frutti by Mickey Lee Lane. The single was later found stored safely among his most precious 45s in John Peel's Record Box, alongside several of his other finds.
March 1992 Edit
- Sipo Bhengu and his alto sax – Tiki Dopis
- JP: "I was trying to find records as always at Peel Acres during the week. And going through the Bs in the 7” singles I came across what must have been the first African record I played on the radio – back in 1971..." Later found in John Peel's Record Box.
- Big Three: You've Gotta Keep Her Under Hand (B side of If You Ever Change Your Mind) (Decca)
- Later found in John Peel's Record Box.
- Brother Blue – Onzhet Hetulate a “25 year old” single from South Africa on Tops Records
- Peel came across two copies of this on his search – gave one to Andy Kershaw.
April 1992 Edit
- JP: "As I mentioned last week, I'm desperately trying to find a record. It's a song that I know Little Richard did, and it's a cover version of it, and I can't remember the artist. I'm working my way through my singles collection in the hope of finding it, and so far, well, I'm still in the Bs actually, and came up with this during the week."
- (A classic skinhead ska instrumental - said Carl is a sax player of some note who was aka Karl, King Cannon and Cannonball. Distributed by PAMA 1969.)
- JP: "Now if you and I had met in the street yesterday and you had said to me, 'Hey fatso, have you got a copy of the Bronner Brothers' Hold Onto God’s Unchanging Hand?', I would have said to you, 'No, I do not' - but as a matter of fact I do. I found it yesterday and it's rather good. The guitaring at the end of it is particularly fine."
- JP: "Andy was talking about this record, this almost mythic record that I'm trying to find at home. Not actually a Little Richard record as he said, because if it was a Little Richard record I could find it under Little Richard. But it's a cover version of one of his songs by an artist whose name I can't remember, but it is giving me the opportunity to go through all of my singles and come up with one or two little gems as I go."
- Bunny & Ricky: Freedom Fighter (7") Locks
- JP: "This is another one of those records that I didn’t know that I had."
- Tommy Brown & His Orchestra: The House Near the Railway Track (7”) Acorn Records 318 US 1951
- JP: "The search continues for that Little Richard cover version. I'm still in the B's actually, I was hoping to get into the C's and indeed into the D's this week."
- Boys Blue: Take A Heart (7") (His Masters Voice)
- Brothers Of Soul: I Guess That Don't Make Me A Loser (Boo Records)
- JP: "That's another one I came across during my search for that missing Little Richard cover."
May 1992 Edit
- Charlie And Joe: What Would You Do (unknown)
- JP: "The search for that missing Little Richard cover version continues... One of the records I came up with this week during this search was this."
June 1992 Edit
- JP: "My search for that missing Little Richard cover has taken me into the Ds hence this."
- Delta 5: Mind Your Own Business (Rough Trade)
August 1992 Edit
- The search (for the missing Little Richard cover version) reaches the end of the D’s.
September 1992 Edit
- "This is from the Fabions. As the search continues for that missing Little Richard cover, I've now reached the Fs."
- Fabions: V Rocket (Bullet)
- The oft-mentioned Little Richard cover version search is still going on.
- JP - "And the search for the Little Richard cover version goes on, I'm now into the Fs, so that gives me the excuse to play this."
- Fall: It's The New Thing (Step-Forward) SF 9
- (later in show)
JP: "This is another one of those records that I discovered as I was making my way through the pile of singles by artists whose names begin with F. From Fort Worth, Texas, the Firemen...."
- Firemen: Old Smokie (Le Cam)
- Peel likes the first half minute so much he immediately plays it again. The single was later found in John Peel's Record Box.
November 1992 Edit
- JP: "This is another one of the records I found whilst searching for the missing Little Richard cover."
- Eddie "Buster" Forehand: Young Boy Blues (Josie)
- JP: "Are there loads of records by Eddy 'Buster' Forehand? And if there are, how come I've never heard any of them?"
- (later in show)
- JP: "This is a record, one of my favourites and every once and a while I think it’s time I played that one again and because the name of the artist begins with an F it occurred to me again this week. My own copy of this record is slightly damaged actually so I had to get it out of the BBC Record Library and their’s is slightly damaged as well but probably not as damaged as mine. This is Don French and Lonely Saturday Night…"
- Don French : Lonely Saturday Night (London)
- JP: “Well actually on reflection I think the BBC Record Library is in worse nick than mine. I’d like a good copy if anyone’s got one to spare to buy. On London Records but first came out on Quality records in Canada.” (Two copies later turned up in John Peel's Record Box on Quality Records, so maybe they did! Not much on internet on this favourite but some detail here.)
- JP: "This is one of the records I discovered while I was looking for that Little Richard cover version. I'm about halfway through the Gs now."
- Earl Gaines: Hymn Number 5 (Seventy Seven)
December 1992 Edit
- Laura Green and Johnny MacInnes: Pledge You My Love (Silver Fox)
January 1993 Edit
- Peel's continuing search for the elusive Little Richard cover version leads him to what he claims is Half Japanese's very first release, a 7 inch in an 8 inch sleeve, "which makes it very difficult to file".
- Half Japanese: '(I Don't Want To Have) Mono (Anymore) (b-side of No Direct Line From My Brain To My Heart) (50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Watts)
February 1993 Edit
- JP: "The search for that missing Little Richard cover version continues, and I'm getting towards the end of the aitches. This is one of the records that I came up with this week, and a gem it is too. It was a number one record in Dallas when I lived there. Ah! Brings back wonderful memories." The single was later found in John Peel's Record Box.
- Lightnin' Hopkins: Mojo Hand
- (later in show)
- JP: "This is another record that I came across whilst searching for that Little Richard cover version. It's on Marmaduke records and their corporate logo is "Turn me on" - Hmmm!"
- Impacts: Thunder Chicken (Marmaduke)
March 1993 Edit
- The Little Richard cover version has been found and will be played tomorrow night, but during the search Peel found ...
- King Horror: Frankenstein (first released on the Newbeat label in 1969)
April 1993 Edit
- JP: "The search is over, yet the search continues."
- Incredible Casuals: Picnic Egg (Eat)
June 1993 Edit
- Bobby Long And The Dealers: Heartbreak Avenue (Old Town)
July 1993 Edit
- Mickey Lee Lane: Tutti Frutti (Mala Records)
- JP: "That was the record I was searching for, for so long. The object of the search campaign that continued for about six months. Having found it, of course, my enthusiasm for continuing to look for it, if you see what I mean, has diminished somewhat but I will press on because I did come up with some interesting old records in the course of it."
August 1993 Edit
- Lounge Lizards: Harlem Nocturne (Editions EG)
- JP: "This is a search record, and the search continues, despite the fact that the object of the search has been found. I think that's pretty groovy, in a funny way."