Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY:Louie Louie” has been recorded by everyone and their brother, and is regularly played at sporting events. But how does it rank among the all-time most recorded songs?

Richard Berry did the original, but the Kingsmen are the ones most associated with the song. Did their hit come before or after the one by Paul Revere and the Raiders? Both were popular here in Portland.

Which do you think is the strangest version? For me, it's probably the Troggs, and the way they borrow heavily from their hit, “With a Girl Like You.”
—Royce Weber, McMinnville, Ore.

DEAR ROYCE: For non-seasonal recordings, the majority of the lists ranking most-recorded songs have Richard Berry's “Louie Louie” second only to Paul McCartney's “Yesterday.” Over 1,000 recordings exist of “Louie Louie,” with at least 1,600 versions made of “Yesterday.”

My insertion of the non-seasonal caveat allows for how ever many thousands of recordings exist of Irving Berlin's “White Christmas.” Recent estimations place the number of different recordings of this holiday classic at around 10,000! (Please don't ask me to list them.)

The Kingsmen and Paul Revere and the Raiders both recorded “Louie Louie” during the same week, April 1963, at the same Portland studio, Bob Lindahl's Northwest Recorders. The Kingsmen are from Portland, the Raiders hail from Boise, Idaho.

Some evidence points to the Raiders' “Louie Louie” session being April 11, 1963, with the Kingsmen coming in two days later to lay down their version.

This conjecture, however, is disputed by some who say the Kingsmen first made a demo of the song, which the Raiders heard, liked, and quickly waxed.

Regardless, neither of these groups were first in the northwest to revive Richard Berry's tune.

That honor goes to Tacoma's Bill Engelhart, who, as Little Bill and the Bluenotes, released it in 1961 (Topaz 1305).

Then along came Rockin' Robin Roberts with his single (Etiquette 1) in 1962. This brought Roberts to the attention of the Wailers, one of the top northwest acts at the time, and soon Robin began wailin' as a Wailer.

Before November 9, 1963, the week the Raiders and Kingsmen both debuted in the Top 100, no recording of “Louie Louie” ever appeared on any of the Billboard or Cash Box charts.

Nationally, the Kingsmen clearly dominated; however, as you recall, Portland did not ignore the Raiders. Both versions were hits in the Rose City, as well as Boise, of course.

Regarding whose is the strangest “Louie Louie,” I vote for Julie London. Originally one of the cuts on her 1969 LP, “Yummy Yummy Yummy” (Liberty LST-7609), Julie's sultry cabaret vocal with a jazzy, piccolo-led ensemble make this track seem like it came from a distant galaxy.

Then again, it is somewhat at home in a mix that also includes London taking on Manfred Mann (“Quinn the Eskimo”); Fifth Dimension (“Stoned Soul Picnic”); Jose Feliciano (“Light My Fire”); and perhaps most unexpected of all, the title track, “Yummy Yummy Yummy,” a bubble gum hit for the Ohio Express.

Being strange is not necessarily being bad. In fact, I rather enjoy Julie London's passionate handling of this Louie fellow.

IZ ZAT SO? There is one quirky sidebar to the “Louie Louie” story. When the Kingsmen record reached No. 2 (December 14, 1963), the Singing Nun was enjoying her second consecutive week at No. 1 with “Dominique.” It's hard to imagine the nation's top two tunes more widely divergent.

Stalled at No. 2 for two weeks under the French language “Dominique,” the Kingsmen then got bumped down to No. 3 the following week (December 28, 1963), giving ground to Bobby Vinton's “There I've Said It Again,” while “Dominique” remained on top.

Came the new year and “Louie Louie” surged again to No. 2, but would remain locked right there for the entire month of January. For those four weeks, the bridesmaid Kingsmen were topped by Vinton's “There I've Said It Again.”

On February 1st, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” zoomed to No. 1 — a position the Beatles would occupy for 20 of the next 48 weeks.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site:
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes


British rockers BLUR have returned to the recording studio and are planni ng to release a new album - just weeks after the band's label boss called for a new record. The Parklife hitmakers released their last album, Think Tank, in 2003, shortly after guitarist Graham Coxon walked away from the band during rec ording.

They successfully returned to the stage last year (09) for a series of gigs, and recently released a limited edition vinyl single as part of a c ampaign to save record stores.

Parlophone Records president Miles Leonard subsequently urged the group to get back in the studio and give fans what they want - a new album.

Now, frontman Damon Albarn has confirmed the band will release a collec tion of new tracks in the "undetermined" future.

He tells NME, "I'm definitely going to do a few more of those seven-inc hes (vinyl records) and at some point in the undetermined future there wi ll be a record at the end of it.

"I love the no pressure aspect. Just going in the studio and recording it in a day is something we haven't done since the B-sides in the early d ays.

"We can't do it all the time. So I don't want anyone to think there's a n album coming soon, it's not possible, but we've got songs!"


BONE GNAWER: 'Feast Of The Flesh' Vinyl Re-Release To Include Limited-Edition 7" EP

"Feast Of Flesh", the debut album from BONE GNAWER — the Swedish-American collaboration featuring MASSACRE/ex-DENIAL FIEND growler Kam Lee, Rogga Johansson from PAGANIZER/RIBSPREADER, Morgan Lie from NAGLFAR/HATE AMMO and Ronnie Bjornstrom of RIBSPREADER/HATE AMMO — will be re-released on vinyl, with the first 99 copies including a limited-edition seven-inch single, "Scissored", containing three brand new tracks — "Back To The Butchery", "Leave Her To The Cleaver" and "Scissored".

Due in June through Germany's Metal Inquisition Records, this EP will be the only way that fans will be able to get all these tracks at this time.


Thin Lizzy Renewed

Thin Lizzy are about to reform and do a 2011 tour (although no word that THEY will be doing a full album in their shows). The new lineup will include original members Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton along with Viv Campbell (Def Leppard), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent) and Ricky Warwick (Almighty's).

Also look for a series of reissues of classic Thin Lizzy albums from Universal.


The Steve Miller Band To Tour In Support of New Album 'Bingo!'

Legendary rock icon Steve Miller Band will kick off a highly anticipated North American tour May 21st in Las Vegas in a new show designed by acclaimed Broadway director Rob Roth. The tour will support his new album BINGO!, which lands in stores June 15th on Miller’s Space Cowboy Records in partnership with Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records. Having sold more than 30 million records, The Steve Miller Band's trademark sound is a mainstay of rock radio. His yearly summer tour extravaganza has become an anticipated annual event for millions of rock fans.

While the tour will feature his classic rock anthems “Fly Like an Eagle,” “The Joker,” “Rock ‘n Me,” “Take the Money and Run,” and “Abracadabra,” among others, Miller will also perform selected tracks from BINGO! which echoes his early days on the Chicago scene.

BINGO! will be released in 2 formats: a 10-track digipack CD and a special edition with 4 bonus tracks and expanded artwork. The album’s artwork is a creation of legendary Storm Thorgerson whose album packages for Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd are the gold standard in artistic design. The album is a fully realized mature work of a master craftsman, in a sense, “BINGO!” is the album Steve Miller has been waiting all his life to make.


Green Day, Muse, Metallica - Vote For The Greatest Rock Singer Ever On Gigwise...

Voting is under way on Gigwise to find the Greatest Rock Singer Ever. You can vote on some of the biggest frontmen and women in music, including Matt Bellamy, Mick Jagger, Courtney Love, Freddie Mercury and Morrissey. Other singers in our Rate or Slate feature include Brandon Flowers, Trent Reznor, Jannis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

All you have to do cast your vote here ( ) and help us find the Greatest Rock Singer Ever.


This Date In Music History - May 12


Burt Bacharach -- songwriter, pianist and arranger. With Hal David wrote many classic songs including, "Close To You," "24 Hours From Tulsa," "Make It Easy On Yourself," "Magic Moments," "I Say A Little Prayer;" among others. Won two Oscars for film score 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid', for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head." (1928)

Norman Whitfield - songwriter and producer, best known for his work with Berry Gordy's Motown. Collaborated with Barrett Strong on such hits as "I Heard It through the Grapevine," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "(I Know) I'm Losing You," "Cloud Nine," "War," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Car Wash." (1940)

David Walkes - Gary Lewis and the Playboys (1943)

Billy Swan - (1944)

James Purify (1944)

Ian McLagan - Small Faces. Also worked with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen (1946)

Steve Winwood - Spencer Davis Group,Traffic, Blind Faith, Solo (1948)

Billy Squier - (1950)

Barry Borden - Molly Hatchet (1954)

Kix Brooks - Brooks and Dunn (1955)

Eric Singer - Kiss (1958)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1942, Ian Dury, singer, songwriter, poet, actor. Dury died on March 27, 2000 (age 57).

Singer and TV presenter Perry Como died in 2001 (age 88). He scored fourteen US #1 singles, from 150 US chart hits and over 25 UK chart hits, including the single "Magic Moments" and "Catch A Falling Star." Como was once the highest-paid performer in the history of television.


The Everly Brothers started a four-week run at #1 in the US in 1958 with "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (the song was written in 15 minutes).

In 1962, Billboard Magazine reported that last year's most-played jukebox record was "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean. The second most-played was Chubby Checker's "The Twist."

In 1963, Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for the US TV Ed Sullivan show after being told he couldn't perform "Talking John Birch Society Blues" due to it mocking the US military.

The Beach Boys started a four week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1964 with 'Beach Boys Concert', the group's first US #1.

'Are You Experienced', the debut album by Jimi Hendrix was released in the UK in 1967. To celebrate, Hendrix played a gig at the Bluesville Club, Manor House in London.

A British radio station debuts the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' album in its entirety in 1967.

In 1968, Jimi Hendrix was arrested by police on his way to Toronto for possession of hashish and heroin. Hendrix claimed the drugs had been planted on him. He was exonerated.

Brian Jones made his final live appearance with The Rolling Stones in 1968 when they appeared at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley, England.

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger married Bianca Macias at St Tropez Town Hall in 1971. The guest list included the other members of the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills. The couple separated in 1977.

The Rolling Stones released the album 'Exile on Main St' in 1972.

Led Zeppelin started a three week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1973 with 'Houses Of The Holy', the group's third US #1 album.

In 1975, Jefferson Starship gave a free concert in New York's Central Park in front of 60,000 fans. The band and concert sponsor, WNEW-FM, were forced to pay $14,000 for cleaning up and damage done to the park after the event.

Lionel Richie started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1984 with "Hello" his second US solo #1, also a #1 in the UK.

In 1996, 17-year-old Bernadette O'Brien died the day after being injured 'body surfing' at a Smashing Pumpkins gig at The Point, Dublin.

Hootie & the Blowfish went to #1 on the US album chart in 1996 with 'Fairweather Johnson'.

In 2000, thieves stole the gates to Strawberry Fields the Merseyside landmark immortalized by The Beatles song. The 10' high iron gates were later found at local scrap metal dealers in Liverpool.

In 2008, singer-songwriter Neil Young had a spider named after him. US university biologist Jason Bond discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and decided to name it after his favourite musician. Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi was found in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 2007.

John Lennon: The New York Years opened at New York's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC in 2009. The Lennon-themed exhibit, created by his widow, Yoko Ono, benefits the Spirit Foundation, a charity begun by Lennon and Ono. "I so hope it will be a true gift to New York City's residents and visitors," says Ono.