Update on the LOUIE LOUIE Indiana story

In 1964, two teenagers from a small town in Indiana got upset with the obscene lyrics that they thought heard in a new rock ‘n roll song on the radio, and decided they wanted to do something about it. They both wrote a letter to the governor.

Will Higgins, an investigative reporter with the Indianapolis Star, dug a little deeper into this story, and tracked down these two teenagers whose letters to Governor Matthew Welsh inspired a serious attempt to stop the Kingsmen‘s recording of LOUIE LOUIE from being broadcast in Indiana.

It’s quite a story. Neither of these former teenagers are identified, and based on what i can tell, they may be content to remain anonymous.

Then again, who knows? Sometimes people do change their minds, and this is quite a unique narrative…

Check out this report, which turned out to Will Higgins’ last article for Indianapolis Star, as he recently chose to retire from that organization. You can follow him at Twitter.

https://bit.ly/2TozSiq

New Year’s Day – Resolutions and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy

Today is New Year’s Day for 2019!

My primary New Year’s resolution is to work towards finishing more video projects, including the big project connected to this very website.

Some projects do take longer than expected to complete, and that one will likely create a new category in the List of Lists*..

In the meantime, here’s some never-before-seen videos from yours truly.

First, I’m sharing a video of a recent appearance of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, live at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco a few months ago.


https://youtu.be/GQFa92usKfI

Second, I’ve got a video of my friend Joey Myers discussing the special connection between the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and David Bowie.


https://youtu.be/8TRm2xzmwVY

There’s not an explicit LOUIE connection in these clips, but one could certainly argue the LOUIE connection via the “Five Degrees of LOUIE” concept, which was first discussed in 2014.

For more about David Bowie and the Legendary Cowboy, be sure to check this 2016 post I shared after Bowie’s death, which includes a clip of him acknowledging the Ledge connection.

This week, I hope to assemble a post that acknowledges the various people whose passings made our world a little sadder.

In the meantime, here’s a list of wonderful new year’s resolutions that seemed too good to not share. This comic strip was created by Grant Snider, who shared this wonderful creation in 2017 at his Incidental Comics Facebook page.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

– E.P. (producer/director/webpage guy for the LOUIE documentary project)

* (lists to be determined later)

Happy Holidays from LouieLouie.net!

image by Rudolf Koivu

We’d like to send a shout-out to all of our friends!

Happy Holidays to all – Merry Christmas, Joyful Hanukkah, Peaceful Solistice, Groovin’ Kwanzaa, Festive Festivus, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year and anything else you feel like celebrating!

Cheers!

E.P. of LouieLouie.net

Superman’s Christmas message

RIP: Penny Marshall, director, actor – LOUIE of the Week

Today, we’re remembering Penny Marshall, a funny and talented lady who died in her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night due to complications from diabetes.

Penny directed some very successful movies, starting off with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Whoopi Goldberg in 1986.

With her second film, “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, she became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.

She followed those films with “A League of Their Own” with Geena Davis and Madonna; “Awakenings” with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams; “Renaissance Man” with Danny DeVito, “Riding in Cars with Boys” with Drew Barrymore; and “The Preacher’s Wife,” a remake of the 1947 film, starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.

For a lot of folks, she was primarily known as “Laverne DeFazio” alongside Cindy Williams as “Shirley Feeney” in the “Laverne & Shirley” show, which ran for eight seasons, from 1976 to 1983.

To celebrate the legacy of Penny Marshall on this LOUIE-centric website, I’m sharing a special clip from “Laverne & Shirley” that ties quite nicely into the LOUIE universe.

This clip is from the episode titled “The Rock and Roll Show” which aired on January 25, 1983.

(Is that really Weird Al Yankovic on the keyboards? IMDB says so.)


https://youtu.be/pYR1NqyHPkU

Reference Links:

Wikipedia – Penny Marshall
IMDB – Laverne & Shirley “The Rock and Roll Show” episode
The Paley Center for Media – Laverne & Shirley “The Rock and Roll Show” episode

RIP: Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks

Last week, we lost Pete Shelley, lead vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter of Buzzcocks, one of the most significant and beloved of the original British punk bands. According to the reports, he died of a heart attack on December 6, 2018, in Estonia, where he lived.

I really enjoyed this band, who had a lot of really catchy songs. I saw the band at least three times when they visited the Bay Area.

I did a quick little online search to see if there were obvious connections between Buzzcocks and LOUIE LOUIE, and found this fun Twitter tidbit by John Maher, original drummer of Buzzcocks, who remembered an iconic moment when Jon the Postman followed up a Buzzcocks set with an inspired performance of LOUIE…

While it’s not a Buzzocks performance of LOUIE per se, it certainly falls well within the “Five Degrees of LOUIE LOUIE” principle, and thus gets the proverbial nod in these LouieLouie.net pages.

Certainly, if anyone has any recordings of Pete solo or with Buzzcocks doing that SONG, please send ’em my way, OK?

Meanwhile here’s a clip of Pete with his mighty Buzzcocks doing one of their most popular songs in San Jose, CA during their 2010 tour, captured for posterity by yours truly…


https://youtu.be/23b4UVaVYY8

Rest in peace, Pete. You shall not be forgotten!

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net

____________

Sidenote: For years, I referred to the band as “The Buzzcocks” and with the passing of Pete, I discovered that the band preferred to be known as simply “Buzzocks,” due in part to a certain TV show that incorporated their name. The Wikipedia page on Buzzcocks provided more information on this matter:

Buzzcocks’ name was combined with the title of the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks to create the title of the long-running UK comedy TV panel game show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Diggle claimed in his autobiography that he and Shelley had only granted the BBC use of their name under the impression that it would be a one-off, probably unsuccessful pilot, and that they are now mildly disgruntled that the name is more readily associated in Britain with the TV series than with their band. Shelley himself appeared on the programme in 2000, where host Mark Lamarr introduced Shelley by saying that without the Buzzcocks ‘there’d be no Smiths or Radiohead, and this show would be called Never Mind Joan Armatrading!

Celebrating Otis Redding – LOUIE of the Week (w/ chart info)

otis-redding

Today, I’m reminded it’s the 51st anniversary of Otis Redding‘s tragic death, so I’m recycling a post from two years ago when I visited the Otis Redding exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

As I mentioned in my original 2016 post, Otis Redding’s version of LOUIE LOUIE was released as part of his first album, which was unveiled one month after the Kingsmen‘s version of the song entered the Top Ten category on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for December 7th in 1963.

Looking at the Billboard charts for that week, you can see how Kingsmen single entered the Billboard Top Ten at #4, and the Paul Revere & the Raiders version of the same song entered the Billboard charts as #103 under the “Bubbling Under The Hot 100” category.

Cash Box magazine covered the same week with completely different numbers. The Kingsmen shared the #8 spot of the Cash Box Top 100 with Paul Revere & the Raiders, and Otis Redding entered the charts at #99 with the single release of “Pain In My Heart,” mistyped as “Pains In My Heart.”

For the next three weeks (December 14, December 21 + December 28), the Cash Box Top 100 awarded LOUIE LOUIE with the #2 slot, also shared by both Kingsmen and Raiders Revere & the Raiders.

On December 28th, Otis Redding received some Billboard attention with his “Pain In My Heart” single (which would be the same name as his debut album that would be unveiled a few days later) entering the charts as #109 under the “Bubbling Under The Hot 100” category, and would later peak at the #60 spot.

On January 1, 1964, Otis Redding’s “Pain In My Heart” album was released on Atlantic Records’ subsidiary Atco Records on January 1, 1964, and peaked at number 20 on Billboard’s R&B chart and at number 85 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

otis-redding-pain-in-heart

Not only does this album have an excellent version of LOUIE LOUIE, but it’s also got my all-time favorite cover version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and a catchy little number called “The Dog.”


https://youtu.be/xKEO9qgKN2o


https://youtu.be/HeN0JWloFG8


https://youtu.be/0ZW-j5zFYgc

Next month will mark the 55th year anniversary of this great album!

Right as I was posting this, I saw that my friend Andy Maggot shared Eddie Floyd‘s tribute to Otis, “Big Bird,” which was apparently written while Floyd waited in a London airport for a plane back to the United States for Otis Redding’s funeral.


https://youtu.be/clvrPmTx4n4

May the celebrations of Otis Redding and his music continue!!

__________

REFERENCE LINKS:

Wikipedia on Otis Redding’s “Pain In My Heart” LP
LouieLouie.net – Otis Redding LOUIE of the Week (Sept 2016)

The Mystery Woman?

Over the years, I’d had a handful of people send me this photograph of a big haired woman enjoying some music, which includes some Elvis Presley and the first Kingsmen album.

Can anyone identify this woman?

Just curious…

UPDATE: Joe Maccoll and Chester Taylor have informed me that this woman is Jane County of Wayne County & the Electric Chairs.

Ray Davies & the Kast Off Kinks – LOUIE of the Week

A few months ago, there was some excellent news with a big announcement that The Kinks would be getting together for a proper reunion after a 20 year hibernation!!

We’re not sure of the full details, but it appears that a new album is in the works, and the band “will probably be playing the local bar.”

In the meantime, I just spotted a new version of THE SONG by Ray Davies and a Kinks tribute band known as the “Kast Off Kinks,” which happened on Sunday, November 25th of this week.

Here’s details of this event, included with the official description of the YouTube clip shared by Mystery FOX, who shared some songs at their YouTube page:

The Kinks Konvention is an event that celebrates the music of the Kinks. It takes place every year in november at around the same date in a pub called The Boston Arms situated right in front of Tufnell Park Underground station in North London.

The Kast Off Kinks is a band playing Kinks songs. It comprises Dave Clarke on main vocals, rhythm and lead guitar and illustrious ex-Kinks members such as Mick Avory on drums, John Dalton on bass and Ian Gibbons on keyboards.

Over the years, it has become a ritual for Ray Davies to make an appearance on stage at the end of the set to perform “You Really Got Me”.

This year, Ray came back on stage to sing a second song: The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” that The KinKs used to perform in 1965.

God Save The Kinks.


https://youtu.be/Bvth2EqyDk8

Reference Links:
Billboard Magazine – The Kinks Frontman Ray Davies Reveals The Band Is Getting Back Together
Mystery FOX YouTube channel

The Ace of Cups – long awaited 1st album (non-LOUIE of the Week)

test

For the past 7 or so years, the LOUIE production team has also been quietly working on another project.

LOUIE co-producer Jesse Block has been directing a documentary on the band known as The Ace of Cups.

The Ace of Cups is a band that was formed in San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967. They were one of the first all-female rock bands, and their story is pretty incredible.

They played a lot of interesting shows, and Jimi Hendrix considered them of his favorite bands.

The band broke up after five years, and up until our friend Alec Palao assembled a compilation of previously unreleased recordings for a CD on Ace Records in 2003, there were never any commercial recordings of the band.

In 2011, the Ace of Cups reunited, and began the process of recording their very first album.

Jesse has been working diligently on documenting their journey, with fellow LOUIE producer Eric Predoehl joining him for some of the adventures..

The new album has been released this week, and available directly from High Moon Records or your favorite friendly neighborhood record store.

Tonight, if you’re in San Francisco, you’ll be able to see them for FREE at Amoeba Music.

In the meantime, here’s a little video snippet to wet your proverbial whistle, so to speak…

ACE of CUPS – "FEEL GOOD" w/ Prologue from Jesse Block on Vimeo.

REFERENCE LINKS:

Ace of Cups official webpage
High Moon Records
Wikipedia – Ace of Cups
San Francisco Chronicle – Ace of Cups, SF all-female psychedelic rock band overlooked in patriarchal ’60s, rises again
Jewish News of Northern California- Reuniting Ace of Cups: S.F.’s Summer of Love girl band

RIP: The Last of Richard Berry’s Pharaohs

Richard Berry & the Pharaohs 1956: Richard Berry, Noel Collins, Godoy Colbert, Joe Morgan

Sometimes these blog posts take a bit longer than usual to assemble. This was one of those posts.

It appears that all of the members of Richard Berry‘s Pharaohs have passed away.

To begin, let’s start off with a recap of the history of Richard Berry with the Pharaoahs..

The song LOUIE LOUIE was originally written by Richard Berry when he was singing with Rick Rillera’s Rhythm Rockers sometime in 1955. Richard was a special guest with the Rhythm Rockers when they were booked to play a season of Sunday night shows at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, California, which happened to be a few miles from the yet-to-be opened Disneyland amusement park. The band played a variety of musical styles, using Richard to sing many of the rhythm and blues songs. Among the other songs regularly performed by the band was a Cuban calypso number by Rene Touzet that featured a short, but very catchy little musical riff. Richard decided this little hook could be used as the primary melody of a standalone song he would create that would become LOUIE LOUIE.

At the time of creating this song, Richard was contractually bound as a recording artist signed to Modern Records, a label owned by the Bihari Brothers. Richard decided to save this song for his next recording deal at Flip Records, where he would have more freedom to create the music he wanted to release. While Richard Berry initially performed the song with the Rhythm Rockers, he decided he wanted to record his new music with some friends from Jefferson High School who already started a vocal group known as The Pharaohs. The Pharaohs featured two brothers – Godoy Colbert and Robert Harris, accompanied by Noel Collins. Godoy sang first tenor, Robert second tenor, and Noel sang baritone.

The first record that would be released by Richard Berry & the Pharaohs in 1956 featured “Take The Key (And Open Up My Heart) on the A-side and “No Kissin’ And A Huggin'” on the B-side. Their first recording session was recorded discreetly in 1955 while Richard was still under contract with Modern Records. Accompanying Richard and the Pharaohs, they were joined by a backing band that consisted of Plas Johnson on tenor sax, Jewel Grant on baritone sax, Ernie Freeman on piano, Irving Ashby on guitar, Red Callender on bass, and Ray Martinez on drums. Some of the other songs recorded at this session by Bunny Robyn at Master Recorders included “Take The Key,” and “You Are My Sunshine.”

When Richard’s contract with Modern finally expired in 1956, Richard and the Pharaohs quickly returned to the recording studio to record “LOUIE LOUIE,” “Rock Rock Rock,” “You Look So Good” and “Sweet Sugar You” between February and April 1956 at Hollywood Recorders. Stanley Henderson replaced Robert Harris, who had some other commitments at the time. The backup band for these sessions were mostly the same players, adding John Anderson on trumpet, and Earl Palmer would sometimes switch drum duties with Ray Martinez. Gloria Jones of Richard Berry’s Dreamers (and future Blossoms) provided some additional harmony vocals for LOUIE LOUIE, which was released in April 1957.

As fate would have it, the alliance with Flip Records only lasted a few years. While the original version of LOUIE LOUIE did achieve a certain level of success by selling 130,000 copies, it wasn’t enough to chart on a national level. As Flip Records proprietor Max Feirtag tried to talk Richard into writing “another LOUIE LOUIE,” which led to the creation of “Have Love, Have Travel,” there were some deep frustrations which ultimately led to their eventual split in 1959.

Richard Berry & the Pharaohs did continue to make more music, but not under that moniker. Richard linked up with producers Gary S. Paxton and Kim Fowley, who just had a big hit with “Alley Oop” by Gary’s studio band, The Hollywood Argyles. Godoy Colbert lived across the street from Kim Fowley, and wound up singing on a handful of singles by the Hollywood Argyles. Around that time, Eugene Maye, brother of Richard’s old friend Arthur Lee Maye (legendary baseball player and Doo-Wop singer), sang with Richard and the Pharaohs, recording a handful of singles for Paxton & Fowley, albeit marketed as solo Richard Berry music.

As Richard continued to explore his options as a solo artist, he regularly performed in the Los Angeles area, releasing a handful of records with a band he called the Soul Searchers.

Fast forward to February 1996.

Richard Berry & the Pharaohs 1996: Eugene Maye, Richard Berry, Robert Harris and Godoy Colbert

I’d been working on this LOUIE documentary for over 10 years, when Richard Berry invited me to a reunion of two of his prominent musical groups – Richard Berry and the Pharaohs, as well as Richard Berry and the Dreamers. It’s all part of a big show organized by the Doo Wop Society of Southern California in Long Beach California that also features Tony Allen, The Satellites/ Hollywood Flames, Leon Peels, Wally Roker of The Heartbeats. I made plans to be there. Together with my co-producer Jesse Block, we did the roadtrip for this once-in a lifetime opportunity, bringing our Betacam camera rig to capture this special moment.

The whole thing was absolutely magical. I met the Pharaohs, which consists of Godoy, Robert and Eugene. I was also introduced to the Dreamers, which included Gloria Jones, Annette Williams and Nannette Williams. We met a lot of wonderful people, caught some great musical performances and preserved some great stories for posterity.

(READ MORE about Gloria and The Dreamers by clicking here.)

The Dreamers – Annette Williams, Gloria Jones and Nannette Williams

After the show, a bunch of us went out for a late night dinner at a local Denny’s. We all had a great time with lots of laughs.

Ten months later, after a handful of other big life changes, I wound up making big plans to move to Los Angeles. An old friend offered me a job doing video production for a CD-ROM project. I figured this would be a great opportunity to hopefully connect with some industry folks to get some funding, and maybe even help Richard organize his stuff, including cataloging some of the live tape masters that were buried in his garage.

A few weeks before I was scheduled to move to Los Angeles, Richard Berry died of a heart attack on January 23, 1997 at the age of 61 years old.

The funeral for Richard was an extremely sad occasion. The Pharaohs were there, including Noel Collins, who wasn’t part of the last reunion, but he was on hand to say goodbye to his old friend.

1997 was a challenging year. Whatever good things that happened that year seemed to be overshadowed by massive layers of frustration. By the year’s end, I decided Los Angeles was not where I wanted to be at that point in time.

Godoy Colbert


Godoy Colbert

After Richard and the Pharaohs eventually branched off in different directions, The Pharaohs split off as a separate unit, shortened to “The Pharaos,” recording for Donna / Del-Fi Records.

Godoy went on to perform with such musical acts as The Exits, the Afro Blues, the Visitors, the Kuf-Linx, The Cyclones, and Free Movement who had a Top Five Pop and Top 20 R&B Billboard Music Chart hit with the 1971 single, “I’ve Found Someone Of My Own.”

Godoy Colbert was the first of the Pharaohs to leave the land of the living. Five years after the passing of Richard Berry, Colbert died at the age of 62 years old, on July 17, 2002 in Sacramento, California. Apparently, he had several forms of cancer including liver, colon, and prostate.

Eugene Maye

Eugene Maye

Eugene Maye was not only a member of the Pharaohs, but also one of the greatest advocates for the musical heritage of Jefferson High School, as well as the legacy of his brother Arthur Lee Maye. Eugene maintained a longtime friendship with his old vocal music teacher – Larry Larsen, whose tenure was also pivotal for Richard Berry’s musical education, as well as providing the outlet where Richard would meet Dorothy Adams, the woman who would become his wife in 1957.

Eugene and I shared a lot of conversations via telephone and emails over the years, and his passing a few years ago, which I only discovered about a few months ago, saddened me deeply. Oddly enough, it seems I’m still receiving spam emails from disreputable organizations pretending to be “Eugene Maye.”

Eugene left us on February 10, 2015.

Robert Harris

Robert Harris

It was just a few years ago when Robert got ahold of me to let me to know that he had restarted the Pharaohs, creating some brand new recordings with an new group of singers with “old school flavor.”

Robert shared this introduction for the project at his CD Baby page for the band:

The Pharoahs were formed in 1953 under the name The Goldentones. After seeing the movie “The Ten Commandments” in 1955, I changed the name to “The Pharoahs”. Our first music contract and single release with Richard Berry came in 1955. We then became known as Richard Berry and the Pharoahs. “Louie Louie”, “Have Love Will Travel” were released on the west coast and has since become the #1 party record in the world and peaking at #9 on the all time rock and roll list. Many groups have covered these famous hits and have re-recorded them.
Currently, The Pharoahs have reunited to create a blend of old school with todays sound. From ballads to uplifting tracks that are written to inspire the young and experienced ear, the Pharoahs have indeed withstood the sands of time.

Here’s a YouTube sample of Robert’s Pharoahs…


https://youtu.be/fC2p6g9D_J0

Robert passed away on the day after Christmas last year – December 26, 2017.

Noel Collins

Noel Collins

Noel Collins was a founding member of the Pharaohs, who I met briefly at Richard’s funeral, but I unfortunately never got around to interviewing. I believe he died a few years ago, but I haven’t been able to get any specific details about his passing.

Noel was the the guy sitting in the car with Richard Berry in the parade photo that was used for the cover on Ace Records “Have Louie Will Travel” CD.

Stanley Henderson and Joe Morgan

Stanley Henderson and Joe Morgan are two other Pharaohs I haven’t been able to track down, so I’m guessing they’re no longer with us.

From what I’ve been able to determine, it appears that we’ve lost all of the Pharaohs.

If anyone has any thoughts or memories they’d like to share of any of the Pharaohs, please feel free to post some words in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you… especially anything regarding the whereabouts of Noel Collins, Stanley Henderson and Joe Morgan, which remains a mystery.

In the meantime, here’s a clip that I created from the last public appearance of Richard Berry and the Pharaohs on February 24, 1996 at Long Beach, California.

Big thanks to Jim Dawson for his encyclopedic liner notes on the Richard Berry compilation album released by Earth Angel in 1986.

REFERENCE LINKS:

The Doo Wop Society of Southern California (RIP)

Godoy Colbert memorial page

Godoy Colbert – Popdose.com – Soul Serenade: The Free Movement

Godoy Colbert – Soulwalking.co.uk- The Free Movement

Godoy Colbert – Rockabilly.nl – The Hollywood Argyles

Robert Harris – (New) Pharoahs CD Baby webpage

The Dreamers & The Blossoms – the Doo Wop Society of S.C. page
http://www.electricearl.com/dws/dreamers.html

Wikipedia – The Blossoms/ The Dreamers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blossoms

The Blossoms/ The Dreamers- Soulful Kinda Music
http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/blossoms.htm

Wikipedia – 20 Feet from Stardom

LOUIE LOUIE roadtrip (w/ mention of Gloria’s birthday party)