|Single by Richard Berry|
|A-side||You Are My Sunshine|
|Format||45 rpm record|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Richard Berry singles chronology|
"Louie Louie" is an American rhythm and blues song written and composed by Richard Berry in 1955 and best known for the 1963 hit version by The Kingsmen. It has become a standard in pop and rock, with hundreds of versions recorded by different artists. The song is based on the tune "El Loco Cha Cha” popularized by bandleader René Touzet and is an example of Latin influence on American popular music.
Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
Richard Berry, Jr. was an African-American singer, songwriter and musician, who performed with many Los Angeles doo-wop and close harmony groups in the 1950s, including The Flairs and The Robins.
The Kingsmen are a 1960s beat/garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States. They are best known for their 1963 recording of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", which held the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks. The single has become an enduring classic.
"Louie Louie" tells, in simple verse–chorus form, the first-person story of a Jamaican sailor returning to the island to see his lady love.
Verse–chorus form is a musical form common in popular music, used in blues and rock and roll since the 1950s, and predominant in rock music since the 1960s. In contrast to thirty-two-bar form, which is focused on the verse, in verse–chorus form the chorus is highlighted.
The Kingsmen's recording was the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed, but nonexistent, obscenity of the lyrics, an investigation that ended without prosecution.Ironically, the recording notably includes the drummer yelling "Fuck!" after dropping his drumstick at the 0:54 mark.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.
"Louie Louie" has been recognized by organizations and publications worldwide for its influence on the history of rock and roll. A partial list (see "Recognition and rankings" table below) includes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, National Public Radio, VH1, Rolling Stone Magazine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Recording Industry Association of America. In addition to new versions appearing regularly on YouTube and elsewhere, other major examples of the song's legacy include the celebration of International Louie Louie Day every year on April 11; the annual Louie Louie Parade in Philadelphia from 1985 to 1989; the LouieFest in Tacoma from 2003 to 2012; the ongoing annual Louie Louie Parade and Festival in Peoriaand the unsuccessful attempt in 1985 to make it the state song of Washington
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.
VH1 is an American pay television network based in New York City owned by Viacom. It was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV, and launched on January 1, 1985, in the former space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel.
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.
Richard Berry was inspired to write the song in 1955 after listening to and performing the song "El Loco Cha Cha" with Ricky Rillera and the Rhythm Rockers. The tune was written originally as "Amarren Al Loco" ("Tie Up That Madman") by Cuban bandleader Rosendo Ruiz Jr., also known as Rosendo Ruiz Quevedo, but became best known in the "El Loco Cha Cha" arrangement by René Touzet which included a rhythmic ten-note "1-2-3 1–2 1-2-3 1–2" riff.
René Touzet y Monte was a Cuban-born American composer, pianist and bandleader.
Touzet performed the tune regularly in Los Angeles clubs in the 1950s. In Berry's mind, the words "Louie Louie" superimposed themselves over the bass riff. Lyrically, the first person perspective of the song was influenced by "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," which is sung from the perspective of a customer talking to a bartender. ("Louie" is the name of Berry's bartender.)Berry cited Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon" and his exposure to Latin American music for the song's speech pattern and references to Jamaica.
A bassline is the term used in many styles of music, such as jazz, blues, funk, dub and electronic, traditional music, or classical music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass, cello, tuba or keyboard. In unaccompanied solo performance, basslines may simply be played in the lower register of any instrument such as guitar or piano while melody and/or further accompaniment is provided in the middle or upper register. In solo music for piano and pipe organ, these instruments have an excellent lower register that can be used to play a deep bassline. On organs, the bass line is typically played using the pedal keyboard and massive 16' and 32' bass pipes.
A first-person narrative is a mode of storytelling in which a narrator relays events from their own point of view using the first person i.e. "I" or "we", etc. It may be narrated by a first person protagonist, first person re-teller, first person witness, or first person peripheral. A classic example of a first person protagonist narrator is Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847), in which the title character is also the narrator telling her own story, "I could not unlove him now, merely because I found that he had ceased to notice me".
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
Richard Berry released his version in April of 1957 (Flip Records 321), originally as a B-side, with his backing band the Pharaohs, and scored a regional hit on the west coast, particularly in San Francisco. When the group toured the Pacific Northwest, local R&B bands began to play the song, increasing its popularity. The track was then re-released as an A-side. However, the single never charted on Billboard's national rhythm and blues or pop charts. Berry's label reported that the single had sold 40,000 copies. After a series of unsuccessful follow-ups, Berry sold his portion of publishing and songwriting rights for $750 to the head of Flip Records in 1959.
While the title of the song is often rendered with a comma ("Louie, Louie"), in 1988, Berry told Esquire magazine that the correct title of the song was "Louie Louie," with no comma.
Although similar to the original, the version on Rhino's 1983 The Best of Louie, Louie compilationis actually a note-for-note re-recording created because licensing could not be obtained for Berry's 1957 version. The original version was not released on CD until the Ace Records Love That Louie compilation in 2002.
By some accounts "Louie Louie" is the world's most recorded rock song with over 1,600 versions and counting (with more appearing regularly on YouTube and elsewhere).
|Single by Rockin' Robin Roberts|
Robin Roberts developed an interest in rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues records as a high school student in Tacoma, Washington. Among the songs he began performing as an occasional guest singer with a local band, the Bluenotes, in 1958 were "Louie Louie", which he had heard on Berry's obscure original single, and Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin", which gave him his stage name. In 1959, Roberts left the Bluenotes and began singing with another local band, the Wailers (often known as the Fabulous Wailers, who had had a hit record with the instrumental "Tall Cool One"). Known for his dynamic onstage performances, Roberts added "Louie Louie" to the band's set and, in 1960 recorded the track with the Wailers as his backing band.The arrangement, devised by Roberts with the band, included Roberts' ad-lib "Let's give it to 'em, RIGHT NOW!!" Released on the band's own label, Etiquette, in early 1961, it became a hit locally and was then reissued and promoted by Liberty Records in Los Angeles, but it failed to chart. Roberts was killed in an automobile accident in 1967.
|Single by The Kingsmen|
|from the album The Kingsmen In Person|
|The Kingsmen singles chronology|
On April 6, 1963,a rock and roll group from Portland, Oregon, called the Kingsmen, chose "Louie Louie" as their second recording, their first having been "Peter Gunn Rock". The Kingsmen recorded the song at Northwestern, Inc., Motion Pictures and Recording in Portland. The session cost $50, and the band split the cost. (On September 5, 2013, the city of Portland dedicated a plaque at the site, 411 SW 13th Avenue, to commemorate the event. An earlier version placed by the Oregon Historical Society had been stolen shortly after its dedication in 1993.)
The session was produced by Ken Chase. Chase was a local radio personality on the AM rock station 91 KISN and also owned the teen nightclub that hosted the Kingsmen as their house band. The engineer for the session was the studio owner, Robert Lindahl. The Kingsmen's lead singer Jack Ely based his version on the recording by Rockin' Robin Roberts with the Fabulous Wailers, unintentionally introducing a change in the rhythm as he did. "I showed the others how to play it with a 1–2–3, 1–2, 1–2–3 beat instead of the 1–2–3–4, 1–2, 1–2–3–4 beat that is on the (Wailers) record", recalled Ely. The night before their recording session, the band played a 90-minute version of the song during a gig at a local teen club.
The Kingsmen's studio version was recorded in one take. They also recorded the "B" side of the release, an original instrumental by the group called "Haunted Castle".
A significant error on the Kingsmen version occurs just after the lead guitar break. As the group was going by the Wailers version, which has a brief restatement of the riff two times over before the lead vocalist comes back in, it would be expected that Ely would do the same. Ely, however, overshot his mark, coming in too soon, before the restatement of the riff. He realized his mistake and stopped the verse short, but the band did not realize that he had done so. As a quick fix, drummer Lynn Easton covered the pause with a drum fill, but before the verse ended, the rest of the band went into the chorus at the point where they expected it to be. This error is now so embedded in the consciousness of some groups that they deliberately duplicate it when performing the song.
The Kingsmen transformed Berry's easy-going ballad into a raucous romp, complete with a twangy guitar, occasional background chatter, and nearly unintelligible lyrics by Ely.A guitar break is triggered by the shout, "Okay, let's give it to 'em right now!", which first appeared in the Wailers version, as did the entire guitar break (although, in the Wailers version, a few notes differ, and the entire band played the break). Critic Dave Marsh suggests it is this moment that gives the recording greatness: "[Ely] went for it so avidly you'd have thought he'd spotted the jugular of a lifelong enemy, so crudely that, at that instant, Ely sounds like Donald Duck on helium. And it's that faintly ridiculous air that makes the Kingsmen's record the classic that it is, especially since it's followed by a guitar solo that's just as wacky."
First released in May 1963, the single was initially issued by the small Jerden label, before being picked up by the larger Wand Records and released by them in October 1963. It entered the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for December 7, and peaked at number two the following week, a spot which it held for six non-consecutive weeks; it would remain in the top 10 through December and January before dropping off in early February.In total, the Kingsmen's version spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100. (Singles by the Singing Nun, then Bobby Vinton, monopolized the top slot for eight weeks.) "Louie Louie" did reach number one on the Cashbox pop chart for two weeks, as well as number one on the Cashbox R&B chart. It was the last #1 on Cashbox before Beatlemania hit the United States with "I Want to Hold Your Hand". The version quickly became a standard at teen parties in the U.S. during the 1960s, even reappearing on the charts in 1966.
Second Wand release with "Lead vocal by Jack Ely" text
|Single by The Kingsmen|
|from the album The Kingsmen in Person|
|Length||2:42 (2:24 on label)|
Another factor in the success of the record may have been the rumor that the lyrics were intentionally slurred by the Kingsmen—to cover up the alleged fact that the lyrics were laced with profanity, graphically depicting sex between the sailor and his lady. Crumpled pieces of paper professing to be "the real lyrics" to "Louie Louie" circulated among teens. The song was banned on many radio stations and in many places in the United States, including Indiana, where it was personally prohibited by Governor Matthew Welsh.
These actions were taken despite the small matter that practically no one could distinguish the actual lyrics. Denials of chicanery by Kingsmen and Ely did not stop the controversy. The FBI started a 31-month investigation into the matter and concluded they were "unable to interpret any of the wording in the record."Ironically, however, drummer Lynn Easton later admitted that he yelled "Fuck" after fumbling a drumstick at 0:54 on the record.
Sales of the Kingsmen record were so low (reportedly 600) that the group considered disbanding. Things changed when Boston's biggest DJ, Arnie Ginsburg, was given the record by a pitchman. Amused by its slapdash sound, he played it on his program as "The Worst Record of the Week". Despite the slam, listener response was swift and positive.
By the end of October, it was listed in Billboard as a regional breakout and a "bubbling under" entry for the national chart. Meanwhile, the Raiders version, with far stronger promotion, was becoming a hit in California and was also listed as "bubbling under" one week after the Kingsmen debuted on the chart. For a few weeks, the two singles appeared destined to battle each other, but demand for the Kingsmen single acquired momentum and, by the end of 1963, Columbia Records had stopped promoting the Raiders version, as ordered by Mitch Miller.
By the time the Kingsmen version had achieved national popularity, the band had split. Two rival editions—one featuring lead singer Jack Ely, the other with Lynn Easton who held the rights to the band's name—were competing for live audiences across the country. A settlement was reached later in 1964 giving Easton the right to the Kingsmen name but requiring all future pressings of the original version of "Louie Louie" to display "Lead vocal by Jack Ely" on the label.
On November 9, 1998, after a protracted lawsuit that lasted five years and cost $1.3 million, the Kingsmen were awarded ownership of all their recordings released on Wand Records from Gusto Records, including "Louie Louie". They had not been paid royalties on the songs since the 1960s.
When Jack Ely died on April 28, 2015, his son reported that "... my father would say, 'We were initially just going to record the song as an instrumental, and at the last minute I decided I'd sing it.'" When it came time to do that, however, Ely discovered the sound engineer had raised the studio's only microphone several feet above his head. Then he placed Ely in the middle of his fellow musicians, all in an effort to create a better "live feel" for the recording. The result, Ely would say over the years, was that he had to stand on his toes, lean his head back and shout as loudly as he could just to be heard over the drums and guitars.
|Single by Paul Revere & the Raiders|
|from the album Here They Come!|
|Paul Revere & the Raiders singles chronology|
Paul Revere & the Raiders also recorded a version of "Louie Louie", probably on April 13, 1963, in the same Portland studio as the Kingsmen.The recording was paid for and produced by KISN radio personality Roger Hart, who soon became personal manager for the band. Released on Hart's Sandē label, their version was more successful locally. Columbia Records issued the single nationally in June 1963 and it went to #1 in the West and Hawaii. The quick success of "Louie Louie" suddenly halted, however, and a few years later Paul Revere & the Raiders learned the reason--Columbia A&R man Mitch Miller, a former bandleader ( Sing Along With Mitch ) who hated rock and roll, had pulled the plug on their version.
Robert Lindahl, president and chief engineer of NWI and sound engineer on both the Kingsmen and Raiders recordings,noted that the Raiders version was not known for "garbled lyrics" or an amateurish recording technique. But despite these attributes, the single never seized the public's attention the way the less-polished Kingsmen version did.
"Louie Louie" repeatedly figured in the musical lexicon of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in the 1960s. An early live version of his original composition "Plastic People" (from his You Can't Do That Onstage Anymore series of live albums) was set to the melody of "Louie Louie" (the official version was released on the album Absolutely Free in 1967). Zappa has said that he fired guitarist Alice Stuart from the Mothers of Invention because she couldn't play "Louie Louie", although this comment was obviously intended as a joke. At a Zappa concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Mothers of Invention keyboardist Don Preston climbed up to the legendary venue's pipe organ, usually used for classical works, and played the signature riff (included on the 1969 Zappa album Uncle Meat ). Quick interpolations of "Louie Louie" also frequently turn up in other Zappa works.
After the Kingsmen and Raiders versions, many other bands recorded the song:
|Single by Motörhead|
|from the album Overkill (re-issue)|
|B-side||"Tear Ya Down"|
|Released||September 30, 1978|
|Motörhead singles chronology|
"Louie Louie" was Motörhead's first single for Bronze Records in 1978, following their initial release on Chiswick Records in 1977. It was a relatively faithful cover of the song, with "Fast" Eddie Clarke's guitar emulating the Hohner Pianet electric piano riff. It was released as a 7" vinyl single and reached number 68 on the UK Singles Chart. The reverse cover carries the dog Latin motto "Nil Illegitimum Carborundum", which is humorously said to mean "Don't let the bastards grind you down". The song is released with "Tear Ya Down" and appears on the CD re-issues of Overkill and The Best of Motörhead compilation. On 25 October 1978 a pre-recording of the band playing this song was broadcast on the BBC show Top of the Pops .
The cover features Black Flag's singer Dez Cadena and some of his improvised lyrics to "Louie Louie".
|Single by Black Flag|
The Hermosa Beach, California hardcore punk band Black Flag released a cover version of "Louie Louie" as a single in 1981 through Posh Boy Records.It was the band's first release with Dez Cadena as singer, replacing Ron Reyes who had left the group the previous year. Cadena would go on to sing on the Six Pack EP before switching to rhythm guitar and being replaced on vocals by Henry Rollins. Cadena improvised his own lyrics to "Louie Louie", such as "You know the pain that's in my heart / It just shows I'm not very smart / Who needs love when you've got a gun? / Who needs love to have any fun?" The single also included an early version of "Damaged I", which would be re-recorded with Rollins for the band's debut album, Damaged , later that year. Demo versions of both tracks, recorded with Cadena, were included on the 1982 compilation album Everything Went Black .
The front cover art shows the main verse of the lyrics to "Louie Louie" over a photograph by Edward Colver featuring Black Flag's third singer Dez Cadena.
Bryan Carroll of AllMusic gave the single four out of five stars, saying that "Of the more than 1,500 commitments of Richard Berry's 'Louie Louie' to wax ... Black Flag's volatile take on the song is incomparable. No strangers to controversy themselves, the band pummel the song with their trademark pre-Henry Rollins-era guitar sludge, while singer Dez Cadena spits out his nihilistic rewording of the most misunderstood lyrics in rock history."Both tracks from the single were included on the 1983 compilation album The First Four Years , and "Louie Louie" was also included on 1987's Wasted...Again . A live version of "Louie Louie", recorded by the band's 1985 lineup, was released on the live album Who's Got the 10½? , with Rollins improvising his own lyrics.
In February 1964, an outraged parent wrote to Robert Kennedy, then the Attorney General of the United States, alleging that the lyrics of "Louie Louie" were obscene. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the complaint. In June 1965, the FBI laboratory obtained a copy of the Kingsmen recording and, after four months of investigation, concluded that it could not be interpreted, that it was "unintelligible at any speed,"and therefore the Bureau could not find that the recording was obscene. In September 1965, an FBI agent interviewed one member of the Kingsmen, who denied that there was any obscenity in the song. The FBI never bothered either to interview songwriter Richard Berry or to consult the actual lyrics that were on file with the U.S. Copyright Office.
A history of the song and its notoriety was published in 1992 by Dave Marsh, but when he wrote the said history, Marsh was unable to obtain permission to publish the song's actual lyrics.Richard Berry told Esquire Magazine, in 1988, that the Kingsmen had sung the song exactly as written.
The lyrics controversy resurfaced briefly in 2005 when the superintendent of the school system in Benton Harbor, Michigan, refused to let the marching band at one of the schools play the song in a parade. She later relented.
It is unknown exactly how many versions of "Louie Louie" have been recorded, but it is believed to be over 1,500 (according to LouieLouie.net).The Kingsmen version has remained the most popular version of the song, retaining its association with wild partying. It enjoyed a comeback in 1978–1979 and was associated with college fraternity parties when it was sung, complete with the supposedly obscene lyrics, by Bluto (John Belushi) and his fellow Delta House brothers in the movie National Lampoon's Animal House despite the anachronism of the film taking place in 1962, a year before the Kingsmen recording (although this is mitigated by the fact that the Deltas were fans of at least one black R&B musician, and 1962 was five years after Richard Berry released his original version of the song, plus the song had been popular with local bands in the Northwest following Rockin' Robin Roberts' 1961 single). Aside from the Animal House appearance, the song appeared in many other films, typically in raucous and humorous contexts. Some bands have taken liberties with the lyrics, including attempts to record the supposed "obscene lyrics". It is believed the first artists to do so were the Stooges, whose version can be heard on their live album Metallic K.O. Iggy Pop later recorded a more civilized cover version of the song, with new lyrics composed by Pop, for his 1993 album American Caesar . He continues to play it live at shows.
The Who were directed in their early recording career by the riff/rhythm of "Louie Louie", owing to the song's influence on the Kinks, who, like the Who, were produced by Shel Talmy — the Kinks on the Pye label and the Who on Brunswick. Talmy wanted the successful sounds of the Kinks' 1964 hits "You Really Got Me", "All Day and All of the Night", and "Till the End of the Day" to be copied by the Who. As a result, Pete Townshend penned "I Can't Explain", released in March 1965. During a pre-song interview with host Brian Matthew on Saturday Club in May, Pete explained that "I Can't Explain" was released to "introduce the Who to the charts" and that they were now trying to create the sort of sound they achieved on stage at present — hence the new single they were about to sing live on Saturday Club, the feedback-driven, Mod-inspired "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". (In 1979 "Louie Louie" would be featured on the soundtrack album to Quadrophenia.)
Ian Curtis of Joy Division can be heard saying "You should hear our version of 'Louie Louie', woah" at the end of the band's live cover of The Velvet Underground's Sister Ray on their Still album.
The song has been used in a few Simpsons episodes: "Homer Goes To College" over the end credits, "Kill the Alligator and Run" when Homer is in the boat, and "We're on the Road to D'ohwhere" when Lisa's orchestra are rehearsing and their instruments begin to rust.
"Louie Louie" is referenced in the John Prine song "Lake Marie" and uses the words, "Oh baby, we gotta go now".
Various versions of "Louie Louie" have appeared in the films listed below.
|Year||Title||Version(s)||On OST |
|1973||American Graffiti||Flash Cadillac||No|
|1978||National Lampoon's Animal House||Kingsmen, John Belushi||Yes|
|1983||Heart Like A Wheel||Jack Ely||No|
|1984||Blood Simple||Toots and the Maytals||No|
|1986||The Cult: Live In Milan||The Cult||No||Italian release|
|1987||Survival Game||Kingsmen||n/a||Also in trailer|
|The Return of Sherlock Holmes||Cast (uncredited bar band)||n/a||TV movie|
|1988||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Marching Owl Band||Yes|
|Coupe de Ville||Kingsmen, Young MC||Yes|
|Love at Stake||Kingsmen||No|
|1989||Fright Night Part 2||Black Flag||No|
|Dave||Cast (Kevin Kline)||No|
|1993||Wayne's World 2||Robert Plant||Yes|
|1994||A Simple Twist of Fate||Cast (Steve Martin)||No|
|1995||Mr. Holland's Opus||Cast (student band instrumental)||No|
|Man of the House||Kingsmen||n/a|
|1996||Down Periscope||Cast (Kelsey Grammer)||n/a|
|1997||My Best Friend's Wedding||Kingsmen||No|
|1998||ABC - The Alphabetic Tribe||Kingsmen, Sandpipers||n/a||Swiss release|
|2001||Say It Isn't So||Kingsmen||No|
|2002||La bande du drugstore||Full Spirits||Yes||French release|
|24 Hour Party People||John The Postman, Factory All Stars||Yes||UK release|
|2003||Old School||Black Flag||Yes|
|Coffee and Cigarettes||Richard Berry, Iggy Pop||Yes|
|2004||Friday Night Lights||Cast (marching band instrumental)||No|
|2006||This Is England||Toots and the Maytals||Yes||UK release|
|Bobby||Cast (Demi Moore)||No|
|2009||Capitalism: A Love Story||Iggy Pop||n/a|
|Knight and Day||Kingsmen||No|
|2012||Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story||Kingsmen||n/a||UK TV movie|
|2014||Desert Dancer||Jack Ely||No||UK release|
|2018||A Futile and Stupid Gesture||Kingsmen||n/a|
The Kingsmen version was also used in television commercials for Spaced Invaders (1990) but did not appear in the movie.
In 1985, Ross Shafer, host and a writer-performer of the late-night comedy series Almost Live! on the Seattle TV station KING, spearheaded an effort to have "Louie Louie" replace "Washington, My Home" by Helen Davis as Washington's official state song.Picking up on this initially prankish effort, Whatcom County Councilman Craig Cole introduced Resolution No. 85-12 in the state legislature, citing the need for a "contemporary theme song that can be used to engender a sense of pride and community, and in the enhancement of tourism and economic development". His resolution also called for the creation of a new "Louie Louie County". While the House did not pass it, the Senate's Resolution 1985-37 declared April 12, 1985, "Louie Louie Day". A crowd of 4,000, estimated by press reports, convened at the state capitol that day for speeches, singalongs, and performances by the Wailers, the Kingsmen, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Two days later, a Seattle event commemorated the occasion with the premiere performance of a new, Washington-centric version of the song written by composer Berry. While the effort failed in the end, the song is still played, following "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch at all Seattle Mariners home games.
April 11 (Richard Berry's birthday) is celebrated as International Louie Louie Dayand is listed by Chase's Calendar of Events, the National Special Events Registry, and other sources. This date was chosen as the most significant date for the observance of International Louie Louie Day from a list of "Louie Louie"-related dates occurring in April, including:
April 6, 1963 – The Kingsmen recorded the version that made “Louie Louie” famous.
April 13, 1963 – Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded their competing version in the same studio.
April 1, 1985 – First annual WMMR Louie Louie Parade in Philadelphia (canceled in 1989 due to excessive rowdiness).
April 12, 1985 – "Louie Louie Day" proclaimed by the state of Washington.
April 14, 1985 – "Louie Louie Day" proclaimed by the mayor of Seattle.
April 2, 1986 – "Louie Louie Day" proclaimed by the state of Oregon.
April 10, 1998 – The Kingsmen won a historic legal case against Gusto Records/GML, regaining ownership and royalty rights to all their recordings.
Support for International Louie Louie Day and other "Louie Louie"-related observances is provided by the Louie Louie Advocacy and Music Appreciation Society (LLAMAS)and "Louie Louie" fans worldwide. Commemorations of International Louie Louie Day have included newspaper articles, magazine stories, and radio programs with discussions of the song's history and playlists of multiple "Louie Louie" versions. In 2011, KFJC celebrated International Louie Louie Day with a reprise of its 1983 "Maximum Louie Louie" event, featuring multiple "Louie Louie" versions, new music by Richard Berry and appearances by musicians, DJs, and celebrities with "Louie Louie" connections.
The City of Tacoma held a summer music and arts festival from 2003 to 2012 in July named LouieFest.The event began in 2003 as the "1000 Guitars Festival" and featured a group performance of "Louie Louie" open to anyone with a guitar. The event was renamed LouieFest in 2004. Members of the Wailers, Kingsmen, Raiders, Sonics and other groups with "Louie Louie" associations regularly made appearances. The grand finale each year was the "Celebration of 1000 Guitars" mass performance of "Louie Louie" on the main stage.
A sculpture titled "Louie Louie, 2013" by Las Vegas-based artist Tim Bavington is displayed on the lobby wall of the Edith Green - Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon. The work is constructed of 80 colored glass and acrylic panels representing the waveforms of the song using Bavington's concept of sculpting sound waves.
Summary of "Louie Louie" rankings and recognition in major publications and surveys.
|Rock & Roll Hall of Fame||Hall of Fame Singles||2018||None|
|Rock & Roll Hall of Fame||500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll||1995||None|
|National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences||Grammy Hall of Fame||1999||None|
|National Public Radio||The 300 Most Important American Records of the 20th Century||1999||None|
|The Wire Magazine||The 100 Most Important Records Ever Made||1992||None|
|Mojo Magazine||Ultimate Jukebox: The 100 Singles You Must Own||2003||#1|
|Paste Magazine||The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time||2014||#3|
|Rolling Stone Magazine||40 Songs That Changed The World||2007||#5|
|All Time Top 1000 Albums , Colin Larkin||The All-Time Top 100 Singles||2000||#6|
|VH1||100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll||2000||#11|
|The Heart of Rock and Soul, Dave Marsh||The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made||1989||#11|
|Rolling Stone Magazine||The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years||1989||#18|
|VH1||100 Greatest Dance Songs||2000||#27|
|Mojo Magazine||100 Greatest Singles of All Time||1997||#51|
|Rolling Stone Magazine||The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time||2004||#54|
|NEA and RIAA||Songs of the Century||1999||#57|
|Mojo Magazine||Big Bangs: 100 Records That Changed The World||2007||# 70|
|Pitchfork Magazine||The 200 Best Songs of the 1960s||2006||#154|
|NME Magazine||The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time||2014||#157|
|WCBS-FM||Top 1001 Songs of the Century||2005||#184|
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a song by American rock band Nirvana. It is the opening track and lead single from the band's second album, Nevermind (1991), released on DGC Records.
Paul Revere & the Raiders are an American rock band that saw considerable U.S. mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s. Among their hits are the songs "Kicks", "Hungry" (1966), "Him Or Me – What's It Gonna Be?" (1967) and the Platinum-certified classic No. 1 single "Indian Reservation" (1971).
The Sonics are an American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 1960. Their aggressive, hard-edged sound has been a major influence on punk, garage, and hard rock music worldwide, and they have been named as inspirations to Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, the Fall, and other major artists.
"Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock-and-roll song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry. The song was a major hit, peaking at number two on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides chart and number eight on its Hot 100 chart.
"Hang On Sloopy" is a 1964 song by Wes Farrell and Bert Berns, originally titled "My Girl Sloopy", originally recorded and made a hit by R&B vocal group The Vibrations. It was later covered by rock band The McCoys, and peaked at number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Roll Over Beethoven" is a 1956 hit single written by Chuck Berry, originally released on Chess Records, with "Drifting Heart" as the B-side. The lyrics of the song mention rock and roll and the desire for rhythm and blues to replace classical music. The title of the song is an imperative directed at the composer Ludwig van Beethoven to roll over in his grave in reaction to the new genre of music that Berry was promoting. The song has been covered by many other artists, including the Beatles and the Electric Light Orchestra. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 97 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
The Wailers, often credited as The Fabulous Wailers, were an American rock band from Tacoma, Washington. They became popular around the United States Pacific Northwest around the late 1950s and the start of the 1960s, performing saxophone-driven R&B and Chuck Berry rock and roll. Their biggest hit was "Tall Cool One", first released in 1959, and they have been credited as being "one of the very first, if not the first, of the American garage bands."
Mark Lindsay is an American musician, best known as the lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders.
"Do You Love Me" is a 1962 hit single recorded by The Contours for Motown's Gordy Records label. Written and produced by Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr., "Do You Love Me?" was the Contours' only Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. Notably, the record achieved this feat twice, once in 1962 and again in 1988. A main point of the song is to name the Mashed Potato, The Twist, and a variation of the title "I like it like that", as "You like it like this", and many other fad dances of the 1960s.
"School Days" is a rock-and-roll song written and recorded by Chuck Berry and released by Chess Records as a single in March 1957 and on the LP After School Session two months later. It is one of his best-known songs and is often considered a rock-and-roll anthem.
Beat the System is the seventh studio album of the Christian rock band, Petra. It was released in 1985.
LouieFest is an American music festival featuring the prominent contributions to rock and roll by bands and performers, both emerging and established, from the Northwest region. Organized in 2003 by John 'Buck' Ormsby and Kent Morrill, founding members of The Wailers, LouieFest is an annual fundraising event for the Wailers Performing Arts Foundation which provides scholarships, instruments, music lessons and mentoring for youth music education.
"Peter Gunn" is the theme music composed by Henry Mancini for the television show of the same name. The song was the opening track on the original soundtrack album, The Music from Peter Gunn, released in 1959. Mancini won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Arrangement.
Lawrence Fewell Roberts II, known as Robin Roberts and in his music career as "Rockin' Robin" Roberts, was an American singer best known for his performances in the early 1960s with The Wailers, a rock and roll band based in Tacoma, Washington. His best known record was the earliest cover version of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", recorded in 1960 and released the following year.
Jack Brown Ely was an American guitarist and singer, best known for singing the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie". Classically trained in piano, he began playing guitar after seeing Elvis Presley on television. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen and with them recorded "Louie Louie" in 1963; Ely's famously incoherent vocals were partly the result of his braces and the rudimentary recording method. Before the record became a hit Ely was forced out of the group and began playing with his new band, the Courtmen. Ely died in Terrebonne, Oregon, on April 28, 2015 at age 71.
The Kingsmen in Person is the first album by the rock band The Kingsmen, released in 1963. The album featured "Louie Louie", the band's biggest success. Jack Ely, the singer of "Louie Louie", appeared on no other track on the album because he quit before it was recorded.
Kearney Whitsell Barton was an American record producer active in Seattle, Washington from the 1950s to the 2000s. Particularly known for his 1950s and 1960s-era recordings of garage rock bands, Barton recorded many Pacific Northwest musicians such as The Fleetwoods, The Ventures, The Wailers, The Sonics, The Frantics, The Kingsmen, Quincy Jones, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Guitar, and Dave Lewis.
Don and the Goodtimes were an American garage rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1964. Fronted by Don Gallucci, former keyboardist of the Kingsmen, the group made a name for itself in the Northwest rock scene performing in a similar style as their contemporaries the Wailers and the Sonics. Over time, Don and the Goodtimes honed their vocal harmonies and earned two hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967, including their biggest hit "I Could Be So Good to You". The band released their album, So Good, and later experimented with psychedelia under the moniker Touch before disbanding in 1969.