Six days from now, many of us shall be celebrating International LOUIE LOUIE Day! This year will mark the 60th anniversary of the song, which was conceived by Richard Berry in 1955 (Harmony Park Ballroom, Anaheim, CA), but “given birth” with the first unveiling of the song in April 1957, when Flip Records released it as the B-side of “You Are My Sunshine” 45 single.
April 11 is also Richard Berry‘s birthday, and he would have been 82 years old had he not passed away in 1997.
Tonight – April 5, WFMU begins the celebration of LOUIE with a “LOUIE LOUIE Palooza” on the Bodega Pop Live show with Gary Sullivan from 7pm (EDT) until 10pm. (4pm for those of us on West Coast Time / Midnight for our friends in the UK)
In advance of International Louie Louie Day, we honor the most recorded rock song of all time with three solid hours of covers from around the world.
We’re still gathering information about celebrations on April 11, but we do know that our friends at Orme Radio in Italy are planning a show entitled “Louie Louie: The 2017 Addendum.”
It will be an 80 minute special on International LOUIE LOUIE Day – Tuesday, April 11 on 10:30pm Tuesday in Italy (Central European Time) which would be 2:30pm California-time / 5:30pm New York-time.
After the First Italian Louie Louie Marathon back in 2015, we celebrate once again the most faboulous tune ever with a special show! Join us next Tuesday for some new covers and special guests!! More to come, stay tuned.
I thought I’d throw out yet another public request as I continue my search for media coverage of the 1983 Tacoma Dome event that featured the only time Richard Berry ever appeared with the Fabulous Wailers.
The date was Wednesday, December 28, 1983, just a few months after KFJC Radio had their legendary 63 hour Maximum LOUIE LOUIE Marathon that broadcast over 800 unique versions of the song, and marked the very first time Richard Berry, author of the song, met Jack Ely, the original lead singer of the Kingsmen. The event was billed as “The Best of Louie Louie” and it took place after a soccer game between the Tacoma Stars and the Kansas City Comets. KISW-FM radio in conjunction with the Tacoma Stars produced this event. On the official poster for this event, the Wailers, the Kingsmen, Little Bill Engelhart, and Gail Harris were listed as the primary performers, but Richard Berry was added as a last-minute special guest.
I’ve got an interview with Richard Berry where it discusses what it was like to play at this event. Dennis Flannigan, who was the main organizer of this event, also shared his stories on that very special day.
Thousands of people attended this event. In addition to Richard Berry, Ron Holden was also a special guest that wasn’t listed on the poster. Ron was often credited with being one of the first musicians to perform this song in the Pacific Northwest, playing with the Playboys, then the Thunderbirds. Richard and Ron were old friends, and Peter Blecha wrote about meeting up with both of those guys backstage.
Video footage was shot at this event, but nobody I’ve talked to seems to know where it is. I still have yet to see any actual photographs. I was sent some Xeroxes of photos, but no actual photographs.
In fact, here’s one of those Xeroxes. It’s Richard and Ron. Richard’s wearing a KFJC t-shirt. I have no idea who took this photos, but i’d LOVE to contact the photographer, get a better copy, and see whatever other images exist from that special day.
If you have any leads on tracking down any media coverage of this event, please contact LOUIE at LouieLouie.net!!
Following up on part 1 and part 2, it’s time to return with part 3 of the big LOUIE LOUIE Club List, now expanded to include stores and defunct businesses that used the “LOUIE LOUIE” name for their business…
11. Louie Louie Record Shop (with Café) in Lisbon and Porto (Portugal)
A few days ago, I received this photo and message from our friends at Orme Radio….
Little postcard from Lisbon: one of the Orme Radio founders, Marco, is there for job shadowing and as suggested by Riccardo Lancioni – our radio marathon man – took this pic in front of the music shop called Louie Louie!
Hope you like it!
Cheers from Italy, too!
Originally a shop on Porto (the capital city of the North of Portugal), LOUIE LOUIE opened a branch in Lisbon (managed by Jorge Dias, one of the pioneers of the used records business in Lisbon), which is nowadays one of the most popular record stores in the city.
Right in the middle of downtown Lisbon, LOUIE LOUIE has a bit of everything for all tastes: CD and vinyl (and also DVDs), used and new, all genres. The new premises (open since June 2013) include a small coffee shop, which only enhances the welcoming feel and the friendly atmosphere of a great place to listen to and buy your favourite music.
Louie Louie’s Diner of Victoria BC, Canada was a restaurant that existed for 16 years from April 1987 until March 2003.
I found about this place when proprietor George Acs contacted me after learning about the LOUIE documentary project. He wrote:
As you can see by my letterhead, I too, have somewhat of a special interest in LOUIE LOUIE, although I must admit the naming of my diner did not have its origins in the song, rather it was to be a rebirth of LOUIE’s Cafe, a diner my family owned during the late fifties. (LOUIE LOUIE being the second LOUIE ??)
However long before we opened the doors, people were associating the diner with the song and the good times and parties they so well remembered.
George also enclosed some nice momentoes from the diner, which you can see in this photograph.
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to visit George’s diner. Luckily,thanks to the power of the internet, I found George’s LinkedIn page, where I discovered a timeline for Louie Louie’s Diner, as well as details about what George has been up since he last wrote me. Thank you again, George!
Most of the information on this place is written in Japanese, but I did find an English language review by Adam Kloppenburg on their Facebook page: “Good, simple and cheap burgers, a great atmosphere and super welcoming and friendly owner, hidden under the tracks near Motomachi. Highly recommended.”
They also offer a really cool-looking LOUIE LOUIE t-shirt.
I haven’t figured out how to order one yet, but all in good time..
8. Louie Louie World Buffet Restaurant in Sunderland, UK
On the official Facebook page for this restaurant, the description is simply: “The biggest restaurant in North east. 200 seats buffet restaurant. World buffet. Including Chinese Indian Thai Japanese UK Italy.”
9. Louie Louie Seafood Market in York, Pennsylvania (USA)
On the official Facebook page for this restaurant, we have this description: “Louie Louie Seafood is a retail fish market serving the community of York, PA with fresh fish right from the ocean! Crabs, shellfish, whole fish and more!”
Louie Louie Coffee Shop in Stockholm provided this description “Louie Louie är ett café, en folkölsbar och en skivbutik på Bondegatan 13 i Stockholm med stor kärlek till mat och kaffe,” which Google Language Tools translated as “Louie Louie is a café, a (folk music bar) and a record store on Bond Street 13 in Stockholm with a great love for food and coffee.”
On their main webpage entitled “Louie Louie Sthlm” they has a subtitle of “Bon apétit scumbag,” which feels… a bit anti-social..??
Maybe it’s a language thing? Or it’s a cultural thing?…. just like we use the word “bad” in the USA to reference something that actually good? I just don’t know….
Whatever the case, they are definitely hip to LOUIE LOUIE consciousness, which we fully endorse, and hope to eventually visit this place (and all the other ones) in person sometime in the not-too-distant future!!
From the same people behind De Biertuin and Smokin Barrels, Louie Louie is an incredible hip hangout in Amsterdam East. Featuring a beautiful large patio as well as a slick bar, it’s the ideal spot for either lunch, dinner or evening drinks. Louie Louie’s menu has South American influences, offering tasty dishes and mouthwatering cocktails; try their Chunky Beef Taco or their Hibiscus Mojito – simply delicious. No doubt, Louie Louie’s vivid atmosphere and tempting food will make it your new favorite spot in Amsterdam.
Louie Louie is a cafe during the day with excellent coffee & homemade cakes plus all day brunch at the weekends.
In the evening Louie Louie transforms into a bar & restaurant. For four nights a week, Wednesday to Saturday, we hand over the apron to our brilliant “Chef In Residence” ODED OREN. Tel Aviv born and head chef at some of his hometown’s best seafood restaurants, Oded has been cooking in London since 2011, with his very own pop up last summer at East London hot spot Oval Space. His style includes strong influences from his native country with veg-based dishes + meats and seafood cooked over charcoal.
Also partnering up with us are cake makers extraordinaire STROMABAKES, supplying us daily with a variety of goodies, including plenty of gluten free, dairy free and vegan options to boot.
Music is always a key component, with live acoustic music and DJs playing through a bespoke high end HiFi system most evenings.
There are actually two Louie Louie’s Piano Bars in Texas. One in Lubbock and another in Dallas. On their webpage, it states… “Where strangers become friends” and “A night you’ll never forget… if only because your friends won’t let you!”
From the looks of it, music is the primary theme of this club, but it also available for various events – birthdays, bachelorettes, corporate events and private partiesS
In the midst of a week filled with rotten news, things were made even worse when we lost a kindred spirit…
Billy Miller was a true champion for the foot-stomping, hip-shaking, soulful roots music we call rock ‘n’ roll. Along with his beloved companion / partner Miriam Linna, they established an incredible legacy designed to honor, archive and celebrate in the grandest possible manner, the rich heritage of American garage rock music with their Norton Records label, Kicks magazine and their musical group, The A-Bones.
In the Norton comic book “Kicksville Confidential,” (illustrated by Avi Spivak) Billy shared his story about how they got started….
I really loved KICKS magazine – a fantastic hodgepodge of music reviews and historic overviews of forgotten oddball performers, all blended together with a healthy sampling of humor in the jugular vein.
Here’s a sample page from issue #3….
When Billy and Miriam shifted their focus from a music magazine to a record label, they created a wonderful showcase for some truly unforgettable entertainers…
“Norton’s got a six and a half foot Cyclops drag queen, a pair of singing Siamese twins, an Indian with a lung, at least three murderers, the nation’s number one art thief, the world’s first wheelchair confined bad guy wrestling manager, a hillbilly who sings about the joys of chicken, cheese and decapitation, at least three pimps, an elephant thief, a convicted pornographer, about a dozen guys that wears turbans for no apparent reason, one guy who claims to be from Saturn and another who claims to be from Mars, and we haven’t even gotten to Kim Fowley!” – Billy Miller, as quoted in interview with Ugly Things Magazine
..and their own band, The A-Bones, wasn’t too shabby either!!
The legacy of Billy and Miriam’s empire has been a great inspiration for us that love this kinda stuff!
(a cool photo of Billy & Miriam with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – a wild and crazy guy)
Four years ago, Hurricane Sandy destroyed a lot of the Norton Records inventory, but they were able to salvage what they could, and continue what they were doing, opening a retail shop earlier this year.
To celebrate the spirit of Billy, we’re sharing a special performance of him singing a “LOUIE relative” with a video clip of the A-Bones live at Otto’s Shrunken Head’s Tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins on February 13, 2014. It’s a cover version of a Paul Revere & Raiders song written as a sequel to Richard Berry‘s timeless ditty.
Today, Saturday October 29th, I was saddened to learn that my friend Buck Ormsby died early this morning on his birthday.
Here’s the message I saw on Buck’s Facebook wall:
Thank you to everyone who is sending birthday wishes to my father. He died early this morning. As many of you know he was down in Mexico for alternative cancer treatment, though cancer was not the cause of death. It was an unfortunate accident. Please know that his last months have been transformative in so many ways, and he was in a special place. Please give us time to adjust to our new reality. We will post information regarding services as plans form. Thank you everyone for all of your love and support.
Buck has been a great ally for the LOUIE documentary project, providing multiple interviews over the years. In the Pacific Northwest, Buck was a genuine legend in the music community, performing with the Fabulous Wailers, creating one of the very first artist-owned record labels- Etiquette Records, and was directly responsible for discovering + producing the Sonics, one of the earliest bands to perform in the ragged style of rock music that would eventually be labeled as “pre-punk.”
Buck was one of the major architects within the LOUIE LOUIE universe, recording his friend Robin Roberts doing “that song” with the Wailers for the first record ever released by the newly-founded Etiquette Records in 1961. That particular recording, which used a very different arrangement than Richard Berry‘s original 1957 version, established an archetype that was followed closely by the Kingsmen, as well as Paul Revere & the Raiders, who both wound up with hit recordings of that song in 1963.
One of the earlier bands Buck ever joined was the Blue Notes, group of teenagers from Tacoma (Washington), featuring Buck’s good friend Bill Engelhart, who would eventually be given of the stage name as “Little Bill” of the band that would eventually be re-named as Little Bill and the Blue Notes. Early in their careers, Buck and Bill decided to visit the Puyallup Fair, where they found one of their high school classmates, Robin Roberts, singing rhythm and blues songs to a captivated crowd that was clearly enjoying this impromptu performance. It was at this point that both Buck and Bill thought Robin would be a perfect addition to The Blue Notes, and Robin soon became a full-fledged member of the band
For a couple of years, these three guys performed together (along with various other members) for what turned out to be one of the earliest rock bands ever created in Tacoma. Eventually, this collaboration drifted apart with Bill focusing his efforts as a solo artist, while Buck and Robin (now known as “Rockin Robin Roberts“) both teamed up with the Fabulous Wailers, who had just finished an east coast tour that included an appearance on Dick Clark‘s American Bandstand TV show.
Not long after Buck and Robin joined up with the Wailers, a recording was made of Robin singing LOUIE LOUIE with the band… and the rest was history, so to speak…
Here’s a photo I took of Buck with Kent Morrill, his musical partner with the Wailers and Etiquette Records, back when they visited KFJC Radio (Los Altos Hills, CA) in December 2001. As you may remember, KFJC was the place that produced the MAXIMUM LOUIE LOUIE marathon that played over 800 versions of the song for 63 hours.
When Buck and Kent did this radio appearance, they were in the middle of a road trip, and had driven down from Tacoma in a beautifully restored vintage Cadillac. They had just released their new album “Cadillac to Mexico,” and this was one of their stops.
As fate would have it, Bill returned to Mexico for what turned out to be his final roadtrip.
There’s so much more that could said about Buck, but we’ll save that for another time.
My thoughts are the family and friends of John Buck Ormsby.