Identifying the first pressings of Kingsmen LOUIE LOUIE

This week, we’re sharing some of the great research our friend Clay Stabler had conducted to identify the first pressings of the 1963 Kingsmen LOUIE LOUIE recording. He’s been sharing his research notes at the LOUIE LOUIE Facebook party, so we’re going to provide some LouieLouie.net real estate as a means of sharing these details with a larger base…

To begin, we’ll start off with the initial pressings from Jerden Records, a small record label owned by Jerry Dennon.

How to tell if your Jerden 712 is an original pressing.

This 45 has had multiple repressings/bootlegs over the years. The label has always been the same, but the original is crisper and clearer — especially the small print at the right. Also, the Jerden graphic at the left is darker in the repressings. The markings in the runout area are definitive proof, though. The original has “JERDEN #30” and “JERDEN #31” hand scribed on the A/B sides. The Monarch Records sequence numbers “Δ 47668” and “Δ 47668X” are also hand scribed on the A/B sides indicating late April 1963 as the production period. The Monarch Records logo (“MR” in a circle) was not used for some reason.
Various later pressings have “JD 30” and “JD 31” on the A/B sides. On some repressings a small “340” is also present. There are also repressings on blue and pink vinyl.

Sound quality is the same on all!

This is the original label.

This is what the “30 mark looks like on an original recording.

The original pressing also has a “Δ 47668” marking, which is NOT on any of the secondary re-pressings.

This is an early repressing.

Here’s another repressing.

..and yet another …

When it became obvious that Jerden Records could not keep up with the demand, another record label made an offer to buy the recording and sign the Kingsmen to their label. That record company was Scepter Records, which released this recording on their Wand label. Founder Florence Greenberg operated this company with Marvin Schlachter.

How to tell if your Wand 143 is a first pressing.

When Wand picked up national distribution from Jerden, the Bell Sound plant in NJ did the initial pressing work. First pressings have hand inscribed matrix numbers and a small Bell Sound logo in the runout area. But you can also tell just from looking at the label layout. As shown in the DJ example below, if the text is right blocked and the “Louie Louie” line is shorter than “The Kingsmen” line, then it should be a first pressing. Many other text varieties exist for later pressings with different centering and line lengths (and also the addition of “Lead vocal by Jack Ely” and the “Louie Louie 64-65-66” reissue), but this particular label layout normally identifies a first pressing.

For completeness I should also note that another first pressing variety exists. At some point, the pressing plant ran short on 45 labels and had to use LP labels. The result is a scarcer first pressing variety that looks like this.

Here’s a first pressing stock label example with standard red lettering and without the promo language.

Red lettering is standard. Black lettering is usually used on promo copies.

There are also DJ promo examples with red lettering but black lettering seems to be exclusively used for promo items.

Here’s an example of the second pressing. At some point Wand shipped a stamper to the Monarch plant in Los Angeles for additional production. The Monarch logo (“MR” inside a circle) was added in the runout area, so this pressing has both logos. The Monarch sequence number “Δ 49965” was also added which identifies the production period as October 1963. Label text layout is also unique with centered lettering and the “Louie Louie” line longer than “The Kingsmen” line. Third pressing has other text layouts and typeset matrix numbers. Confused yet?

.. and we haven’t even gotten to the records that acknowledged Jack Ey on Vocals yet!!

As this is still very much a work in progress, we’re looking for other variations of these pressings. if you have any such pressings, please feel to contact us directly. You can reach us via “louie45” at LouieLouie.net.

UPDATE 1: Since this blog post was published, there were some minor corrections. Apparently, the “Δ 47668” marking was only on the original Jerden 45 pressing and not part of the second pressing.

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