The Kingsmen were No.1 on the US Cash Box music chart with the controversial “Louie Louie”

Released in 1963, the now Rock classic was the subject of a FBI investigation

The Kingsmen were No.1 on the US Cash Box music chart with the controversial “Louie Louie”

By some accounts “Louie Louie” is the world’s most recorded rock song with over 1,600 versions and counting, but the most popular version remains the one made by Portland garage Rock band The Kingsmen in 1963. “Louie Louie” was first written and recorded by Richard Berry in 1955 as an American rhythm and blues song. The Kingsmen’s recording was the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed but nonexistent obscenity of the lyrics, an investigation that ended without prosecution. The song was banned on many radio stations and in many places in the United States, including Indiana, where it was personally prohibited by Governor Matthew Welsh Ironically, the recording notably includes the drummer yelling “Fuck!” after dropping his drumstick at the 0:54 mark. The sales of the Kingsmen record were so low (reportedly 600) that the group considered disbanding and eventually did. By the time the Kingsmen version had achieved national popularity, the band had split. On January 11th, 1964 the song was No. 1 on the the US Cash Box music chart. Today it remains one of the absolute staples on Rock music.

Watch the Kingsmen performing “Louie Louie” in 1964

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