This song, is one of the most recorded in the World and I believe there are over 1600 versions. The largest hit, by the Kingsmen (# 2 BB 1963) they were a band from Portland Oregon and it was sung while Jack Ely was wearing braces and the Microphone was suspended from the ceiling to give a more “live” feel to the song. So it ended up being the most unintelligible recording, maybe to date. The lyrics in the original version are very audible and easy to understand. I will take look at the song and some of the more popular versions.
OK, so let’s get this started….
There is no question or challenge that this is and was the most popular version ever / #2 BB 1963
The Kingsmen from Portland Oregon.
Now this version was even investigated by the FBI, because the words were hard to understand, but that was due to the recording method and the braces in Jack Ely’s mouth. The song was actually the B side or the second choice.
The Kingsmen 1963 / Louie Louie /
But hold on, they would never have used or recorded this song, but when they heard another band in the Pacific Northwest, from Tacoma Washington, Rockin Roberts & the Wailers live, they loved it and decided to learn the song.
Yes that’s the Wailers that did Tall Cool One in 1959
Tall Cool One 1959 /
In 1961 Rockin Roberts & the Wailers recorded “Louie Louie” /
OK, that’s fine, but now Rockin’ Roberts & the Wailers, well they heard the original recording. The recording, by Richard Berry who wrote and recorded it in 1957, with his band the Pharaohs. But unfortunately after a few follow up recordings that did nothing, Richard sold the rights to “Louie Louie” to the head of Flip Records for $750 in 1959.
( Gary/I like the original)
OK, do we have it straight now?? I’m not sure I do.
That is the origin of the song, so let’s look at a few of the different recordings. Remember there are over 1600.
In 1964, the Beach Boys had a version on there Shutdown Vol. 2 Album
Louie Louie by the Beach Boys
Also in 1964 Otis Redding put it on the Pain in My Heart Album (I own it)
Louie Louie by Otis Redding
Again in 1964 Paul Revere and the Raiders put it on this album (I own it)
Louie Louie by Paul Revere and the Raiders /
I guess the only Instrumental was recorded by the Ventures in 1965 (yea I own this album too)
Louie Louie by the Ventures 1965 /
In 1978 a Heavy Metal or Hard Rock Group Motorhead recorded it
Louie Louie by Motorhead /
In the late 70’s the Punk Rock Band The Clash recorded the song
Louie Louie by The Clash
It is now 1981 and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts recorded the song
Louie Louie / Joan Jett & the Blackhearts /
We also had a little Reggae version in 1972 by Toots & the Maytals
Louie Louie by Toots & the Maytals
I will end, because there are thousand more, with a man we lost in 2014, Johnny Winter
Louie Louie by Johnny Winter
A Folk Rock trio out of L.A., in 1966 recorded a version in Spanish that went to # 30 BB
Louie Louie / The Sandpipers 1966 /
How to Play Louie Louie
Guitar tutorial on how to play the lead guitar solo for the song “Louie Louie” as played by The Kingsmen. This lesson covers in detail the guitar solo and chords. This song was written by Richard Berry.
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