Louie Louie singer dies aged 71

Louie Louie singer Jack Ely dies aged 71

In this April 16, 2009, file photo, Jack Ely, co-founder of the early 60"s band The Kingsmen and best known for his 1963 rendition of the song "Louie, Louie", poses for a photo at his home in Terre Bonne
Jack Ely died at home in Redmond, Oregon after a long battle with illness, his son said

Jack Ely, the lead singer of the Kingsmen who was best known for 1960s hit Louie Louie, has died aged 71.

His son, Sean Ely said the singer died at home in Redmond, Oregon after a long battle with an illness.

Ely’s incoherent singing on Louie Louie led the FBI to investigate the famous track on the grounds that it might be obscene.

Ely had a falling out with the band shortly after the song was recorded and later trained horses in Oregon.

“Louie Louie” was recorded in 1957 by Richard Berry, who had written it two years earlier.

The song is written from the perspective of a man who wants to sail to Jamaica to return to a girl he loves.

But it was Mr Ely’s rendition that popularised the song, which became a huge hit.

Its popularity brought it to the attention of the FBI, which worried that Mr Ely’s peculiar vocal style might be masking lyrics that broke federal obscenity laws.

The law enforcement agents reportedly concluded, in a lengthy investigative report, that the song was “unintelligible at any speed”.

Despite hundreds of covers by artists including Otis Redding, the Beach Boys, and the Sonics, the Kingsmens’ version of Louie Louie remains the definitive recording.

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BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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