April 11 is International ‘Louie Louie’ Day – Are You Celebrating?
It's amazing the things that get recognition.
April 11th is International 'Louie Louie' Day, as in the song written by Richard Berry and made famous by The Kingsmen. You know the one.
Yes, one of the most iconic (and unintelligible) rock songs ever has its own day of celebration, Richard Berry's birthday. Granted, if Wikipedia is to be believed, April is a big month in the history of the song any way.
As a small sample of what I mean, April 13, 1957 saw the release of the original version of the song by Richard Berry. On April 6, 1963, The Kingsmen recorded their version, the one that leaps to mind when you think of 'Louie Louie'. A week later, Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded a version of their own.
The song has been covered by numerous groups. The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Terry Kath (pre-Chicago), John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, and Barry White have all done covers of the song, to name a few of the most recognizable names.
One of my favorite parts of the story of this song is the controversy over the lyrics. In the mid-1960s, when the Kingsmen version became a massive hit, people started getting convinced the lyrics were obscene. It got to the point where the FBI got involved, spending over two and a half years going over the song, only to determine that the lyrics were completely unintelligible at any speed, and therefore, there was no obscenity to be found.
So, now that you know this, how are you going to mark the day?
As for me, I gotta go. (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I said a Louie Louie, wo-oooh...)