Louie Louie

"Louie Louie" 10-note riff
Original release
The cover features Black Flag's singer Dez Cadena and some of his improvised lyrics to "Louie Louie".

Rhythm and blues song written and composed by American musician Richard Berry in 1955 and released in 1957.

- Louie Louie

227 related topics


Verse–chorus form

Musical form going back to the 1840s, in such songs as "Oh! Susanna", "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze", and many others.

"Greensleeves" as an example of Binary Form.

"Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen (1963 cover), example not using blues form

The Kingsmen

1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States.

1963 "Louie Louie" line-up. L-R Don Gallucci, Jack Ely, Lynn Easton, Mike Mitchell, and Bob Nordby
The Kingsmen in 1966. Clockwise from lower left: Lynn Easton, J.C. Rieck, Kerry Magness, Mike Mitchell, Dick Peterson

They are best known for their 1963 recording of R&B singer Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", which held the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks and has become an enduring classic.

Dave Marsh

American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host.

Eduard Hanslick, an influential music critic of the 19th-century

Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the World's Most Famous Rock'n'Roll song; Including the Full Details of Its Torture and Persecution at the Hands of the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I., and a Cast of Millions; and Introducing, for the First Time Anywhere, the Actual Dirty Lyrics, (Hyperion), 1992.


Mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase in a way that gives it a new meaning.

The Bonnie Earl of Moray, anonymous "vendetta portrait" of the murdered James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, 1592

The phenomenon may, in some cases, be triggered by people hearing "what they want to hear", as in the case of the song "Louie Louie": parents heard obscenities in the Kingsmen recording where none existed.

Richard Berry (musician)

American singer, songwriter and musician, who performed with many Los Angeles doo-wop and close harmony groups in the 1950s, including The Flairs and The Robins.

He is best known as the composer and original performer of the rock standard "Louie Louie".

Paul Revere & the Raiders

American rock band formed in Boise, Idaho in 1958.

The band in 1967. Front L–R: Paul Revere, Mike Smith. Center L–R: Jim Valley, Mark Lindsay. Back: Phil Volk
Where the Action Is photo of Dick Clark with the group in 1966. Front L–R: Paul Revere, Clark, and Mike Smith. Back L–R: Drake Levin, Phil Volk, and Mark Lindsay.
Paul Revere in 2007

After charting in 1961 with the minor hit "Like, Long Hair" and then in late 1963 just missing Billboards Hot 100 with a cover of "Louie Louie", the band was signed to Columbia Records, under the tutelage of producer Terry Melcher.

René Touzet

Cuban-born American composer, pianist and bandleader.

GNP 113 - El Loco Cha Cha (1956)

One of his best known arrangements of this period, "El Loco Cha Cha", provided R&B singer Richard Berry with the "riff" for his classic pop song "Louie Louie".

You Really Got Me

Song written by Ray Davies for English rock band the Kinks.

Dutch single sleeve

According to the band's manager, Larry Page, the song's characteristic riff came about while working out the chords of the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie".

The Kinks

English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies.

Original line-up in 1965. From left: Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory.
6 Denmark Terrace, the childhood home of the Davies brothers. The front room is where the family's frequent Saturday night parties were held.
Publicity photo taken during a Swedish tour in 1965
Promotional photograph, 1966
Ray Davies plays a Fender acoustic, Dave Davies a prototype Gibson Flying V, on the Dutch TV programme Fenklup on 29 April 1967.
The Kinks, c. 1971. From left: John Gosling, Dave Davies, Mick Avory, John Dalton, Ray Davies (the band's line-up 1970–1976, 1977–1978)
Ray Davies in character as Mr Flash, the anti-hero of the Preservation series
Ray Davies in Brussels, 1985, as the group's popularity began to dwindle
Dave Davies at the Dakota Creek Roadhouse, 2002

"You Really Got Me", a Ray Davies song, influenced by American blues and the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie", was recorded on 15 June 1964 at Pye Studios with a slower and more produced feel than the final single.

The Sonics

American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 1960.

The Sonics performing at the Double Door in Chicago on February 27, 2014.
Andy Parypa, 2011
Rob Lind, 2008

The band performed several early rock standards such as "Louie, Louie", and "Skinny Minnie" as well as original compositions like "Strychnine", "Psycho", and "The Witch".