Another Jack Ely YouTube clip

Do you remember how I once mentioned that Jack Ely, original vocalist for the Kingsmen‘s LOUIE LOUIE was scheduled to perform a show in North Carolina last November for the Carolina Beach Music Awards?

That performance is now on YouTube:

I’m glad to see Jack do more performances. I hope next time he’ll be able to bring the Courtmen with him. Here’s what he sounds like when he’s got a great band backing him up.

You can also see Jack singing to his horse, and performing an original composition.

Now, if only someone could find me a TV clip of him on the Lloyd Thaxton show during the mid-1960s, I would be one very happy guy!

RIP: KPIG co-founder Laura Ellen Hopper, and way-too-many American soldiers

Monday was Memorial Day in the United States of America. A national holiday to remember the brave men and women that sacrificed their lives for the good of their country. A time to honor the fallen soldiers that made the ultimate contribution to protect others.

Reading the papers on Monday, I found a very interesting article about how soldiers created MySpace profiles that became online memorials after their deaths. As the article points out, MySpace won’t delete a profile for inactivity, nor will it let anyone else control a deceased member’s profile. Of course all of this has changed in the past two weeks as the Pentagon decided that military personnel shall not be able to access MySpace, YouTube, iFilm, Facebook and a handful of other social networking websites.

What a way to honor those that make the big sacrifice for their country, eh? Cut them off their access to the big social networks of the internet. I could make more comments about the ramifications of this situation, but I think I’ll hold off before I before this blog becomes a big diatribe about the various problems we’re dealing with in 2007. I’m still trying to focus on the music on this LOUIE blog of mine…..

This morning at the LOUIE LOUIE Party Yahoo Group, my friend Jeff “Stretch” Riedle wrote about another loss on Memorial Day.

Laura Ellen Hopper, co-founder of KPIG Radio.

Laura Ellen of KPIG Radio

Sorry, but I have to express myself and here is the only place I might get away with it. There is very little Louie Louie content; wait a minute, without this woman we might not know about Todd Snider and his Louie connection….

Anyway…yesterday Laura Ellen passed after a one-week fight with cancer. She didn’t even have the chance to go get the chemo and radiation she was planning. She was a fighter and would have beaten it. I knew her thru the radio and met her once at a show. Incredible woman who lived radio and music. Someone who I relate to in a lot of ways. Most notably Laura Ellen was the program director at KPIG. For anyone who knows, KPIG is likely the last great radio station on the commercial FM dial. Real people, real music, real soul and spirit. (The kind of thing I experienced on an amateur level in my college radio days.) She will be sorely missed, and more importantly it might mean the ultimate end of a true radio station giant if the corporate shrews get involved.

Laura Ellen also helped establish the station. Heard she used her own money at the beginning. She believed in the music, and she believed in the musicians. Gave many a now-popular artist their real start. KPIG has been streaming on the internet since 1995. Worldwide audience now. You can tour Idaho and be recognized thanks to the airplay she gave you.

OK, let’s bring my rambling back to this group…the spirit of the loss I feel today is present in the music from the 60’s, from the indy bands, from the garage band do-it-yourself-ers. The same people who care and obsess about Louie Louie. And without a KPIG we might not know who Todd Snider is…remember, he wrote a song about the Kingsmen and the song “Louie Louie”.

My sadness is heavy today,
Stretch

A San Jose Mercury News / Santa Cruz Sentinel obituary provided more details about her legacy:

In 1975, Hopper originally helped found KFAT in Gilroy, a free-form country station notorious for its rejection of conservative radio conventions. After KFAT went off the air, she re-emerged with local attorney Leo Kesselman in 1988 to found KPIG in Watsonville, finally making a success of the station’s renegade format in the 1990s.

Under Hopper’s direction, KPIG married KFAT’s pugnacious country/rock programming with a more savvy business plan. Eventually, the station became instrumental in establishing a new radio format, Americana, which emphasized artists who were often ignored by mainstream country radio, such as John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker and Peter Rowan. In the 1990s, KPIG’s prominence in the Americana genre gave it the power to provide career-making exposure to such performers as Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider and Iris DeMent.

Here’s some links you should check out for more information about this lady that shall be missed:

San Jose Mercury/ Santa Cruz Sentinel obituary
Brad Kava – SJ Mercury blog article
BusinessWeek.com obituary

and of course
KPIG.com

ULTRA-RARE KingsMen film clip!

Here’s a very obscure film clip of the KingsMen performing “The Hut Sut Song” many years before “LOUIE LOUIE” became a big hit song.

I love the opening of this clip – a newspaper with the headline “Song Becomes National Disease!

Just like all of the other film clips of the Kingsmen, this does not feature Jack Ely, the original LOUIE LOUIE vocalist. Nor does it feature Mike Mitchell, Lynn Easton, Dick Peterson, Don Gallucci, Barry Curtis or any other member of the band from Portland that transformed LOUIE LOUIE into the massive musical icon it is today.

This particular band named the KingsMen (or the Kings Men Quartet) was formed in 1929 to record some music for “soundies,” the precursor to what we now call “music videos.” Led by Ken Darby, this group recorded well into the 1940’s, collaborating with a wide variety of musicians such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Paul Whiteman, and Hopalong Cassidy.

A tip of the hat to Mark Evanier for reminding me of this very cool clip.

UPDATED ADDITION:

I found some more interesting things about the Kings Men Quartet, including an article about singing cowboys, the IMDB entry on the King’s Men, an MP3 collection of Kings Men radio shows, and the Answers.com page on Ken Darby.

Here’s a photo of this particular KingsMen group:

Names for Country Singers

Earlier this month, I recycled a fun little game from PSPOT on how to get your “blues singer name.”

Now in the same spirit, my friend Jose Segue of the HicksWithSticks.com alt-country website, has created a similiar game for folks that want to be country singers:

GIT YER TWANG HANDLE HERE

Never rounded up the cows, driven an 18-wheeler, busted a bronco, or spent time (or worked) at Gilded Lil’s House of Delight? Well, not to worry urban buckaroos. Thanks to an inspiration sent by Eric “Louis, Louis” Predoehl, a.k.a., Toothless Livered Parker, you can up your twang credibility by picking a new name from the following lists. Cheating is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.

First Initial
A=Armadillo; B=Bubba/Babydoll; C=Calamity/Chicken; D=Dusty; E=Toothless; F=Fightin’; G=Griftin’; H=Hognose/Horseface; I=Iron; J=Jail(bird/bait); K=Kid; L=Little/Big; M=Mule(face); N=Nasty; O=Outlaw/Outhouse; P=Poorboy/Purdyface; Q=Bald/Hairy; R=Reckless; S=Slim/Fat; T=Texas; U=Ugly/Charmin’; V=Varmint/Vixen; W=Weasel; X=Boss; Y=Yellow; Z=Steel

Middle Initial
A=Ass(ed); B=Balls/Boobs; C=Cracker; D=Dog; E=Eyes; F=Face; G=Guts; H=Head; I=Indian/Squaw; J=Jimmy/Jane; K=Boy/Gal; L=Liver(ed); M=Mouth; N=Nose(d); O=Bob/Mae; P=Pecker/Muff; Q=Daddy/Momma; R=Rascal; S=Skunk; T=Thighs; U=Mug; V=Vamp/Bull; W=Wheel(s); X=Butt; Y=Tooth(ed); Z=Neck(ed)

Last Initial
A=Allison; B=Brown; C=Culpepper; D=Dupree; E=Ellis; F=Fletcher; G=Granger; H=Hopkins; I=Malone; J=Jones; K=Kenton; L=Lee; M=McGee; N=Nathan; O=O’Brien; P=Parker; Q=King; R=Reilly; S=Smith; T=Thompson; U=Black; V=Johnson; W=Watkins; X=”X”; Y=Stevens; Z=Bullworth

If I throw in my “R” middle initial, I can be “Toothless Rascal Livered Parker.”

Jose’s MySpace page is http://www.myspace.com/josesegue

PSPOT’s MySpace page is http://www.myspace.com/pspot

I blame them both for all this silly stuff…

The Big Dirk Fest

I’m not sure if this is really LOUIE-related topic, but next month, there’s going to be a major 2-day celebration to honor the late Dirk Dirksen, the “pope of San Francisco punk rock.” Here’s a couple of flyers for these shows:

DirkFest - Day 1

DirkFest - Day 2

To recycle a press release…

“DIRK FEST”, a tribute to the “Pope of Punk”, Dirk Dirksen (1937-2006) will be held on Thursday, June 7th, at Slim’s, and Friday, June 8th at the Great American Music Hall, In San Francisco. The show will feature reunion performances by many of the great bands who once graced the stage of the Mabuhay Gardens back in the heyday of punk rock in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Tickets are going fast, but are still available!

Last November, Dirk Dirksen, the punk rock impresario who ran San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens, also known as the “Fab Mab”, and later the On Broadway during its heyday in the ’70s and 80’s, died in his sleep with a smile on his face at the age of 69. This June 7th and 8th, Dirk’s friends and colleagues will host “Dirk Fest” to pay tribute to Dirk and help raise funds to pay off his final expenses and for the preservation of his rare archive of videotaped performances, photos, posters, and other punk memorabilia.

Thursday, June 7th, Slim’s:
Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, Toiling Midgets, The Lewd, The Sea Hags, The Rubber City Rebels, The Symptoms, Ron Jones spoken word poet (w/ Megan Bierman), DJ Denise Demise, Film shorts by Karl Hinz, Emceeing the show is V. Vale (of RE/Search Publications and The Counter Culture Hour) and Spencer (of the DNA Lounge).

Friday, June 8th – Dirk Fest at GAMH:
Emcee- Jello Biafra, The Avengers, SF Mutant Non-Allstars (w/Naomi Ruth Eisenberg), The Contractions, The White Trash Debutants (w/ the fabulous Jon Gries “Uncle Rico” of Napoleon Dynamite), No Alternative (w/ Chip Kinman of the Dils and Rank and File), Dana Albert (musician/poet), DJ Denise Demise, Film shorts by Karl Hinz, Special Guest, Ness Aquino, the original owner of the Mabuhay Gardens restaurant which Dirk helped transform into the “Fab Mab.”

Dirk was a great guy, and I’m very proud to have worked with him, videotaping various punk rock shows, and some performances with the San Francisco Mime Troupe. There’s gonna be a lotta tears shared for this lovable old curmudgeon who left us way too soon. I look forward to attending this event and seeing a lot of old friends..

For more information, you can check out the official DirkFest MySpace page, or send an email to my friend Kathy Peck, the main organizer of this event.

– E. P.

I Just Want to Rock and Roll!

My friend Andy Martello is a very talented man that appreciates good music. He makes his living telling jokes, spinning plates, throwing objects up in the air, and he happens to maintain a LOUIE LOUIE page that I keep coming back to. This month, he and his lovely wife April are making a very big move from Chicago to Las Vegas, thanks to a little hurricane that wiped out his apartment. I hope that he does well out there, and I’d like to encourage folks to check out his AndyMartello.com website for more information about what he’s up to.

As it turns, he’s not the only one in the Martello family that has a natural gift for entertaining. I’ll let Andy introduce the band that features his brother Matt Martello:

PROGRESS REPORT is a band of facutly members from Dexter High School in Michigan. My brother is the lead singer. Four teachers and one student as their drummer makes this line-up of would-be musicians create a new form of garage rock called, classroom rock. Basically, they didn’t have a garage, otherwise it would just be garage rock.

Anyway, if you’d like to hear an original song, recorded in a classroom, about wanting to stop being a teacher and start being a rocker then check out “I Just Want to Rock and Roll” by PROGRESS REPORT on YouTube. They never did record an actual studio version of the song so you’ll hear lots of guitar and have a bit of trouble discerning the lyrics. So I know this group will love it. lol

I’m hoping to get them to make a “LOUIE LOUIE” soon. They already do a great “Pictures of Matchstickmen.”

I’m guessing this is NOT the Michigan high school where Paula Dawning was Superintendent for that crazy marching band story a few years ago….

Who is Dennis Mitchell, and what does he have to do with LOUIE LOUIE?

You may have heard of Dennis Mitchell.

As it turns out, there’s actually more than one.

Dennis the Menace - comic strip icon

The most popular Dennis Mitchell is not a real person, but a comic strip character. He’s the star of the syndicated comic strip “Dennis the Menace,” invented by Hank Ketcham in 1951. Now written and drawn by Ketcham’s former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, this strip is distributed to more than at least 10,000 newspapers in 48 countries and 19 languages by King Features Syndicate. This particular Dennis has been the star of a live action TV show that lasted four years (1959-1963), two motion picture comedies (1993 +1998), a handful of animated TV shows, and was used as the cartoon mascot for the Dairy Queen restaurant chain.

There is both an official Dennis the Menace website, and unauthorized Wikipedia webpage for this beloved character.

Dennis Mitchell Band

There’s also another Dennis Mitchell that you should know about. He’s a singer-songwriter based in Portland, Oregon with a band that’s simply called The Dennis Mitchell Band. He was previously in a band called No Ties. His older brother, Mike Mitchell is from another band from Portland that you have heard of. When Mike’s band recently went through personnel changes, Dennis was invited to become a member.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dennis Mitchell, the newest member of the Kingsmen!

There are other guys named Dennis Mitchell, including a gold medal athlete, a disc jockey that likes to play Beatles music, a portfolio manager for an investment company, an owner of an auto repair facility in Tennessee, and even some guy on MySpace that used to have a band called Dennis Mitchell & the Wilsons, but we won’t talk about them…

If you want to learn more about Dennis Mitchell, the guy who is now a new member of the famous garage band that put LOUIE LOUIE on the charts, go to:
DennisMitchellBand.com

Grateful Dead and LOUIE LOUIE

Here’s something kinda fun.

Thanks to one of my wonderful spies out in cyberspace, I discovered a page on the official Grateful Dead website that acknowledges the very first performance of “LOUIE LOUIE” with vocals by Brent Mydland. According to the official history it was on April 5, 1988 in Hartford, CT as part of a medley that included “Iko Iko” with “Samson and Delilah.” You can actually download an MP3 of that performance from that page- FREE of charge!

On the semi-authorized archive.org, you can find most of the Grateful Dead’s other recordings of “LOUIE LOUIE” At one point, someone posted a pirate video recording of a 1988 performance on YouTube, but I can’t find it there any more.

Still blown away by YouTube.

In the course of my LOUIE LOUIE research, I’ve made a lot of really great friends over the years. One of my friends in particular is a die-hard music collector. His house is a virtual treasure chest of of obscure vinyl, concert posters, music history books, odd memorabilia, and an assortment of rare recordings that have never been released in any form, legitimate or otherwise. I remember ten years ago, I had a conversation with him, urging him to get a computer as a means of connecting with other collectors with similar passions. He told me that he had no need for a computer, and he was happy to continue doing things as he was doing.

Needless to say, a lot of things happened in the past ten years, and my friend who once denounced computers is now a full-fledged enthusiast of eBay, YouTube, and Google. Funny things how things work out sometimes, you know?….

Anyways, my friend, who shall remain nameless, sent me some links to some of the most entertaining YouTube clips I’ve seen in a long time.

1) Leningrad Cowboys – “Sweet Home Alabama”
Crazy rock and roll from Russia, reinventing some American standards with a fun pizazz! There’s also a clip of the Leningrad Cowboys with the Red Russian Army Choir performing “Delilah” that’s also well worth watching.

2) Klaus Nomi – “Lightning Strikes”
Yet another inspired musician I’ve never heard of! Twisted stuff!

3) The Tielman Brothers – “Rollin’ Rock” (live 1960)
Finding any vintage rock and roll shows from the early 1960’s is always a wonderful treat. Finding a Dutch-Indonesian that performed this kind of music is a total mindblower!

My friend Theo deGrood of The LOUIE Pages provided me with some insight on the band:

The band is actually Dutch and operated their whole career (which must span over 50 years by now!) in the Netherlands and Germany. The came here in the early 50s when Indonesia became independent of the Netherlands and adapted quickly the rock ‘n’ roll wave which came here from the US and UK. For some reason this music genre became very popular amongst the Indonesian immigrants. He used to live in Australia but lately I see Andy Tielman (who’s 71 now!) walking through The Hague, his hometown where he came back to, still looking as cool as ever. He’s the king of all Dutch Indo-musicians that have evolved these last 50 years.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing! Why haven’t I heard of these guys before?

Once again, I continue to blown away by YouTube, and all the other video sharing websites that make this kind of exchange possible. I love the way YouTube is changing politics, and I love the way that people can find this kind of archival material. Long live YouTube!

As I continue my quest to obtain footage for my long-awaited documentary, I’m still hoping someone has film footage of Richard Berry when he performed “Riot In Cell Block #9” with The Robins on the Dixie Showboat TVshow in Los Angeles during the 1950s. Or maybe some clips of The Wailers when they performed “Tall Cool One” on Dick Clark‘s American Bandstand on June 11, 1959. I’m also still trying to find any footage of Jack Ely with the Courtmen or his version of “The Kingsmen,” performing “LOUIE LOUIE” on the Lloyd Thaxton Show, or any other show he appeared on during the mid-1960s, including a teen dance program in Deluth, Minnesota.

If ANYONE can find this footage, and allow me to use it in my documentary, they will become my new best friend…

BIG Berlin LOUIE LOUIE Party- Wednesday, May 9

Berlin Louie Louie party

This Wednesday, May 9th, there’s going to be a big LOUIE LOUIE party in Berlin, Germany.

One Song. One Night. 1001 Versions!
A massive celebration of the 50th anniversary of the song!
A big LOUIE LOUIE contest!
LOUIE LOUIE films!
LOUIE LOUIE gambling with LOUIE LOUIE Bingo!
Lots of prizes!

WOW!
I wish I could fly out to this one! It sounds like a whole lotta fun!

Here’s the official press release, forwarded to my my friend Theo DeGrood of The Louie Louie Pages. If you don’t read German, try using Google Language Tools to get a robotic translation.

“SHOUT LOUIE LOUIE!”
One Song. One Night. 1001 Versions.
Eine Hommage an den am zweithäufigsten gecoverten Song der Musikgeschichte.
Mit:
“LOUIE LOUIE” DJ-Set mit Panik & Entsetzen DJ-Team!
“LOUIE LOUIE” Live Contest für Alle!
“LOUIE LOUIE” Bingo!
“LOUIE LOUIE” Geschichtsstunde!
“LOUIE LOUIE” On Film!

“LOUIE LOUIE” WIRD 50!
Richard Berry hat es komponiert und im April 1957 das erste Mal als B-Seite veröffentlicht, The Kingsmen haben es populär gemacht und Iggy & The Stooges haben es erstmals grandios zerschreddert. Der Song “Louie Louie” ist nach “Yesterday” der am zweithäufigsten gecoverte der Musikgeschichte. Um dieses Lied ist ein nahezu religiöser Kult fanatischer Fans entstanden, die jede der inzwischen über 1500 Versionen besitzen wollen. Der Komponist des Songs lebte später von Sozialhilfe, das FBI ermittelte und führte Akten über das Lied und inzwischen spielt es jede Garagenband, die etwas auf sich hält.
Es ist Zeit für den Lichtspielklub, Tribut zu zollen!
Und das geht so:

PANIK & ENTSETZEN DJ-TEAM PLAYS “LOUIE LOUIE”
“LOUIE LOUIE” von Klassik, Rock’n’Roll, Soul, Rocksteady, Marschmusik, HipHop, Punk, Hardcore, Electro bis Garage. Von Motörhead, Black Flag, Fat Boys, The Clash, Jon the Postman, Billy Childish, Grateful Dead, Iggy Pop, Maureen Tucker, Frank Zappa, The Kingsmen, R.E.M., Bad Religion, Otis Redding, The Doors, Kolossale Jugend, Ike & Tna Turner, The Sonics und jede Menge mehr.

“SING LOUIE LOUIE!” – Der Live Contest
Ein Mikro, eine alte Gitarre plus Verstärker und Verzerrer für beides und jeder kann “LOUIE LOUIE” damit auf schönste oder schrecklichste Weise interpretieren. Ob mit oder ohne Talent: “Be our star!”

“LOUIE LOUIE” BINGO
Spielscheine liegen im Lichtspielklub aus. “Win the special price!”

THE HISTORY OF “LOUIE LOUIE”
Die “LOUIE LOUIE” Geschichtsstunde: Kopien der FBI-Akten, Plattencover, verschieden Songtextfassungen …

“LOUIE LOUIE” ON FILM
Livemitschnitte von Iggy Pop u.a. auf grosser Leinwand!

Click on Lichtspielklub.de for more information about this truly inspired event!

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, “Ich bin ein Berliner” or “I am a jelly doughnut!”

Anyone have any frequent flyer credits they want to donate? I’ll be happy to catch a flight from San Francisco or San Jose, bringing a camera to document this event!