Once upon a time I had a tape of “The Best of Louie, Louie” from the inimitable Rhino Records. (My favorite track was the version by the Rice University Marching Owls Band. What a great song for a marching band! I was less impressed by the versions where you could actually make out the lyrics. Who cares what the song is really about?
Amazon tells me I can also purchase “Love that Louie: The Louie Files” , “The Best of Louie Louie Vol 02“, and other compilations. I guess this tells you the song is a classic.
Jack Ely, the Kingsmen’s lead singer, died yesterday, so let’s take this outa here — let’s go!
I realize my previous post was perhaps not sufficiently deferential to “Louie, Louie.” It is, of course, a work of immense cultural and artistic significance — just not a song you want to hear after a presidential assassination. I used to own a tape of Rhino’s “The Best of Louie, Louie,” which of course includes the hit Kingsmen version, plus — my favorite — a rockin’ rendition by the Rice University Marching Owl Band. There are even versions where you can hear the actual lyrics, not that the lyrics are necessary to enjoy the song.
Here are the Kingsmen in all their unintelligible glory: