Here’s a catchy little song by Hadda Brooks that feeds in the LOUIE consciousness as a Pre-LOUIE composition that may or may not have contributed to the inspiration of LOUIE LOUIE. “Bully Wully Boogie” was a 1946 recording that was originally released on the Modern Records label. It starts off as a standard piano boogie-woogie type song, and somewhere after the 30 second mark, we hear Hadda sing the phrase “Bully Wully,” which flows a bit off the tongue like LOUIE LOUIE, and of course “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham.
I’ve been informed that this song may have been recorded 70 years ago today in 1946, but I don’t have a definitive confirmation on that.
Both Hadda Brooks and Richard Berry were signed to Modern Records, but not at the same time. Hadda left Modern in 1950 to pursue bigger dreams in the entertainment industry, and became second African-American woman to host her own television show with “The Hadda Brooks Show” in 1957… the year LOUIE LOUIE was released.
She was considered the “Queen of the Boogie” and had quite a interesting career, appearing in various movies, tourng around the world including a performance for the Queen of England and a private audience with Pope Pius XII.
In 1995, at the age of 79, 50 years after making her first recording with Modern, she returned full-circle by signing with Virgin, the record label that had acquired the Modern masters. In 1996 she released a CD of new recordings, followed by a double-CD retrospective of her work in 1998.
Here’s another clip of Hadda Brooks that I really enjoyed – she performs “I Hadn’t Anyone ‘Til You” for a somewhat distracted Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in the 1950 feature film “In A Lonely Place,” directed by Nicholas Ray.
Last week, Orme Radio of Italy celebrated International LOUIE LOUIE Day with a lively 90 minute special!
They closed the show with a wonderful LOUIE I’d never heard before – a French band known as Calamity Jeanne, the Pocket Orchestra. Here’s a little description they provided of themselves, translated by the Google Language Tools robots…
A bitter blues, a light-hearted guajira (?), a retro-fanciful swing, a sophisticated reggae, an impertinent folk, a undulating bossa … you will get Calamity Jeanne, the Pocket Orchestra, a bold vibe to warm your old bones and To embrace your hearts.
Take a listen to their BandCamp post, and buy a copy of their album if you like ’em!
I do think it’s a keeper, and I hope they play San Francisco some day!
… and if you want to hear the full Orme Radio LOUIE Special of 2017, click on THIS!
Believe it or not, he actually had a connection to this LOUIE project.
Years ago, before I ever even thought about LOUIE LOUIE and this documentary project, I wound up working with David Peel.
In 1982, I lived briefly in New York City. Before I made the move back to California, I decided to track down David Peel, the radical anti-establishment street singer whose music was difficult to find in California.
Peel’s phone number was pretty easy to find in NYC, so I called him up, and was able to visit with him about an hour later at his apartment. As a Beatle-enthusiast, I knew about with his work with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Apple Records, even though I never actually heard that particular album (it had been out of print for ages).
Before I left on my big trek to N.Y., a friend of mine had played me Peel’s “King of Punk” album, which I thought I was pretty amazing. Peel was known as a radical folk singer, banging out crazy little anti-establishment ditties on an acoustic guitar, and this album was a direct response, calling out the Ramones and others for “stealing” his schtick, so to speak.
I always thought of Peel as the “missing link” between folk and punk.
Anyways, Peel and I hit it off quite well, yacking for hours. He wound up offering me an opportunity to create my own division of his record company, which would be known as Orange Records West.
For the next four years, it was quite an interesting run. I ran Orange Records West as a satellite operation, promoting and distributing products from New York, as well as creating new products that repackaged Peel’s music and a handful of west coast musicians.
During this time, I also attended college part time, and wound up spending more time at KFJC Radio, a community radio station that was doing some remarkable things.
At KFJC there was a serious organization going on the station to orchestrate an extremely ambitious LOUIE LOUIE marathon, and a major effort was made to encourage as many musicians as possible to record that song. I contacted Peel to see if he wanted to participate in this thing, and he sent me back an exclusive recording of the song, accompanied by his bandmate Tom Acosta.
As fate would have it, that LOUIE marathon opened up yet another interesting door in my life. I borrowed some public access video equipment to document that special event, and wound up capturing some unique footage that nobody else was recording, including the first and only performance by the original songwriter (Richard Berry) with the original singer of the band that transformed the song into a major hit (Jack Ely).
A few years later, I reached a point where i felt Orange Records West was at a standstill and I felt that bringing David Peel out to California for a series of shows would be the best way to keep this company active.
As it turned out, one of David’s old friends was based in the San Francisco bay area, and they’d both been anxious to collaborate on a new project. Muruga Booker, a super-talented percussionist that worked with a ton of prominent musicians (George Clinton & Parliament, Stevie Wonder, Dave Brubeck, John Lee Hooker, Weather Report, among others), linked up with David Peel to create a brand new musical project that would known as the Peel-Muruga Experience. Muruga was based in Oakland, I brought in my friends Mark Renner and Kenny Schick of Dot 3 to be a part of this band that would play for three nights in the SF Bay Area.
During the week of these shows, I was contacted by an independent video producer by the name of Jesse Block that wanted to shoot some video of the San Francisco show at the Farm. While I had some shot some video of the rehearsals, as well as a segment with Peel and Murugua walking around in the Haight-Ashbury district, I wasn’t set up to shoot the actual concert, so I gave this guy Jesse a green light, as long as he gave me a copy of whatever video was shot.
By the end of the mini-tour, I was completely exhausted, and decided I no longer wanted to work with David Peel. Orange Records West was dissolved, I decided to devote more time in college to finish off a few degrees, and my focus was shifted back to my primary interests of photography and video production.
…and that guy who shot the Peel footage, Jesse… became my co-producer on the LOUIE documentary as well as well as a collaborator on hundreds of other projects.
To celebrate the life of my old friend David Peel, i’m sharing some never-before-seen video from the E.P. archives….
First, here’s a clip that uses the audio of David’s performance of LOUIE LOUIE with bandmate Tom Acosta. I’m using some of Tom’s photos of him with Peel (as seen on Facebook), as well as some roughy-edited videos that I captured during the 1986 mini-tour.
Second, here’s a clip of the David Peel / Muruga Experience running through a rehearsal of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” captured at Muruga’s apartment in Oakland in August 1986. It’s a bit ragged, and there’s no real color correction to speak of… but it’s real…!!
Harold C. Black has been tickling the fancy of the ladies for decades. Black co-founded the Lower East Side band with David Peel in 1967. Half a century later, Harold’s humbly passing the hat on behalf of his recently departed chum. He has to. Most of the cost of David’s demise is on Black’s personal credit card, and it’s an expense the man is ill-equipped to pay. Harold is at all times a gentleman, however, and gentlemen step up to help a friend in need. Even when that friend is dead.
Paying for funerals is something kindhearted humans do for one another, especially when everyone else looks aside or is too busy to pay attention when the undertaker has his hand out. The thing is, maybe nobody else understood that David Peel died lacking the dollars to deal with his own demise.
“NY ROCKERS please help out Harold C. Black if you can. Everybody wrongly presumed David Peel’s many super rich rockstar friends would have naturally covered the expenses of burying him, but sadly, this is the Greed is God era and even the rich rockstar ex rebels are all out for themselves. ‘If every motherfucker who posted a picture of themself with David Peel last week could find it in their hearts to send ten or twenty bucks to help with funeral expenses, it wouldn’t all rest on the shoulders of that good man, Harold C. Black…we all know how many millionaire “friends” David Peel had, because they all flash their pix of themselves with him like hippie punk radical credibility credentials, but nobody but Harold stepped up to help bury the brother-even twenty bucks…something to think about…the millionaires and billionaires he knew have not kicked in a dime, so Harold put it all on his credit card, because he is a real man and a real friend. Let’s all step up this week and donate something(!!) to help Harold, who is not a billionaire. I’ll have an address in a day or two, meanwhile, please start just thinking about donating a ten, twenty, fifty, OR MORE if you have grownup job money, and the LOWER EAST SIDE ever meant anything to ya. Everybody wants to be a radical revolutionary until it’s time to do radical revolutionary stuff like putting your money where your bumper sticker is. Brothers and sisters, I know many of you will contact the counterculture icon, HCB, and make a small donation. Thank you for doing the right thing. Many hands make light work, and those cats have given NY rocknroll culture so much.
I’d like to encourage folks to send donations directly to [email protected] via PayPal.
As this article points out, April 6, 1963 was the day that the Kingsmen stepped into the recording studio to make some history..
Will Simmons from the Pittsburgh Orbit wrote some excellent words about this special moment, and you really need to read the whole thing to appreciate it….
It really is a beautiful essay, but I do take exception with one particular statement:
The Kingsmen went on to record a series of albums in the mid-1960s full of decent, but forgettable R&B standards, dance-craze-of-the-week retreads, and unfortunate novelty tunes. It didn’t help matters that shortly after “Louie’s” success, Easton staged a bloodless coup to unseat Ely as lead singer and frontman. In one fell swoop, the band lost both of their greatest assets–the untrained voice and the unhinged beat.
The truth of the matter is that Jack Ely was not unseated after the success of LOUIE LOUIE.
He and bassist Bob Nordby left the band months before the song became a big success. There was a big argument over the direction of the band, as Lynn Easton not only wanted to become the lead vocalist and move Jack from guitar to the drums, but there was also the matter of the trademark registration of the Kingsmen name, which Lynn and his mother took complete control of ownership.
Jack tried to rejoin the band after LOUIE LOUIE it became an unexpected hit, and Lynn refused to allow him back into the Kingsmen.
Other than that little statement, an excellent article.
I really enjoyed seeing the phonebook entry for Pypo Club in Seaside, Oregon.
This a nice affirmation that “1 Broadway, Seaside, Oregon” was indeed the address for this legendary teen dancehall!
Finding anything about the Pypo Club is always a special treat! I’m still hoping to find some definitive photographs of the interior of this club!
Will Simmons will be writing a second installment of his Louie Files, where he may “attempt to find the rock club in Seaside!”
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.