This Sunday is April 11th, the day Richard Berry, composer of the greatest song in rock-‘n’-roll history was born in 1935. What song am I talking about? “Louie Louie,” of course, which is not only near and dear to anyone who lives in Portland, as it was most famously recorded here at 411 SW 13th Ave (on the second floor) by PDX’s own Kingsmen, but also to anyone who loves the sound of unpolished lunatics and enthusiasm.
How many songs can claim so much? It’s the most covered song in the world, it is forever cemented in people’s minds because of Animal House (even though the movie took place a year before the Kingsmen actually recorded the song. It was of course subject to an FBI investigation for obscene lyrics, which it did not have (though you can clearly hear an F-Bomb in the song if you know at which point to listen (it’s :54 seconds in, when the drummer dropped his drumstick and yelled “Fuck!” No joke, go listen).
But as far as this DJ is concerned, it’s also the first real punk song, a stupidly easy song to play that can be performed drunk and loud just like the Kingsmen did. Today on Esoteria I will be honoring International Louie Louie Day by holding my third ALL LOUIE LOUIE SHOW! Nothing but Louie Louie, covered in everything from Afrobeat to Surf Guitar to Girl Group and so many more.
This is the third time I’ve done this. Unfortunately, the first is lost in the archives of the station (it was before our modern method of storage) but part II is available for your listening pleasure.
I want to be sure and thank Eric Predoehl, Louie Louie master and the force behind The Louie Report at http://www.louielouie.net for sending me some very obscure songs and sharing anecdotes, it was an honor. He also runs a great Facebook group called The LOUIE LOUIE Party if you are so inclined. You can also learn more about the Maximum Louie Louie event in an interview with Eric from Radio Survivor.
Okay, and with no further ado:
- Honey Ltd. “Louie Louie” [Without Intro By Lee Hazlewood “Louie, Louie”] 1968
- The Flippers “Louie Louie” [b/w Sonny & Cher “The Letter”] 1965
- Ron Wilson and the Surfaris “Louie Louie” [Lost in the Surf] 1987
- From Wikipedia: Ron Wilson died of a brain aneurysm on May 12, 1989, one month short of his 45th birthday. Wilson had released an album of his songs, entitled Lost In The Surf, on Bennet House Records of Grass Valley, California, which was recorded in June 1987. A very small number of cassettes of this album were produced. Lost in the Surf included a cover of “Louie Louie“, complete with Scottish bagpipes.
- Jack Eely And The Courtmen “Louie Louie ’66” [b/w David’s Mood] 1966
- Pinker Tone ” Louie Louie” [b/w Mad Squarrels] 1982
- Mario Allison Y Su Combo “Louie Louie” [b/w Oh Yeah!] 1967
- Joske Harry’s Met Het Orkest The King Creoles “Louie Louie” [b/w Hoor ! Nu Zeg Ik Het Weer (There ! Ive Said It Again)] 1964
- The Soft Jews “Louie Louie” [Maximum Louie Louie Marathon] 1983
- Rhythm & Blues Inc. “Louie Louie” [b/w Honey Don’t] 1965
- John Lennon “Louie Louie” [Live] 1971
- This is a live recording from Lennon’s 31st birthday party
- The Ventures “Louie Louie” [À Go-Go] 1965
- Alexander Surmon “Da lui non hai” [Unknown] Year Unknown
- From Eric: “He recorded that one by special request for the LOUIE archives”
- Johnny Winter “Louie, Louie” [A Lone Star Kind Of Day] 1990
- Eric again: “The Johnny Winter version was recorded in early-mid 60s, but I don’t think it was released until it came out on CD.“
- The Crescent Street Stompers “Louie, Louie” [b/w Having A Party] 1975
- Luxury Liner “Louie Louie” [The First Louie Louie Spanish Compilation] 1997
- Ines “Louie Louie ” [ Louie Louie … Baby Come Back !! I Need You.] Year Unknown
- This is an excerpt of one giant medley that is the entire A-Side of this 12″
- Stanley Clarke, George Duke “Louie Louie” [b/w Never Judge A Cover By Its Book] 1981
- Simba “Louie Louie” [b/w Movin’] 1971
- Caffeine Junkies “Louie Louie” [Maximum Louie Louie Marathon] 1983
- Travis Wammack “Louie Louie” [b/w Upset] 1966
- Time Code Featuring Steve Sparling “Louie Louie” [Louie Louie] 1986
- The Pink Finks “Louie, Louie” [b/w Got Love If You Want It] 1965
- Gidget & Ghandi “Louie Louie” [Unknown] Year Unknown
- The providence on this one is pretty crazy. Read the whole story at the Louie Report. It involves this tape being found in a garbage can and members of Phish naked.
- Tiger Moon “Louie, Louie (Club Mix)” [Louie, Louie] 1988
- The Brooklyn Boys “Ludwig, Ludwig” [Maximum Louie Louie Marathon] 1983
- Barry White “Louie, Louie” [Beware!] 1981
- Also Eric: “One of RIchard Berry’s favorite versions of LOUIE was the Barry White version, as their voices were very similar and Mr. White did an arrangement that was close to the way Richard originally wanted for his 1957 recording.”
- Jacknicholson “Louie Louie” [Unknown] 1994
- This was shared mid-show with me by Jacknicholson drummer Joe MacColl. I just had to play it, and I’m glad I did, it’s awesome! He also shared: “my old band from the UK,i managed to blag [sic?] some free studio time and sold it to the band as “we have to record a version of Louie Louie””
- The Grateful Dead featuring Joey Covington “Louie Louie” [Live at the Family Dog] 1969