Jr. Cadillac- Live at Evergreen Ballroom 1974- LOUIE of the Week

Jr. Cadillac in 70s

This week, the LOUIE of the Week award goes out to Jr. Cadillac for their very rare recording of LOUIE LOUIE captured live in 1974 at the Evergreen Ballroom, with Jimmy Manolides on piano, and special guest artist Rube Tubin on guitar.

There’s a few things that make this particular recording especially noteworthy:

1) Jr. Cadillac, led by Mr. Ned Neltner, is a beloved Northwest band that’s been playing for 38 almost 40 years. Their line-up over the years reads like a Who’s-Who in the Pacific Northwest, featuring a lot of incredible talented musicians. They’ve performed for an American President, and they continue to play gigs all year around.

2) The Evergreeen Ballroom, which is where this recording came from, was one of the very few places where Richard Berry performed in the Pacific Northwest in 1957, when LOUIE LOUIE was a hot new single released on the Flip Records label. Richard didn’t return to the Pacific Northwest until 1983, when he was a special guest at a big event at the Tacoma Dome.

3) Buck Ormsby, bassist for both the Fabulous Wailers and the first incarnation of Little Bill & the Bluenotes, was one of the founding members of Jr. Cadillac. The Wailers and Little Bill, were the first musicians to record LOUIE LOUIE, years before the Kingsmen created their version..

4) Jimmy Manolides, who was the keyboardist for Jr. Cadillac for many years, also played with the Frantics, one of the earliest bands to perform LOUIE LOUIE in the Pacific Northwest. The Frantics never recorded LOUIE LOUIE, but their rendition inspired many others to pick up on this catchy little song.

5) In 1985, when there was a major effort to legally declare LOUIE LOUIE as the official state song of Washington State, Ned Neltner was able to convince Richard Berry to help rewrite some special lyrics for this special cause. Not long after this collaboration, Jr. Cadillac released a special recording of LOUIE LOUIE with the all-new lyrics written by Richard and Ned.

If you go to the official JrCadillac.com website, you can download an MP3 of this song, as well as a handful other songs from that concert. I recommend that you download this song as soon as possible, as you never know how it will stay up on the website.

Just so you know, that very cool cartoon graphic of Jr. Cadillac is courtesy of Sam Carlson‘s encyclopedic PnwBands.com website, which acknowledged Carol G Dobbs as their source for this fine image.

UPDATE: Ned Neltner responded:

What an honor to be selected Louie of the week. That in itself must be near a full time job. I went back and listened to that version and the interesting thing is that the singer isn’t me or Manolides, it’s Big George Barner…longtime staple Olympia rocker and current Port Commissioner. Also want to remind your readers that Jr. Cadillac turns FORTY this summer. We hope to do some event(s) around that fact.

Drake Bradley also shared these thoughts:

What a great Xmas present! This is one of the best Louie’s of the week you have selected. You should alert the group to the fact that there are two Louie’s on the Jr. Cadillac web site, and they are both great. My favorite is the live version performed at the Evergreen Ballroom.

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