Grab your woo, man, it’s LOUIE LOUIE time!
This week’s LOUIE is by Jeff & the R.F.’s, a Tacoma band created by my friend Ron Fowler and his brother Jeff. This one was posted for the LOUIE FEST of 2007, a Tacoma event that celebrated the wonders of LOUIE LOUIE. In this version, the band performs a little bit of the famous Nirvana song before paying tribute to the granddaddy of all garage rock anthem – LOUIE LOUIE.
This week, I’d thought I’d point the mighty LOUIE LOUIE spotlight towards one of my favorite semi-forgotten LOUIE LOUIE recordings of 1968.
I’ve never been a fan of naming a musical group after a city, state, country or worse yet, an entire continent. To me, it always seemed like a silly and extremely lazy idea that might have made sense to some stoned hippies in the 60’s and 70’s, but I couldn’t imagine anyone continuing that type of practice in 2014, when bands really need a unique name to distinguish themselves from any other existing entity.
That being said, I LOVED the band Africa, which released one album in 1968.
The album was called “Music From Lil Brown,” which was an inspired response to “Music From Big Pink” by The Band (another band with a silly name), which also came out in 1968.
The front cover of “Music From Lil Brown” was an inspired swipe from the back cover of the “Music From Big Pink”….
.. and the back cover of “Music From Lil Brown”…
…borrowed from the front cover of “Music From Big Pink” …
Africa was a band that consisted of doo-wop veterans Brice Coefield, Gary Pipkin, Chester Pipkin, Ed Wallace, and Freddie Wills, who came from such vocal groups such as the Sabres, the Valiants, the Untouchables, the Electras, and the Alley Cats. Music mogul Lou Adler produced this album and released it on his own Ode record label.
The Record Fiend blog shared some mighty praise for this tasty record..
So does this album sound anything like the LP whose packaging inspired it in the first place? Nope, not in the slightest. Instead, what we have here are some extremely imaginative cover versions of songs originally done by white artists coupled with some compelling soul performances.
Jason Ankeny also gave high marks for the album over at AllMusic:
Although performed by former members of the Los Angeles doo wop group the Valiants, produced by Lou Adler and titled in response to the Band’s classic Music from Big Pink, Africa’s Music from “Lil Brown” defies its pedigree by delivering Latin-tinged psychedelic soul covers of some of the era’s biggest pop hits. Credit all involved with pushing and pulling these familiar songs to their breaking points.
The album is loaded with some truly inspired interpretations of familiar songs by the Rolling Stones and the Doors, but the track that really works wonders for me is their recording of LOUIE LOUIE – a soulful fusion with Bobbie Gentry‘s “Ode To Billie Joe” like nobody had ever done before.
… and to think I was reminded of this version when someone sent me a link to Steve Hoffman’s Favorite LOUIE LOUIE Poll!
Me gotta go now….
Record Fiend: Africa – Music From Lil Brown
AllMusic Guide: Africa – Music From Lil Brown
Steve Hoffman’s Favorite LOUIE LOUIE Poll
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted any LOUIEs from Argentina, so let’s give it to ‘em – RIGHT NOW!!
Ladies, and Gentlemen, we are proud to share a rare version of LOUIE LOUIE by The Rockmen, performing the song live at the “X Rod Car Fest” in Oncativo, Cordoba, Argentina, sometime in September 2014!
This week’s LOUIE is not really LOUIE. It’s what you’d call a LOUIE relative. Different groove, different song, but it feels related in some manner to LOUIE LOUIE, even if I can’t put my finger on it…
Roy Loney & Phantom Movers with special guest vocalist Russell Quan rip it up on “Wooly Bully” live at Winters Tavern, somewhere in Pacifica, CA.
“Wooly Bully” was originally written and recorded by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in 1965, with no direct connection to Richard Berry & the Pharaohs (the original performers of LOUIE LOUIE), other than a really cool name…
Here’s a song for those of you requiring some coffee to deal with your Monday morning blues…
This is LOUIE LOUIE by the Caffeine Junkies – yet another recording that was unleashed during the legendary KFJC MAXIMUM LOUIE LOUIE Marathon.
I have no idea who the Caffeine Junkies were, but apparently they were based in Michigan, and they contributed this recording specifically for this radio show in California thousands of miles away… years before people were using this “internet thing!!”
Pretty cool, huh? Who were these guys, anyways? Anyone want to ‘fess up on this one?
Needless to say, there will definitely be more versions shared from this KFJC marathon… stay tuned….
It’s time for another rarity borrowed from the LOUIE YouTube universe.
“Brother Louie” is perhaps the most popular LOUIE LOUIE mutant. A lot of people get it confused with Richard Berry‘s “LOUIE LOUIE.” Written and sung by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson of the group Hot Chocolate, it was a top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart for the band in 1973.
In the USA, the song became a big hit it was covered by The Stories (featuring Ian Lloyd on lead vocals) six months later, becoming a number one hit record on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. When Louis C.K. created his “Louie” sitcom in 2010, this song was used as the theme song.
This particular version of “Brother Louie” was performed by Sonny & Cher on their “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” which aired on February 20, 1974 on the CBS network.
Like Richard Berry’s “LOUIE LOUIE,” the song “Brother Louie” uses the phrase “Louie Louie” as a major part of the song.
So far, I’ve yet to hear of a mash-up of both songs… but I have a feeling that could change soon….
As the week comes to a close, we’re still thinking about Paul Revere, and we’re glad to see a lot of attention paid to this legacy. Paul was a biggie when it came to shining stars in the LOUIE LOUIE universe, as well as one of the most successful musicians to emerge Pacific Northwest music scene in the 1960’s.
Here’s a few articles that caught our eye…
Red Robinson is a Northwest DJ that’s been at it for 60 Years.
“Paul Revere… Where’s Your Horse?” is a fun little tribute written by Red Robinson, featuring some excellent snippets of his interviews with Paul Revere. There’s one thing he pointed out that I never thought about…
Paul Revere was an unforgettable character, always having fun on stage and off. What a coincidence that a man named Paul Revere would pass away… at 76.
My friend Sam Carlson created a superb encyclopedic resource with his website Pacific Northwest Bands, which documents over 3,000 Pacific NW bands that existed between 1954 and 1979.
“The Cause and Effects of Early Raiders on Northwest Musicians and Friends” is a wonderful article that Sam wrote in 1997, which was originally shared in Mark Lindsay‘s Steppin’ Out! newsletter. It’s a great personal story about how the music of Revere & the Raiders directly and indirectly inspired a lot of things in his life and his friends’ lives. One particular quote in this article stuck out for me…
To this day that group insists that the Raiders were only on loan to the rest of the nation so that their culture might spread and improve the lot of the average American. I think it worked. Aren’t we musically better off today than we were before the Raiders came on the scene?
On Sunday, the day after Paul died, Tom Petty acknowledged Revere at a performance in San Jose, CA, as noted in a review in San Jose Mercury News.
One of the most memorable moments of the night came when Petty spoke of Paul Revere, the ’60s rock star who died the day prior. Petty then paid a nice tribute to the icon, leading the Heartbreakers through the Paul Revere and the Raiders garage-rock smash “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.”
The Statesman Journal (of Salem, Oregon) interviewed retired music promoter Ed Dougherty for a fun little article entitled “When Paul Revere and the Raiders rocked Salem.”
There’s some really fun photographs of Revere in this article that I’ve never seen, shared by Mr. Dougherty.
Photographs among Dougherty’s personal keepsakes suggest they were more than just business acquaintances, including an 8-by-10 glossy of Revere playfully giving Dougherty a big smooch on the cheek. Another shows Revere with a pistol in hand behind the familiar Edsel front end that lodged his keyboard, and it’s autographed: “Hand over the money, Ed!!”
“8 Reasons Paul Revere & The Raiders Were Among The Hardest Rocking Bands Of The ’60s” is a nice collection of video clips on Vh-1.com, showcasing some of their great songs that everyone needs to hear.
The Idaho Statesmen paid tribute to Paul as a local legend with an article titled “Paul Revere, Idaho’s most famous pop star, dead at 76.”
This American rock legend did not escape international attention, and here’s a few obituaries you might have missed…
The Guardian (UK) obit on Paul Revere
Daily Mail Online obit on Paul Revere
The Canadian Press obit on Paul Revere
International Business Times obit on Paul Revere
Over at Radio New Zealand National, Paul was declared “Artist of the Week.”
Last but not least, the Idaho Statesmen shared an article “Public invited to visitation and funeral for Idaho music legend Paul Revere” – providing details on the funeral taking place on Monday at the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, Idaho.
… and even MORE… (update)
On today – what would have been John Lennon‘s 74th birthday, I learned that “Steppin’ Out” by Paul Revere & the Raiders was on John’s personal jukebox.
Very cool ….
Very sad news in the rock ‘n’ roll universe with the passing of our friend Paul Revere.
My friend Phil “Fang” Volk sent me this sad news on Saturday night:
Very sad news…Paul Revere passed away today at 2:45pm surrounded by his wife and a few close relatives and friends. He died peacefully at his cabin in Idaho. He finally lost his battle with cancer. He was 76. I thought you should know… It’s a very sad day for the Raider legacy…. my heart is broken….He was a dear friend of mine……. He was a good man with a great big heart, and he dedicated his life to his band for the past five decades… He will truly be missed in the rock & roll world, and by his friends who loved him as I did… He was an original, “the genuine article” – one of a kind – and his accomplishments need to be touted and celebrated. Thank you for anything you are able to do to give him honor at this time of sorrow and loss…
Last night, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame was in the middle of celebrating other Oregon musicians when they received the word about Paul.
The Oregon Music Hall of Fame has a tradition of ending its induction ceremony with “Louie Louie,” as the night’s performers, presenters and organizers take the stage for a final hurrah. But there was a shock before the song on Saturday night.
“We just lost Paul Revere,” Terry Currier told the Aladdin Theater crowd.
As Currier explained, two bands recorded “Louie Louie” in Portland in 1963. One — the Kingsmen — had a hit. Paul Revere and the Raiders would have a career. Born Jan. 7, 1938, Revere began the band that would become the Raiders (with Oregon native Mark Lindsay as the singer) 20 years later and never looked back.
This news really hits hard at the Louie Report. Paul Revere was a friend of the documentary project, who provided some wonderful stories that we were so very fortunate to capture on video.
He was often nicknamed the “Last Madman of Rock & Roll,” but for Columbia Records, the world’s largest record company in the early 1960s, Paul Revere & the Raiders were the very first rock band signed to this prestigious label, which was not an easy task, considering the resentment the industry had towards this type of music at that point in time.
The first record released on Columbia was a 45 single of “LOUIE LOUIE,” which was recorded at the very same studio (Northwestern Inc.-recording studio owned and operated by Robert Lindahl) where the Kingsmen recorded their version of the song. The Kingsmen recorded it on April 6th, 1963, and Paul Revere & Raiders probably did theirs on April 13 – almost a week later.
While the Kingsmen had the hit recording of the song, Revere & Raiders forged ahead with a more successful career, often marketed as “America’s Answer to the Beatles” when Beatlemania hit the States. With regular appearances on national television shows, including Dick Clark’s Where the Action Is, Happening ’68, and It’s Happening, they became extremely popular, selling millions of records, packing kids into auditoriums to see their power-packed performances!
A few years ago, when Raiders guitarist Drake Levin passed away in San Francisco, Paul Revere flew out to attend his memorial, and I was honored to be asked to shoot video of this event. Paul shared some great stories, and here’s one of the moments I posted on YouTube…
As the news broke out, a handful of my friends shared some wonderful memories of the man on Facebook…
“Heavy heart today…The most difficult message I’ve had to post tonight for Paul. Since I can remember I’ve known the man, Paul Revere. My earliest memories were as a little kid in hotel rooms and views from behind a stage, to a teen working his merch, and now an adult working with him. Between Paul and my Father I’ve learned so much about the world of music, most of all how to be a class act. I loved to listen to Dad and Revere tell stories. I wish all could hear these. I am honored to be part of the Revere family, and The Raider history. I’m so glad we spent time this week with Paul.
Thank you, Paul! Love to Sydney and Jamie.” – Alex Hart, member of Raiders family
“The first time I saw Paul Revere & The Raiders, they were opening for The Rolling Stones at the Civic Auditorium in SF and they tore the house down! Such Great Entertainers! This is a sad day.” – Roy Loney, founding member of the Flamin’ Groovies
“To hear of Paul Revere’s passing really saddens me. The first time I ever saw Paul Revere & The Raiders, was sometime in the Spring of 1965. I was driving my girlfriend back to EMU in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It was a warm day and through our open car windows we could hear music, as we passed a new shopping center. So, we pulled into the parking lots to see what going on. There was a band playing in that lot on the back of a flatbed truck. Low and behold it turned out be Paul Revere & The Raiders!!! The first Columbia album had just came out and their they were playing for the opening of a shopping center in a small Michigan college town. This was – what I think of the classic line-up of with Smitty & Fang. Needless to say, they blew us away – ha!!!” – Denis Loren, poster artist
“I had the pleasure of doing a backstage interview with Paul three decades ago in San Jose at the Saddlerack. Despite a power outage he was a very nice and wacky guy. I’m glad he was able to keep rocking until the very end. His showmanship and talent set the bar for a lot of reasons. The music will live on, and Mr. Paul Revere will be missed. He gotta go now….” – Jeff Stretch Riedle, founder/archivist of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE marathon
I was also reminded of a very cool comic strip – “Big Nate” by Lincoln Peirce, which provided a great tribute to Paul Revere a few years ago.
One of my favorite possessions is a wonderful photo book on the history of music in the Pacific Northwest that I was able to talk Paul into autographing. On the cover of this book assembled by Peter Blecha, there’s a magnificent photo of Revere & Raiders taken by Gino Rossi. The band is playing to a packed house with kids packed in like sardines, witnessing an amazing moment on stage. Paul not only autographed this book, but he also drew a nice self portrait of himself!!
There’s a great send-off for Paul on his official webpage. Please read it – it’s a keeper!!
In the meantime, I leave you with obvious choice for this week’s LOUIE LOUIE – a vintage performance of the song by the man and his band!
Rest in Peace: Paul Revere
January 7,1938-October 4, 2014
Paul Revere & Raiders – official webpage
Paul Revere obituary – The Oregonian
Paul Revere & Raiders – wikipedia
This week, the LOUIE spotlight is on yet another Unknown LOUIE LOUIE recording from the KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon.
A few years ago, I wrote up a post entitled “KFJC Tomb of the Unknown LOUIEs” which sought to identify some of the recordings that couldn’t be identified. Since that particular posting, a few things became apparent……
There were 842 versions of THE SONG played at the marathon, but some of these turned out to be repeats, which did happen a few times, particularly with the Robin Roberts version, which credited to either Rockin’ Robin Roberts or the Wailers, aka the Fabulous Wailers.
Not every LOUIE was a “Purebred LOUIE” as written by Richard Berry. Some of these LOUIEs were “LOUIE Bastards” – the exact same song with different lyrics, but credited to someone else. More often than anything else, these LOUIEs would often be “LOUIE Mutants” – a category that would included medleys, mash-ups or otherwise oddball re-arrangements on the LOUIE theme.
While this marathon played every known commercial recording of the song, so many of the LOUIEs played at this marathon were of the D.I.Y. variety, which provided a wide cross section of good, bad, and really, really ugly. Some of these versions took the term “unlistenable” to a whole new spectrum.
So many of these D.I.Y. versions with such unusual monikers as Captain Porko & the Dyzonics, Deviant Schizophrenics, Mal Nutrition, AXYD VUMAB (or was it Acksid Myvob?), Bovine Flatulents, and the Exploding Pintos, to name a few, may never be completely identified.
Then, there also 22 versions that have not been identified, were never properly logged on the log sheets, and are known simply as “Unknown.”
Here’s his week’s version – the “Unknown LOUIE- KFJC version #332,” which I hope someone out in cyberspace might be able to identify. ..
This is truly a crazy LOUIE! Looking at my notes, I wrote…“Wow! A psychotic woman sings LOUIE LOUIE while someone makes crazy sounds with horns and some odd pieces of percussion.”
I do hope you’re entertained by this silly one….
When I posted the article “KFJC Tomb of the Unknown LOUIEs,” this version was originally identified as “KFJC version #331,” but in the course of time, we discovered ONE lost version on the tapes that wasn’t properly separated from the batch, and so we had to renumber all of the LOUIEs from that point onwards..
It’s taken awhile, but I think we’ve finally got the archives in proper order after way too many years of part-time data-tweaking. Of the 63 hours, close to 62 hours were preserved and finally properly catalogued.
My plan to share more of these “Unknown” LOUIE LOUIE recordings, as well as more of the truly inspired versions that were never released to the general public.
Somewhere down the line, it may make sense to share the entire marathon online. Eventually, I hope to be able to coordinate some type of online interactive database that would provide definitive proof of why this song is the most recorded song of all time.
I’m hoping to see improved webpage development tools that would make it easier to assemble the kind of online database I’d like to share. As web design is NOT a major focus in my life these days, I’m hoping the software will continue to become more intuitive, just as WordPress made it so much easier for someone like myself to publish this very webpage, initially created without the benefit of any “blogging software.”
Naturally, the database would have to be designed to allow others to chime with their comments, either clarifying details about any given recording, or maybe adding a different level of absurdity to an already absurd nature of this archival project….
It’s time for a rarely-seen LOUIE LOUIE comic strip!
My friend Frances Cherman has been saving this one for years, but has no idea what year this one was published. I couldn’t find anything about this “Briefcase” comic strip by Louthan!! Maybe someone out in cyberspace has the answer??
Thank you, Frances!