Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The True lyrics, the FBI and the Marching Band

Ok, so I’m looking through some sites trying to find interesting material for this blog and on a "This Day in Music" site I came across the following entry for today:

1964 - The publisher of the song "Louie Louie" offered $1,000 to anyone would could find               suggestive lyrics in the song. (pronounced "Loowee Lewii")

My first thought was “Suggestive lyrics"... things have changed!  Living in an era of explicit lyrics and Parental Advisories for Cd's, I have a hard time imagining being in a position where you would have to offer a grand to defend your song from a “suggestive lyric” accusation.  My second thought was that I needed to learn a lot more about this song.

Filled with competing bands, unintelligible lyrics, rumours, hearsay, banned music, FBI investigations and a drawn out legal battle, the story of Louie, Louie is big screen material.  If you have time please read the entire story on Wiki (, I have excerpted one particularly amusing paragraph:

In February, 1964, an outraged parent wrote to Robert Kennedy, then the Attorney General of the United States, alleging that the lyrics of "Louie Louie" were obscene. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the complaint. In June 1965, the FBI laboratory obtained a copy of the Kingsmen recording and, after two years of investigation, concluded that the recording could not be interpreted, that it was "unintelligible at any speed,"[9] and therefore the Bureau could not find that the recording was obscene.[1] In September 1965, an FBI agent interviewed one member of the Kingsmen, who denied that there was any obscenity in the song.[1][27]
The lyrics controversy resurfaced briefly in 2005 when the superintendent of the school system in Benton Harbor, Michigan, refused to let the marching band at one of the schools play the song in a parade. She later relented.[28][29]
A history of the song and its notoriety was written by Dave Marsh.[30]

In the end, when you hear a rapper or a hip hopper going on about different acts or body parts, there is a debt to paid to those who sung “Louie, Louie” and the Kingsmen.

Also in the end, as you well know, there is a drink.

The Historical Inebriant:  Louie Louie

3oz Southern Comfort
1oz Vodka
1oz Coffee Liqueur

After listening to the song, I would bet with the producer.

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