Is ‘Louie Louie’ The Dirtiest Song Of The Sixties?
If Jack Ely (born September 11, 1943) had stood closer to the microphone recording “Louie Louie,” then the history of popular music would have been different.
If Jack Ely had stood closer to the microphone when he entered that Portland studio, then the history of popular music would have been different.
First released in May of 1963, and then re-released that October, the Kingsmen’s version climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart. The song’s popularity among a new generation of rock-and-roll teen-agers brought it to the attention of some concerned citizens. One of them, the father of a teen-age girl, wrote to Robert Kennedy, who was then the Attorney General, to complain about the song’s possible obscenity, prompting an F.B.I. investigation. “This land of ours is headed for an extreme state of moral degradation,” the incensed parent wrote to Kennedy.
Ely never recorded another hit with the Kingsmen; he left the group while “Louie Louie” was still on the charts, in late 1963, after a dispute with Lynn Easton.