12 Days ’til LOUIE LOUIE 2020 Christmas – Day 8

It’s the 8th day of the 12 days ’til LOUIE LOUIE 2020 Christmas, and the first day of Winter, which makes it a perfect day for…

Johnny Winter

Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE, unlike most of his other recordings, was not a standard blues-oriented performance. Instead, it had more of a Louisiana Zydeco type of groove. There’s not many details about Johnny’s recording of this song, but this was one of his early audio recordings when working with Roy E. Ames, a prominent music producer in Houston, Texas. As Johnny (and many other Texas-based musicians) discovered, Mr. Ames turned out to be a less-than-ethic businessman, and leaving Houston area turned out to be one of the best things he ever did for his career.

While Mr. Ames released a lot of Johnny Winter music (without ever paying any royalties to Mr. Winter), either on his own record labels or licensed out to other record companies, it appears that the first release of Johnny’s version of LOUIE LOUIE occurred as the first track on “A Lone Star Kind of Day,” a 1990 CD from the Relix label. This version was also on the 3-CD box set entitled “Blues In A Box,” which was released in 1998 on the M.I.L. Multimedia ‎label, followed by a re-release of “A Lone Star Kind of Day” CD as 4-CD box set entitled “A Winters Tale,” which was sold by Past & Present Records ‎in 2000, repeated again as “Dust Bowl Blues” -a 3CD set from Alchemy Entertainment in 2004.

I’m not even sure that Johnny actually sang on this version, as it’s been noted that it might have been bass player I.P. “Ike” Sweat or Jerry “Count” Jackson singing lead vocal on these early recordings with Mr. Ames.

As Mr. Ames passed away in 2003, leaving behind a lot of unresolved lawsuits from a multitude of other unpaid musicians, it’s anybody’s guess if or when this music may ever be re-issued.

Of course, Johnny also left us in 2014.

As fate would have it, I just found out about a newly-discovered live recording of that song by Johnny Winter. It’s on a limited edition, numbered, marbled translucent blue vinyl LP from Germany entitled “Also In Summer.”

I just ordered a couple of copies, and with any luck, I hope to get ’em within a week and hear what this newer version sounds like…


(Still haven’t found any partridges, turtle doves, French hens, calling birds golden rings, geese a-laying, swans a-swimming…. or even any maids a-milking…. sigh….)

Reference Links:
Discogs.com – Johnny Winter discography
AllMusic.com -Johnny Winter “A Lone Star Kind of Day”
Houston Press – April 28, 1994 “A Hard Case of the Blues” by Jim Sherman
Houston Press – August 28, 2003 “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish” by John Lova Lomax
LOUIE REPORT- RIP: Johnny Winter – LOUIE of the Week

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