At Last! (the Etta James song that Richard Berry recorded 6 years earlier)

I just learned that today is the 16th anniversary of the moment in time when Etta James was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame April 18, 2003 in Hollywood, California.

With this in mind, I thought I’d provide a little history lesson about a song that became Etta’s most popular recording.

In 1954, a few years before Richard Berry wrote and recorded LOUIE LOUIE, he actually recorded a cover version of a song with the Dreamers (pre-Blossoms) that would later become a hit for his future friend Etta seven years later…


https://youtu.be/cUt8p5rSgqQ

On YouTube, mutleybird of ModCollectibles.com shared this clip of this version, with this description:

Richard Berry sings lead here. I mixed the piano & background vocals to be heard better. The Dreamers are also Fanita Barrett, Jewell Cobbs, Patricia Howard, Gloria Jones, Annette Williams, and Nannette Williams.

The original version of this song was first shared as an instrumental in the 1941 musical film “Sun Valley Serenade,” then shared with full vocals in the 1942 musical film “Orchestra Wives.”


https://youtu.be/Jf0xWp675uA

ReysMusicLounge shared the backstory of this song with these YouTube notes…

“At Last” is a 1941 song written by Gordon Mack and Harry Warren for the musical film “Sun Valley Serenade” (1941), starring Sonja Henie and John Payne. Prior to release, it was performed in the film by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, with vocal by John Payne and Lynn Bari, dubbed by Pat Friday. Studio head Darryl Zanuck reportedly said, “There are too many big ones in this. Let’s save one for the next.” The “At Last” vocal by Payne and Bari was thus deleted, although instrumental versions remained in the film, including in the Black Ice Ballet finale.

“At Last” was added to Glenn Miller’s subsequent and only other film, “Orchestra Wives” (1942), starring George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford. Vocal was by Ray Eberle and, again, Lynn Bari, dubbed by Pat Friday.

Unreleased recordings of the song had been made in 1941 by Glenn Miller. A new version was recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in Chicago on May 20, 1942, and released by RCA Victor Records as a 78 single, catalogue number 27934-B, backed with the A side “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo”. The song reached number 9 on the Billboard pop charts in 1942, staying on the charts for nine weeks, and later became a standard.

In 1960, Etta James recorded a completely new arrangement of this song (courtesy of Riley Hampton) which was the title track of her Argo Records debut album “At Last!” (note the extra exclamation point!), which was released in April 1961.


https://youtu.be/S-cbOl96RFM

As Wikipedia pointed out, Etta’s version of this song appeared in the films Rain Man, Pleasantville, American Pie, and Inland Empire, and such television series as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Northern Exposure, Bates Motel, Criminal Minds, The Simpsons, The Good Place, Two Guys and a Girl, and Chuck. It has also been used in television commercials for such products as Jaguar automobiles, Hoover vacuum cleaners, State Farm insurance, and Applebee’s restaurants.

Spotify declared this version of the song as the #2 song played at weddings!

Richard and Etta first met during the recording of the song “Roll With Me, Henry” in 1955, but we’ll save that story for another time…

(Special thanks to Deborah Roldan-Dixon for alerting me to the anniversary of Etta’s Hollywood star!)

REFERENCE LINKS:
Wikipedia – At Last (the song)
ThisInsider.com – The 50 most popular first dance songs for weddings, according to Spotify

RIP: Gary Stewart, Rhino Records A&R legend

We recently lost Gary Stewart, who was an integral part of the Rhino Records legacy.

A lot of of Gary’s friends shared some beautiful thoughts about him on Facebook…

Rhino Records

“Gary Stewart was a great man and a dear friend. He was truly the architect and guiding spirit of Rhino. He defined what it meant to be a catalog label… not only for Rhino, but for the entire music industry. His passion for music and meticulous curation still provide the template for how we approach our releases to this day. He was not only the creative backbone of Rhino, but he also set the standard for our social consciousness and was a leader in the community whose impact will be felt for decades to come. If you have ever enjoyed a rare demo or b-side that you never knew existed, or marveled at holding a beautiful boxed set from one of your favorite artists, then you owe a debt of gratitude to Gary Stewart. Rest in peace my friend. ” – Rhino President Mark Pinkus

Shout! Factory

We want to inform you of some very sad news. Our beloved friend and business associate Gary Stewart passed away yesterday. We want you to know what he meant to us.

Gary was the finest human being that we’ve ever had the gift of knowing. Collectively, we worked closely with him for almost 100 years. He was instrumental to Rhino’s success, both artistically and spiritually, overseeing virtually every reissue we ever released. Beyond his passion and encyclopedic knowledge of music was his commitment to social responsibility and justice. He created Rhino’s social mission which we continued at Shout! Factory. We will miss Gary beyond what words can express but his relentless crusade to “do well by doing good” will live with us forever and be our guiding light.

Gary did some work for us in the early days of Shout! putting together a fantastic CD set on the music of New Orleans, and producing a CD release of highlights from This American Life. As Richard said, Rhino would not have been anywhere near the Company that it was without Gary. And given that, who knows if Shout! would have existed if it wasn’t for Gary.

Our hearts are broken over this…..a reminder to appreciate life, family and friends.

Love to our Shout! family,
Bob, Richard and Garson

Andrew Sandoval

I am deeply saddened to mark the untimely passing of my friend and mentor, Gary Stewart. I met him when I was 15 at the Rhino Record store and he literally changed my life. At my 18th birthday party in January 1990 I told him the thing I wanted most was a job at the Rhino Record label. A day or so later, he called me in the late afternoon and told me to report the next morning.

We collaborated on a lengthy list of projects after that, including the Elvis Costello and Love catalogs as well as, of course, The Monkees. We had a rocky relationship at times, but I think age was always a factor in this. Still, I may never have escaped my troubled home, been able to live on my own and be a self-supporting teenager if it wasn’t for Gary’s belief and innate good.

He really loved this song by The Monkees: “Dream World” – and included it on the Monkee Flips LP he compiled way before my time. I never dug it, until I got to a place where it would remind me of him. He was obsessive and generous and many other wonderful things people will tell you about elsewhere. But to me, he was real. The first time I had to leave Rhino, I wrote him a note about the difference between the music business and the music friendship. I gave him a copy of the Beethoven Soul album. I really loved the guy and he had to know it.

Your record collections would not be the same without him and many people in Los Angeles wouldn’t have had a dollar in their pocket or a roof over their heads if it wasn’t for him. Gary Stewart, goodbye from one of your oldest music friends. The business meant less than being your friend always. – andrew

Billy Bragg

It’s a terrible irony that it should be today – Record Store Day – that I have to tell you how shocked and saddened I am to hear of the death in Los Angeles of my dear friend Gary Stewart. I don’t think I ever met anyone from any record company who was as passionate about the music they put out as Gary was.

I first met him in the 1980s, when he worked for Rhino Records, an indie label that had grown out of the LA record store where Gary worked. His speciality was putting together CDs by artists that had been overlooked by pop history. Whenever I came to LA, he’d have a double CD retrospective of Johnny Rivers to give me, or an Elvis Costello bootleg. My own CD of obscurities ‘Reaching to the Converted’ was one of his projects – he came up with the title too.

He was also very active in progressive grassroots politics. He worked, among other causes, with LAANE, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, working on crucial initiatives like the city’s Living Wage Ordinance. Whenever I was in town, he’d give me a briefing on local issues and usually bring half a dozen activists to meet me after the show.

I saw him in February at the Troubadour Club. He’d been instrumental in getting the city council to declare 22nd February as ‘Billy Bragg Day’. It was a huge honour for me and it made him smile.

His passing will be deeply mourned by the LA progressive community and by all those in the record industry who genuinely love music.

Cindy Lee Berryhill

Gary Stewart was my mentor, my friend, my Rhino A&R man, someone who could talk to my son about chemistry and calculus, someone who let me bunk in his back cottage on a free range basis w my own key and code, he really cared about his cat – and his community, he loved my music and showered it with money and accolades, I admired Gary for his sort of super-nerd to super-hero life trajectory.
But real people can’t fly.
As an angel now you are free.
Fly at will Gary.
TLDR: Im shocked saddened and want my Gary back

Bill Mumy

R.I.P. Gary Stewart. It’s sad to know we’ll never talk about bands, albums, gigs or comic books again. Thank you kindly for always being real, supportive, smart and dedicated.

Sparks

In fond memory of Gary Stewart:

Getting an answer to the question of “why?” has become so much more unlikely for us in any situation after learning of the passing of our friend Gary.

We have known Gary for such a long time and were always buoyed, both selfishly by his incredible support for our band (from Rhino Records and beyond; the Sparks Spectacular in 2008 would not have happened without him), and probably more importantly in knowing that there was someone like him who was even more passionate and non-cynical than we about the music and popular culture we all loved.

We’ll deeply miss him.

Ron Mael & Russell Mael

Domenic Priore

Sitting half-way across the world, watching an outpouring of emotion from friends in L.A. about the passing of former Rhino Records A&R God Gary Stewart, who I knew back in the ’80s professionally. More recently, an identifiable friend who popped up at a good deal of the coolest things happening in town, always smiles. People outside of Los Angles should know that when Richard Foos and Harold Bronson created Rhino Records, Gary seemed to me to be the outward, social presence of the label… and they did DRASTICALLY CHANGE music for the better, MORE THAN ONCE. It came out of that just-post-’60s vibe, embraced Punk, Soul, Beatnik, Garage and was in place to help usher in Alternative by… PROVIDING ONE in the middle of a SUCK music biz environment otherwise. Gary wielded swords, gently, with a sense of community. Thank you, man.

Sandra Fluke

Shocked and saddened by the loss of Gary Stewart. My last memory of him was right on the mark for him: we spoke while he waited in line to vote for California Democratic Party assembly delegates and he asked me for advice about candidates running for school board in a district that wasn’t his own but where kids needed much better schools than they had and he refused to pigeonhole candidates along predictable political lines, instead looking for solutions that would truly lift up those kids.

Donations in his memory may be made to Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, or Community Coalition, organizations he gave so much to.”

Liberty Hill Foundation

The Liberty Hill community is devastated to learn that our dear friend and former board member Gary Stewart has passed away. On behalf of the entire Liberty Hill family, we extend our deepest sympathies to his loved ones. Gary dedicated nearly 30 years of his life to supporting Liberty Hill’s mission to advance justice and equality in Los Angeles. His friendship and counsel was invaluable, and his contributions to the Los Angeles community will serve as a legacy for future generations.

On the first “Best of LOUIE LOUIE” Rhino compilation, Gary is acknowledged under the “Special Thanks To All That Made This Recording Possible” category. On Volume 2, he is one of the five people credited for producing this compilation.

I love the idea that the New York Times once called Rhino Records “The MAD Magazine of the Music Business.”

Rest in peace, Gary. You will definitely be missed.

Happy International LOUIE LOUIE Day 2019!

Today is International LOUIE LOUIE Day!

It’s also the day when Richard Berry would have celebrated his 84th if he was still with us!

Today in the LOUIE LOUIE Party community page on Facebook, Len Sarfati shared a link to his LOUIE video with this special comment:

This is the 2009 comment Jack Ely made on the YouTube video I made back in 2007 “The True Lyrics to Louie Louie”

luiluiely • 10 years ago

Hello:

My name is Jack Ely and I sang those lyrics on that recording and you are pretty close but no cigar. I am constantly interchanging the words “we” and “me” as in “me gotta go” and “me see” and I also use “me” as the pronoun to keep it in the Jamaican dialect like, “me find little girl, she waits for me.” I also sometimes interchange “ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya” for “nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” but which are which? I do say “think of little girl, ah, constantly.”


https://youtu.be/wx-8_GI4d2c

Len also shared the followup ….

I responded by thanking him for his comment, then I also said something dumb along the lines of ‘thanks for not suing me for posting this.’ His response was…

luiluiely • 10 years ago

I don’t think anyone should be able to sue anyone about Louie Louie unless they are making money off my vocal performance, which no youtube user is. After (all) Louie Louie is Americas’ song, and I’m just grateful I had the good fortune to be able to show that to the world.

So there you have it, Jack Ely’s response to Len’s video “The True Lyrics to Louie Louie” …. by the one person who would know exactly what was being sung on the Kingsmen’s 1963 recording …. the original vocalist!

We do miss our friends Richard and Jack, but their music lives on…

Anyways, today’s a great day to celebrate Richard’s most famous song, so let’s give it to ’em right now, OK?

Go listen to or perform your favorite version of LOUIE!

Go visit your favorite record store!

Go dance and shout and work it on out!!

Go check out some LOUIE LOUIE YouTube clips!

…. and then, there’s this one I’m quite attached to….


https://youtu.be/y5bL7lcCwuM

REFERENCE LINKS:
The Official International Louie Louie Day webpage
The LOUIE LOUIE Party community page on Facebook

a Seattle LOUIE update + Little Bill Birthday Party

Time has such a funny way of sneaking up on us. Some folks are really good at keeping track of such things. For me, it’s a serious struggle. There never seems to be enough time to do it all, and by the time I get around to finishing things, so many of the folks involved have moved on.

Such is the challenge of this under-funded, more-or-less self-funded documentary project that’s taken much longer than ever expected to finish. Sometimes I’m able get some serious traction on this project… be it assembling the rough cut, coordinating the various elements from owners of miscellaneous puzzle pieces, and otherwise juggling the big story involving multiple personalities, each with their own unique stories to tell.

Other times, it feels like I’m just spinning wheels in the mud, moving in relative slow motion while the rest of the world is zipping by in the fast lane.

Last month, I celebrated another anniversary of my existence, which happened to be a multi-decade number that I didn’t expect to sneak up when it did, but what are you going to do? To quote a guy named Jerry that once shared some personal memories for this very documentary project, “You can’t let go and you can’t hold on… You can’t go back and you can’t stand still….”

In times like these, there’s nothing more therapeutic than a good road trip. There’s no time like today, and no better time to shake up the usual schedule with a fun + productive excursion.

And so, seventeen days ago, exactly one week after my big day, I took a leap of faith, and jumped onto a plane to celebrate the 80th anniversary of existence of my friend Bill Engelhart aka “Little Bill,” just because it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate my own birthday with someone else’s birthday. The fact that it was also the birthday of my mother’s mother… just added some extra spark to the journey.

Thanks to the gracious hospitality of my nephew Brian in the Seattle area, a relatively cheap online airline ticket deal and Toro, the “Uber / Airbnb” type equivalent of car rentals, I was set for another Northwest adventure.

Less than 24 hours after I landed at the SeaTac airport, I arrived at the Triple Door for the big birthday event, and the very first person I see as I walk up to the door is the man himself – Little Bill Engelhart, who arrives at the exact same time that I do. He tells me “I knew you’d be here!”

It’s a festive event, and I see a ton of friendly faces there…. Bill’s family; Pat Lee, who was helping Bill with wheelchair logistics, and assisted me with soundboard recordings; Merri Sutton, who continues to be involved with so many great NW events, and a whole bunch of incredible musicians (Randy Oxford, Patti Allen, Tommy Morgan, Buck England, and sooo many others…) that are all there to pay tribute to a genuine musical legend of the Pacific Northwest.

https://youtu.be/vw0-JkyURPA

After some beautiful speeches made in his honor, Little Bill begins the concert with a powerful rendition of his 1959 hit record “I Love An Angel.” After that, it’s a cavalcade of various musicians that worked with Bill over the years, with some additional performances by members of the United By Music North America (UBMNA) organization.

On Monday, I met up with my old friend Barry Curtis, who was a member of the Kingsmen between 1963 and 2005. With big thanks to Grinders Italian Restaurant, I was able to shoot a brand new interview, following up some relatively new developments in the big LOUIE story. Barry also reminded me of a band he witnessed while he was attending A. C. Davis High School in Yakima, WA.

Has anyone heard of an acapella doo wop group known as the Silvertones, featuring Harper Morrison, Jr, Bobby Carter, Hilton Shelly, Milton Shelly? if so, please drop me a line!!

I also wound up doing a really quick little visit with Andy Duvall, a founding member of the Playboys, one of the earliest bands to ever cover Richard’s most famous composition.

Tuesday was spent in Tacoma. I spend most of the day hanging out with my new friend Ray Michelsen, who told me about his time with the Sonics, and how he wound up bringing his pal Gerry Rosalie into the group, who wound up replacing him on vocals after he dropped out. With Ray’s help, I was able to shoot more footage of Tacoma, which will be a great asset for the project.

As I always do, whenever I visit the area, time was spent visiting various record stores. I was able to thank Steve Gaydich of Rocket Records again for his generous donation to the project, and made a quick stop at Golden Oldies to say hello to longtime LOUIE supporter Jeff Miller.

I also visited a place i never visited before – a location some folks might consider “hallowed ground.”

former location for Spanish Castle Ballrooom, Des Moines, WA

former location for Spanish Castle Ballrooom, Des Moines, WA

Wednesday was my last day in Seattle before leaping onto a plane to go home that night. I finally got around to visiting Bop Street Records, which I’ve known about for years, but never quite got around to visiting until now. Having seen this store listed on various lists of “best record stores in America,” I can indeed verify that is indeed a mother lode of cool vintage vinyl.

Bop City Records, Seattle, Washington

The autographed record shelves were also pretty cool. Great to see that Buck Ormsby was part of that.

Bop City Records, Seattle, Washington

When I saw the first Rhino “Best of LOUIE LOUIE” LP prominently displayed at one of the front racks at the front of the store, I knew this was a place of kindred spirits, which was certainly reinforced by my initial conversation with owner Dave Voorhess. I felt like I was barely scratching the surface of this wonderfully eclectic record store when I finally received a phone call I’d been waiting for.

Little Bill was ready for a new interview, and I was more than happy to drive to his home for that opportunity. I had interviewed Bill a handful of times, but there were certain topics I wanted to revisit, and Bill was more than happy to fulfill this request.

I do feel that Bill is indeed a treasure, which is reinforced whenever I read his books, see his memories shared on Facebook, or have the privilege of seeing him in person whenever I’m in the Seattle area. I wish more dedicated music enthusiasts outside of the Pacific Northwest knew about him, but with any luck, I hope to remedy the situation with the completion of this film of mine… which I hope I can finish in the near future.

FORWARD!!

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net

RIP: Dick Dale, legendary surf guitar player

Eleven days ago, we lost Dick Dale, an innovative guitarist that inspired a generation of musicians. He was called the “King of the Surf Guitar,” as he somehow created a music genre that celebrated two things that he truly loved – surfing and guitar playing.

He was born Richard Monsour in Boston, Massachusetts in 1937, and learned how to play various musical instruments at an early age, including piano, trumpet, tarabaki (drums), and guitar. His Lebanese father taught him the Middle Eastern scales that would provide the foundation of what we now call “surf music.”

When his father, a machinist, took a job working for Hughes Aircraft Company in the Southern California aerospace industry, the family moved to El Segundo, California in 1954, and Dick’s senior year in high school took place in Southern California.

Richard originally had dreams of becoming a country music singer, and played at some of the local country western bars where he met a guy by the name of Texas Tiny, who gave him the name “Dick Dale” because he thought it was a good name for a country singer.

Fast forward to 1962, and Dick Dale and The Del-Tones are playing almost every Friday and Saturday night at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim. The year before, Dick Dale and The Del-Tones had some breakthrough performances at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa and released their first single- “Let’s Go Trippin.'” During this period, Dick was also collaborating with Leo Fender and Freddie Tavares to develop new musical equipment that could handle Dick’s guitar playing. As Leo Fender stated to the various media outlets, “When it can withstand the barrage of punishment from Dick Dale, then it is fit for the human consumption.”

Seven years prior to that, Richard Berry was working at the very same venue – the Harmony Park Ballroom, working with the Rillera Brothers in a band known as the Rhythm Rockers, some of who would also work with Dick Dale as members of the Del-Tones. It was at this venue with this band, that Richard wrote his most famous composition in 1955 (LL), which would be released on Flip Records two years later.

In 1992, I was visiting Anaheim for the Rock Bottom Remainders premiere performance in conjunction with the ABA convention and Dave Marsh‘s LL book, hoping I could sweet talk Richard into shooting a segment with me at the old Harmony Ballroom location, but the timing just didn’t work out.

The next time I visited the location, the building had already been bulldozed, and the land was about to be converted into space for apartment buildings.

In 1995, James MacLeod and I did a special road trip to Southern California. James had family out in Joshua Tree area, as his grandfather William “Bill” Keys maintained a homestead there for sixty years, which all became part of the designated national park in 1994. James had talked to Dick about this family history, and was invited to visit and shoot some video at Dick’s ranch in the nearby community of Twentynine Palms.

On June 14th, James and I spent the afternoon visiting with Dick, capturing some footage of Dick discussing his colorful career, his time with the Rillera brothers at the Harmony Park Ballroom, the politics of a certain plant (the subject of James’ documentary) and an appreciation of a certain song I’ve been documenting.

I had heard about Dick Dale’s animal sanctuary at his home in the desert, but at that point in time, the animals were long gone, and the only critter left was a scrawny parrot that was missing a lot of feathers.

Dick was especially proud of his first and only gold record award, which he received for the soundtrack of the feature film Pulp Fiction directed by Quentin Tarantino. I distinctly remember a very spirited conversation with Dick about this film, which he believed was a non-violent comedy. That being said, we were in full agreement that it was a great film that really boosted Dick’s career.

I don’t remember discussing his health, but it certainly became a bigger issue in the last ten years. I didn’t realize he developed rectal cancer in the 1960s, which was treated, but then came back to haunt him. At various points of his life, he had been told he had a few years to live, but he somehow defied the odds, and continued to live his life as he chose, playing rock and roll for a massive fanbase that seemed to keep growing each year.

Dick’s health situation continued to get worse. Not only did he suffer from diabetes, but he also refused to go on dialysis. Part of his stomach + intestines had been removed, he was attached to a colostomy bag and the pain from his vertebrae that were so damaged that he remarked “every time I stand up it’s like a double-edge sword going into my spine.”

According to the obituaries I’ve read, there was no definitive cause of his death, but it was mentioned that he was treated for heart failure and kidney failure prior to his demise. I have a feeling it was a combination of various factors that contributed to his passing.

I remember being blown away by the last performance I saw of him a few years ago. For a guy dealing with excruciating pains, he continued to put on an incredible performance, amongst some of the best shows I’ve ever seen him do and I’d already witnessed at least six, maybe ten Dick Dale concerts.

With the passing of Dick Dale, the family is left with a lot of expenses from his old hospital bills and his funeral. A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations. Dick’s wife Lana shared this message:

As many of Dick’s fans now know, Dale passed away late Saturday night, coincidentally about the same time he would have been ending one of the thousands of shows he performed at since 1955.

Because of laws that govern burials, I was left with a limited amount of time (days-not weeks) to find a suitable place for Dick’s new home.

On Sunday afternoon, Joey and I found just the place where Dick Dale music lovers could visit, sit under the shade of a tree and strum their guitars, strike up a conversation, but to fund that site I was faced with an expense of over $55,000.00 and that does not even cover medical expenses.

Dick was hospitalized for the past thirty days, often under intensive care.

Like many performers from the mid fifties, when Dick began his career, travel expenses touring consumes most of the pay received, so, at this time in Dick’s career, being very sill, he was unable to tour much.

Compounding that predicament, because of the advent of Napster and other media where people can upload music for free, entertainers royalties from music composed was reduced to pennies.

As stated above, I am not only devastated by my husbands death, but I am faced with a very short period of time to obtain funds which I do not have, to purchase the grave site mentioned above, a place Dick deserves for all the joy he brought to thousands of fans since 1955, the past fifteen years while he was severely ill.

I am personally reaching out to you for help. I need to complete this campaign in days not weeks. Please, please help Dick.

I will personally thank every person who contributes to this fund, no matter the amount.

Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from the 1995 interview with Dick, which had never been shared before.


https://youtu.be/5ZthfYaWzok

Rest in peace, Dick. You shall not be forgotten.

– Eric Predoehl of LouieLouie.net

P.S. Jim Washburn shared an excellent send-off for Dick Dale in OC Weekly which include some wonderful memories of visiting Dick Dale with Jonathan Richman, some of which involved Dick discussing his never-made movie of a superstar guitar player, and how he taught his dog to surf in the swimming pool. It’s a keeper!

___________________

REFERENCE LINKS:

GoFundMe – Dick Dale Funeral-Medical Expenses Fund
Wikipedia – Dick Dale
Pittsburgh City Paper – At 78 and with myriad health issues, surf-rock legend Dick Dale plays through the pain (July 2015)
Dick Dale – LOUIE of the Week (2009)
Barry Rillera, Bobby Kennedy, Demi Moore + Five Degrees of LOUIE – LOUIE of Week
LOUIE LOUIE and Surf Music
OC Weekly – Rock in Peace, Dick Dale and Greg Topper by Jim Washburn

LOUIE on TV – part 6 (Happy Days, Fall Guy + Meatloaf)

This week, the latest LOUIE on TV update is provided by two longtime LLama associates !!

We begin with two updates from special LLama associate Clay Stabler:

Happy Days (CBS)
Season 8 / episode 5 / 1980-12-09
“Joanie Gets Wheels”

A version of LL plays on Potsie’s car radio from 3:45-3:52. Didn’t recognize the version. Sounds like a Kingsmen imitation.

Fall Guy (ABC)
Season 4 / episode 5 / 1984-10-17
“Terror U.”

Lee Majors and team are visiting “Gamma House” and LL plays from 7:16-8:54 and intermittently in the background until 10:33. Sounds like another Kingsmen imitation but not sure. Can anyone else tell?

…. and an update from special LLama associate Jeff Stretch Riedle:


Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell (Classic Albums) (Image Entertainment)

Stretch Riedle provides the description for this one..

NEWSFLASH! Although this was made in 1999, it was just tonight that I saw it for the first time. On Amazon Prime, I watched a video/documentary entitled “Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell (Classic Albums)“. At 40:17 Ellen Foley makes a reference to Louie Louie. Besides being one of my favorite rock artists, there is now a connection between Meat Loaf and LL. The world is saved!

Bar Louie (the gastropubs) !!

This week, it’s been a whirlwind of activities for yours truly with a few days in Seattle, starting with Little Bill’s party a few days ago, but in the meantime….

Have you seen this TV commercial?

Bar Louie is the shared name of a bunch of gastro pubs scattered across the USA.

Here’s an official description from their webpage:

A truly unique social gathering place, Bar Louie is a neighborhood bar and eatery with handcrafted cocktails, a featured selection of local and regional beers with over 20 taps, unique wines and craveable food in an inviting, urban atmosphere. Since 1990, our loyal guests have come to Bar Louie to eat, drink and be happy with old friends while making new ones.

With nearly 140 locations across the country, Bar Louie combines the consistency of a national brand with local appeal. No two Bar Louie restaurants are alike, but each has a modern, relaxed vibe that expresses the brand’s identity. We’ve taken the bar experience to new heights, attracting an affluent 25-44 year-old crowd that enjoys premium cocktails, local brews, great food and hanging with friends.

“Each individual Bar Louie contains its own set of diverse characteristics, yet we offer operational systems and a roadmap to set up franchisees for success,” said Bar Louie Development. “Our franchisees experience the best of both worlds – they benefit from proven operating systems and home office support, but also have the flexibility to cater to the local neighborhood flavor.”

Don’t take our word for it? Just hear what our franchisees have to say:

“Bar Louie is the one of the most exciting concepts in my portfolio. Their support center is very open-minded and truly embodies a culture of freedom within a framework. It’s a fun franchise that takes pride in the food and drinks they serve, translating into a very lucrative investment on our part.” – Murad Fazal, owner and operator of Bar Louie, Subway and Dunkin Donuts.

Catchy tune, eh? It sounds like a brand new recording* by the Kingsmen!

Here’s a current map for the current locations in the USA. So far, there’s only three locations on the West Coast, and they’re all in Southern California.

_________________

* Yes – a NEW Kingsmen recording for 21st century.
Please take note.

Big thanks to big sister Ann Casey for letting me about this one, as these gastropubs are not yet active in my neighborhoods…

Reference Links:
BarLouie.com
BarLouie – the Facebook page
iSpot.TV page for Bar Louie TV commercial

Happy 80th Birthday for Little Bill Engelhart

This weekend, it’s an 80th birthday celebration for Little Bill Engelhart, a genuine Northwest music legend.

Little Bill was, and is a very important player in the legend of the song LOUIE LOUIE.

Bill was the founder of the Blue Notes, the very first white teenage rock ‘n’ roll band based in Tacoma, Washington, which was a truly radical idea at the time. Back then, these guys had the nerve and gumption to rent their own halls and produce their own shows “D.I.Y.” style before the term was even conceived. During one particularly memorable show, the dancehall was overbooked and the Tacoma police threatened to shut down the event. The band pleaded with the police to play “just one more song,” which lasted something like 30 minutes, which led the city of Tacoma to forbidding the Blue Notes from ever playing within city limits again.

When the Blue Notes went into the recording studio to record what would have been their first record, Dolton Records of Seattle, took an interest in their recordings and chose to release one of their songs “I Love An Angel,” renaming the band as Little Bill and the Bluenotes, which didn’t sit well with some of the other members of the Blue Notes. Two of the members – Buck Ormsby and Robin Roberts, left the Blue Notes to join the Wailers, another Tacoma band that was getting a lot of attention.

In 1961, both Little Bill and the Wailers released cover versions of a then-obscure song titled “LOUIE LOUIE,” written by Richard Berry.

Little Bill released his LOUIE LOUIE recording under the name of Little Bill with The Adventurers and Shalimars on the Topaz Records label, and the Wailers released a LOUIE LOUIE recording by (their part-time singer) Rockin Robin Roberts on their artist-owned label, Etiquette Records*.

Both of these 1961 recordings could be considered the “missing link” between Richard Berry’s 1957 recording and the Kingsmen‘s 1963 recording (with an honorable mention going out to Paul Revere & the Raiders, who also released a 1963 recording of the song).

And the rest, as they say, is history*..

Anyways, Sunday, March 17th is the big day when Little Bill celebrates his 80th spin around the sun.

That evening, there will be a big concert event for Little Bill at the Triple Door in Seattle celebrating his 80th year of existence as well as his 63 years as a professional musician.

The official event page on Facebook provides some details on this one:

You won’t want to miss the lineup of musicians belting out the blues to honor Little Bill. Performers include Patti Allen, Tommy Morgan, Buck England, Mark Riley, Randy Oxford, Rod Cook, Billy Stapleton, Chris Leighton, Billy Barner, Jim King, Jeff Menteer, Angelo Ortiz, United by Music North America, Reverend Dave Brown (poetry), Hadi Al-Saadoon on trumpet, Terry Morgan on bass, Jesse Weston on the keyboard, Billy Joe on trumpet, and Pat Lee (assistant on stage to Little Bill). Of course, the guest of honor, Little Bill, will be performing and there will also be other surprise guests.

This sounds like a fun one, and I’m seriously tempted to make a flight to Seattle to celebrate this special event.

In the meantime, here’s a never-before seen 10 year old clip of Little Bill performing his first record “I Love An Angel” – 50 years later… which is now 60 years later …


https://youtu.be/yeuKt01FYSI

… and then there’s that OTHER song


https://youtu.be/7CKSGkGajpM

* * * * * * * * *

* There is more to the story behind the two 1961 LOUIE LOUIE records that I didn’t disclose in this brief posting.

You can learn more details about those two records by visiting Peter Blecha’s “Etiquette Rules!” HistoryLink article.
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Reference Links:
Official event page at Facebook
Triple Door ticket details
Little Bill & the Blue Notes- official webpage
PNWBands.com – Little Bill & the Bluenotes
Northwest Music Archives – Little Bill & the Bluenotes

a plea for my friends James MacLeod and Deborah Merchant

Today, I’m sending a shout-out for two friends that are battling cancer right now, and could use some assistance.

James MacLeod is a good friend I’ve known for three decades. I’ve worked with him on more video productions than I can keep track of …. with quite a few of them involving world leaders, high tech geniuses, and/or entertainment icons.

Jim and I have had lot of adventures, often helping each other out as we work on our respective projects.

James is an associate producer on the LOUIE documentary project I’ve been producing, joining forces as we’ve visited Richard Berry in Los Angeles, as well as Dick Dale* at his home near Joshua Tree Park, a park that included land where James’ grandfather William “Bill” Keys maintained a homestead for sixty years.

James has been producing a documentary on Chet Helms and the Summer of Love, and I’m an associate producer on that one as well. Chet was a friend of ours, and in fact, both Chet and I got talked into being photographers for James’ wedding to Norma Lambert, which is still going strong after 15 years.

Jim and I share a lot in common.

Both of us spent the last few years taking care of our ailing mothers, and they both passed away in 2018. For both of us, they were our last parent. As fate would have it, our pal and LOUIE co-producer Jesse Block also lost his last parent last year, which I guess makes us part of a club that none of us had any intentions of joining.

Anyways, soon after the passing of Jim’s mother, he discovered he had prostrate cancer, and is now undergoing radiation treatments. He hasn’t worked since early December 2018, and the absurd co-payments are actually pushing him towards bankruptcy.

Yes, the health care industry in the USA these days has a lot to be desired these days, and I don’t expect things to improve in the immediate future, considering the current political situation.

if you can, please visit James MacLeod’s GoFundMe page and make a donation.

Unfortunately, James is not the only friend dealing with cancer…

Deborah Merchant is another good friend dealing with that rotten cancer thing. For her, it’s stage 4 metastatic colon cancer that’s spread to her liver and abdomen. She’s dealing with chemo right now, which is her “new BFF.”

Deborah is a beautiful and generous soul that’s always given back more than she’s received. Before she got hit by this thing, she was working for a food bank, helping distribute food from various Silicon Valley tech groups to organizations and people in need.

Deb’s also been a great advocate for the critters- horses, cats, dogs, birds…. and all the other members of the animal kingdom.

I really LOVED this self portrait she created!

I know it’s a rotten time to solicit donations, but if you can, please visit Deborah Merchant’s GoFundMe page and make a donation.

My thanks to all those that can make a donation for my friends.

ERIC PREDOEHL
(producer of LOUIE documentary project and these LouieLouie.net pages)

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* Dick Dale also has cancer, and is literally touring to stay alive.

UPDATE: 4 days after this posting, we lost Dick Dale to cancer. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

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Reference links:

James MacLeod – GoFundMe page
Deborah Merchant – GoFundMe page
Chet Helms and Summer of Love documentary- official webpage
Digital-Desert: Bill Keyes
Billboard – Ailing Surf Guitar Legend Dick Dale Is Touring to Stay Alive — Literally

LOUIE on TV – part 5 (Women of LL)

It’s time for Part 5 of the “LOUIE on TV” posts, which by an unplanned coincidence, feature TV shows where women are the lead characters.

We’ll start with the most recent TV clip, which my friend Krista Wood alerted me to..

SMILF (Showtime)
Season 1 / episode 8 / December 31, 2017
“Mark’s Lunch & Two Cups of Coffee”

Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) meets up with a man on Tinder who she believed to be her estranged father, who turns to be someone else. Afterwards Bridgette meets up with her mom Tutu (Rosie O’Donnell), then some friends at a bar, and they all drink ‘n’ dance to the sounds of Julie London singing LOUIE LOUIE somewhere around the 27:30 timeline.


Grace Under Fire (ABC)
Season 2 / episode 20 / 1995-03-14

“A Night at the Opera ” 

(no actual LOUIE performance)

Grace (Brett Butler), a fan of opera, wins two tickets to an opera performance, but can’t find anyone to join her for this show. When she arrives at the opera, she meets a handsome Italian man (David Dundara) without a ticket, gives him the ticket and they both have a wonderful time. As Grace discusses how she doesn’t need understand Italian to appreciate opera, she adds “I like Louie Louie and I don’t understand it.” (18:28)

Both of those two clips can be seen via Amazon Prime.

The third clip is not available through official outlets but someone posted the entire episode on YouTube, which I’ve included in this post.

My Sister Sam (CBS)
Season 1 / episode 11 / 1987-01-12
“Club Dread”


While Patti (Rebecca Schaeffer) prepares for a night out at 60s-theme school dance, she discloses her phobias about dancing in public with her sister Sam (Pam Dawber). When they arrive at the dance, we immediately hear Jack Ely (former Kingsmen singer)’s re-recording of LOUIE LOUIE, which is very similar to the original 1963 Kingsmen recording. (14:50 to 18:13).



https://youtu.be/vktTF_tckRA

Big thanks to my friend Clay Stabler for the research support on these clips.

Reference Links:
SMILF on Tunefind.com
Grace Under Fire at Wikipedia
My Sister Sam on TVGuide.com