Home NEWS Arts Wild Frugging Alert – “Louie Louie” Loses Its Frontman

Wild Frugging Alert – “Louie Louie” Loses Its Frontman


A tip of the hat and a chug of warm, garage band suds to Kingsmen front man Jack Ely, who left us with an unforgettable three-chord banger and loads of unnecessary notoriety over the lyrics he moaned into a misplaced microphone for “Louie Louie,” in 1963.

Ely, of Oregon, walked into a Portland recording studio with his bandmates that day and found himself singing into a dangling mike, the group pounding out a rock and roll classic that proved hard to beat, easy to dance to and easier to cover as countless bands churned out hundreds of tribute covers over the intervening years.

Ely slyly said the band let critics say what they wanted about the song, which was officially investigated for its supposedly lewd lyric – immediately creating a huge following among young people who spent long hours trying to decipher what Ely was singing about. Which wasn’t much.

Louie Louie became a huge hit for The Kingsmen and an almost overnight classic. The band was never able to duplicate its success.

Ely died Tuesday, in Oregon, after a long illness. He was 71


  1. Every night and day I say a little prayer
    I mrimphhff those furze bs all kind of ways
    I saiid a Louie Louie oh no baby, we gotta go
    We gotta go now

    Now that’s a catchy song!

  2. Danced to this most of my life and loved ever minute of it. Nice to know other people will probably dance to it after we’re gone.

  3. This song has never done anything for me. It sounds like early heavy metal music. (I freely admit to being in the minority with my opinion on this topic.)

  4. For those younger readers who don’t know the words and story behind this, some of it is at the Smithsonian website at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-fbi-investigated-the-song-louie-louie-for-two-years-78752777/?no-ist where the words are written. This was a time of some rather interesting cultural conflict and various authorities wanted to ban it for words they assumed were inappropriate. The FBI spent two years trying to decipher the words and could not. At least that is the story. If I’d been an FBI agent in 1963 I would have stretched out that assignment as long as possible too. Two years of work. Yeah, right.

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