Recovering from LOUIE LOUIE Day – World Records and Louie Fest

Bubba the Dog barks a version of LOUIE LOUIE!

Last week, the world celebrated April 11- International LOUIE LOUIE Day! It was quite an undertaking at the virtual headquarters of the LLAMAS organization, with the members scattered all over the globe, but we did it! Right now, we’re seeing a handful of reports of International LOUIE LOUIE Day out in cyberspace, including here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and even here. Of course, that doesn’t even include our pal DJ Oskar, who had a very special LOUIE radio show that day.

I’ve had a few friends ask me “Eric – Have you seen the official LouieFest press release that cites the Seattle Times article that mentioned that LOUIE LOUIE is the #1 recorded rock song in history?

Yes, I did indeed see this article and the subsequent press release. I’ve very glad to see that folks are waking up to the idea that this song has been recorded more times than any other song, rock or otherwise. I’ve had some very interesting conversations on this particular matter, and I have written about at various times on my site, including this time, that time, and another time.

About four years ago, right around the 2004 elections, when I was absolutely primed to debate with anybody over anything, I received an antagonistic email from someone that absolutely hated the song, and thought it was absurd that anyone could claim that LOUIE LOUIE was the most-recorded song of all-time. He was dead-set that it was “ANYTHING but LOUIE LOUIE,” and thought perhaps “Stardust” or “St. Louis Blues” were the most-recorded songs. At time, the Guinness World Records website stated that “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney was the most-recorded song of all time.

I presented the facts on LOUIE LOUIE, and offered to share a print-out of LOUIE LOUIE recordings that I personally had in my possession, and yet he still refused to acknowledge my conclusions. Somewhere in our conversations, I asked if he was of a certain political persuasion, mentioning that I leaned towards what one might call a “reality-based” point of view, which completely threw him off, and I never heard from him again. He was quite a character.

Recently, thanks to the dedicated work of my friends Theo deGrood, Mike Hintze, and Stretch Riedle, we’ve been able to isolate all of the of the individual 800+ LOUIE LOUIE recordings from the 63 hours of KFJC Maximum LOUIE LOUIE air check tapes. It’s been quite an undertaking, and I hope to publicly share some of the results once we get past the next phase of ID3 identification of the various audio tracks. Keep checking this blog for more updates.

Anyways, the bottom line is that between the four of us, and the support of all the people in the LOUIE community that have shared their recordings, we will soon be able to present a comprehensive list of all documented versions of LOUIE LOUIE, which I am positive is well over 1,600 versions.

Guinness World Records has refused to acknowledge LOUIE LOUIE as the world’s most recorded song. The website no longer claims that “Yesterday” is the most recorded song. As I recently searched the online database at for the “most recorded song,” I received a message “no matching records were found.” I also typed in the word “song” and received yet another “no matching records were found” message.

On page 9 of the Guiness World Records 2007 hardbound book, there was a mention of the “Largest Collection of One Song” by J. Gerado Barbosa Lima Filho of Brazil, who owns 1,384 versions of “My Funny Valentine.” It’s too bad their website can’t generate this type of information. Perhaps the web-designers are drinking too much Guinness? Or not enough? I don’t know….. it is a tasty beverage…

I’ve had no luck contacting anyone at the Guiness World Records organization to talk about the LOUIE LOUIE collection, or the 63 hour LOUIE LOUIE marathon, which would seem like a natural fit for their records. I’ve also been trying to contact them about a certain LOUIE LOUIE marathon that took place at a Peach Festival in Gaffney, South Carolina, which apparently was documented by the Guiness organization. If ANYONE in the Guiness World Records organization is reading this blog, please contact me.

Speaking of world records, it looks like the LouieFest is happening in Tacoma, Washington once again!

Organized by my friends The Fabulous Wailers, this looks like it will be the best one yet! This year, the festival will be FREE, and it looks like they encouraging a wide variety of LOUIE LOUIE performances. I was especially impressed with the “Press Area” on the LouieFest page, which is a good place to download press releases, view video clips, listen to radio spots, and view photographs.

Here’s a preview of “Press Area.” It looks very cool…

Louie Louie Fest in Tacoma - web sample

By the way, if you want to see some raw footage that I shot of the 2003 LouieFest, here’s something I put up on YouTube. The audio is pretty awful, but I thought I’d share it with my friends in the Northwest that may recognize themselves. I’m only going to use a few snippets in the documentary, so this is a good way to see this footage, warts and all.

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