Jack Ely, singer, guitarist
Singer ~ Guitarist
The Kingsmen

Jack Ely

September 11, 1943, Portland, OR ~ April 27, 2015, Redmond, OR

Ely was classically trained in piano and began playing guitar after seeing Elvis Presley on television. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen and with them recorded Louie Louie in 1963; Ely's famously incoherent vocals were partly the result of his braces and the rudimentary recording method. Before the record became a hit Ely was forced out of the group and began playing with his new band, the Courtmen. ~ Wikipedia: Jack Ely ~ retrieved April 29, 2015 © Wikipedia

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The song [Louie, Louie] , as Berry wrote it, told the story of a sailor on his way back to Jamaica to reunite with his love. But because Ely had howled the lyrics into an awkwardly dangling microphone - coupled with his bandmates' raucous, three-chord racket - his vocals sounded muffled and led to confusion as to what words he actually sang. The song became a Number Two hit and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. The FBI, believing Ely's words to be pornographic, launched an investigation into the tune and concluded that the vocals were “unintelligible at any speed” The Feds eventually compiled a 455-page report on the single, of which Sean told The AP Jack got “quite the kick”" out of. ~ Rolling Stone: Jack Ely Obituary ~ April 28, 2015 © Rolling Stone

The Kingsmen

In 1963, the Kingsmen decided to try to become the entertainment on a cruise ship bound for Australia. In order to apply for the job, they had to submit a demo tape. They booked a session at Northwest Recorders in Portland for $36, and they recorded ‘Louie Louie’ and an original instrumental song called ‘Haunted Castle.’ Although the cruise line did not give them the job, the group played the tape for some friends at KISN, a Portland radio station. As a result, they were able to get their version of ‘Louie Louie’ on local radio. At the same time they recorded their demo tape, another Northwest band called Paul Revere and the Raiders had also recorded a version of Louie Louie. The battle over radio airplay did not last long as the Kingsmen's version quickly became more popular. As a result, Jerry Dennon, a record producer from Seattle, Washington, heard the song. He decided to press a few hundred copies of the single on his regional record label, Jerdon. ~ Musicianguide: The Kingsmen ~ retrieved April 29, 2015 © Musicianguide

The Kingsmen ~ Louie Louie (Berry) ~ Ranked #57 RIAA Top 365 Songs Of The Century in 2001.

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