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Kingsmen Release Controversial Louie Louie 50 Years Ago Today [VIDEO]

Hard to believe it’s been a half of century since the Kingsmen released this oldie, but goody:

The song has a rich history, where in 1957, it’s initial release with little fanfare came by way of Richard Berry, but the cover version done in 1963 is the most recognizable version of the hit, which incidentally cost about $36 to record – in one take – so I hear.

The sound design back in those days was not like the digital lifestyle we relish in the present, whereby, imperfection is not even accepted when it comes to music recordings.

In the case of “Louie, Louie”, the microphone was hung from the ceiling where frontman Jack Ely shouted the lyrics in order to “get over” the sound of the instruments, and because the vocals were slurred, some people perceived them as obscene, then told anyone who would listen what Ely was “really saying”.

The governor of Indiana banished the song from the airwaves in his state, and even the FBI took a sneak peek into the controversy, but in the end, The Kingsmen emerged with not only a reprieve from guilt, but also with well wishes and new found fondness from music lovers nationwide.

It was ultimately decided that the song was unintelligible at any speed.  Now, that’s what I call a tribute to a classic!

The Kingsmen

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