ESPN’s Monday Night Football will showcase a new pre-kickoff hype song for the 2020 NFL season, as “Rip It Up (Feat. Butcher Brown”) by Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame artist Little Richard provides the soundtrack to the new opening. The audio will be combined with NFL and specific team highlights completing the opening for the franchise’s 50th anniversary season. The modernized single from the 1956 No. 1 hit will continue to prominently feature Little Richard, who is dubbed a founding father of rock n’ roll, and adds Virginia-based band Butcher Brown who has recreated the instrumentals while also adding background vocals. Monday Night Football’s new opening will make its debut on Monday, Sept. 14 leading into the Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Giants (7 p.m. ET), the first game of ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader. The second game of the doubleheader is the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos (10:15 p.m.).
“We’re truly excited to have teamed up with ESPN for this project, and are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the music of the King Of Rock N’ Roll, Little Richard,” said Butcher Brown. “We are all big NFL fans so we are eagerly anticipating Monday Night Football’s return, particularly for when our Eagles and Ravens are showcased this season on the franchise.”
The audio single “Rip It Up (Feat. Butcher Brown”) is now available on Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and other music platforms. Listen here: https://found.ee/ButcherBrownRipItUp
The new Monday Night Football pre-kickoff hype song replaces “All My Rowdy Friends” by Hank Williams Jr., as ESPN adjusted its production in reaction to no or limited fans at NFL stadiums during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Little Richard: A Founding Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Known for his bold, flamboyant showmanship, Richard was a ball of energy on stage; pounding the keys — one foot up on the piano—thrilling audiences by offering his subversively bawdy tunes with a wink. He is also considered to be one of the first crossover African American artists to break racial barriers in the ‘50s, when segregation permeated every aspect of American society — including the airwaves.
“Rip It Up” was a No.1 R&B hit for Little Richard and a Top 20 single (peaking at No.17 on the Billboard Pop chart in the summer of 1956). In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the title at No. 50 in its roundup of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” while TIME included Here’s Little Richard in their “All-Time 100 Albums” list.
Little Richard was among the first artists to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, alongside Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown and Buddy Holly. His other honors include a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (1993) and inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2003), the NAACP Image Awards’ Hall of Fame (2002) and the Blues Hall of Fame (2015).
Little Richard passed away earlier this year from bone cancer. He was 87 years old.
Meet Butcher Brown
Butcher Brown is five groove merchants from Richmond, VA delivering a heady home-brew of jams and jazz, rhymes and beats—a funky, musical mix that makes one question why great music needs to be labeled as this category or that. The hybrid moniker “jazz/hip-hop” only begins to cover it. Their balance of raw energy and smooth sophistication, edgy improvisation with a generous dose of Southern roots (South coast hip-hop to Southern rock) reveals how equal opportunity they are in employing a wide range of musical styles, and how authentically they’ve absorbed it all.
Collectively, one could say they are a jazz ensemble—in the instruments they play, and the way they feel the music as one, building a performance together, with grace and grit. Individually, they are: producer / keyboardist DJ Harrison; drummer Corey Fonville; bassist Andrew Randazzo; trumpeter / saxophonist / MC Marcus “Tennishu” Tenney; and guitarist Morgan Burrs.
Starting in 2013, Butcher Brown began to release a series of recordings on their own imprint, and other independent labels as well, helping to spread the word of the group’s groove-driven consistency. On September 18, 2020, Butcher Brown will release their full album #KingButch, a major label debut on Concord Records, on the Concord Jazz imprint. Their eighth album is the culmination of twelve years of dedicated focus, and commitment.