The Kingsmen: Live & Unreleased CD [CD]
This recording will transport you back in time to a weekend in Portland, Oregon, November 15 & 16, 1963. These are the pivotal recording sessions by the infamous Kingsmen, the group that spawned the best known recording in the history of pop music - LOUIE LOUIE.
1. Kingsmen Intro
2. Louie Louie
3. Bent Scepter
4. The Waitin
5. Whatd I Say
6. Twist & Shout
7. Do You Love Me
8. Ooh Poo Pah Doo
10. Davids Mood
11. I Go Crazy
12. Long Tall Texan
13. Mojo Workout
14. Doin The Seaside
This music jacks me up! Makes me feel young again! Makes me want to get in fights! Drive real fast! Get real drunk! Kick some ass! - old age & maturity can be such a pain sometimes
The Kingsmen were formed in Portland, Oregon in 1957, with an original line-up that included Jack Ely (lead singer and guitar), Lynn Easton (drums), Mike Mitchell (lead guitar), Bob Nordby (bass), and Don Gallucci (piano).
As teenagers, they played at school dances, supermarket promotions, teen clubs, dance halls, national guard armories, fashion shows and private parties. Like many fledgling bands of the day, they copied what they heard on the radio and eventually became one of the most popular bands in the Portland area. One of they tunes that Jack Ely taught to the rest of the group was "Louie Louie", which had been a regional hit in the Seattle-Tacoma area. When it became one of their most popular live numbers, The Kingsmen decided to record their own version at Portland's Northwest Recorders studio. The cost of the session would be $36.
Jerry Dennon, a record producer in Seattle, pressed a thousand copies on his regional label, Jerden. A few Northwest music fans were already familiar with "Louie" as released by its writer, Richard Berry (1956) and The Wailers (1961). Paul Revere and the Raiders also recorded it the week after The Kingsmen did and both versions fought it out on local radio for a few months. Jerry Dennon, who worked for a record distributor at the time, sent the Kingsmen's version to the East Coast, along with that week's samples, where a couple of Boston stations played it, generating a huge response from listeners. Jerry Dennon entered into an agreement with New York's Wand label for immediate mass pressing and distribution.
Wand worked the record effectively and "Louie" rapidly broke out in several markets, climbing the charts. In 1963, before the record started to break nationally, friction caused the break-up of the original line-up when Easton copyrighted the group's name, informing the other members that he was now sole owner of the Kingsmen name and its new lead singer. Jack Ely went on to form his own Kingsmen, touring at the same time as Easton, who was lip-synching the record whenever possible. The record itself reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Cashbox best sellers chart.
Much of the record sales can be attributed to a controversy regarding the lyrics. The record was banned from sales and airplay in Indiana which, of course, stimulated even more interest; so much so that Wand greatly increased their pressing efforts.
Investigated by the FCC and many radio stations, the song was rumoured to have obscene lyrics sung in it. To this day, the Kingsmen still say they said nothing lewd, despite the obvious mistake at the end of the instrumental, where Jack Ely started to sing the last verse one bar too soon.
"Louie, Louie" has been covered repeatedly but the version by Jack Ely and the original Kingsmen line-up, remains definitive.
Our Price: £17.99