That One Time Jimi Hendrix Unknowingly Appeared On Live TV In Lafayette In 1965
An old photo of Little Richard appearing on KLFY in Lafayette has sparked quite the revelation.
After news of his passing broke last week, a photo of Little Richard visiting Lafayette in 1965 was shared on the Developing Lafayette Facebook page. The caption also noted that another music icon unknowingly (at the time) appeared in the black & white photograph.
According to a very detailed blog post by Shane K. Bernard, Little Richard was in Lafayette for a private show while touring through the area and his father was able to snag him for an appearance on his local television show. Shane's father was Rod Bernard—a "swamp pop" musician who gained fame with his national hit ballad "This Should Go On Forever."
Little Richard appeared on Bernard's weekend teenage dance program dubbed "Saturday Hop," but decades later social media and some minimal Google research would reveal that the hidden gem in this photo was a young Jimi Hendrix, standing far left as one of the "guards" in Little Richard's entourage.
In early 1965, an as-yet-unknown Jimi Hendrix appeared on my father's weekend teen-age dance program called Saturday Hop. Hendrix, however, did not sing or play guitar on the show. As far as anyone knows, he merely stood there, at attention, dressed as a British soldier of the "Queen's Guard" (to use the unit's formal name). He wore a dress tunic, dark pants, and a tall bearskin hat. Fortunately, a black-and-white still photograph captures the occurrence — but only in late July 2019 did anyone realize Hendrix appeared in that image. Until then, his presence there, at that time, in that TV studio, in that fantastic costume, was entirely unknown.
The full story on how this was all realized is truly an amazing (and complicated) story and you should definitely read up on it here via Bernard's blog.
One piece of evidence that solidifies Hendrix's appearance and puts him in Lafayette on that date is a piece of memorabilia that was shared on the rock icon's official Facebook page.
How crazy is to think that a young Jimi Hendrix crashed at the Holiday Inn off Hwy 90 near the Lafayette airport and decided to pen a letter to his father? What did he eat while he was here? Did he meet anyone? Also, how amazing for us to have two musical legends in our city at the same time?
Seeing Hendrix in the photo after reading the postcard literally sent chills down my spine and I think the same will go for any music fan who reads this.
Share this with that one music fan; or with anyone who would be interested in this super cool piece of Lafayette music history.