Louie Louie b/w Haunted Castle
Wand #143 Released 1963
The Kingsmen’s cover of Richard Berry’s three chord classic took the rock & roll world by storm in late December back in 1963. Jack Ely sang the song so violently and carelessly that everyone assumed he must be using bad language and talking about sex. Sales skyrocketed!
Richard Berry released his original version in 1955 with “no comma” between the Louies. Paul Revere & The Raiders are also known to throw down a mean Louie Louie. Their Columbia Records 45 version was recorded in the same studio as The Kingsmen around the same time and also packs quite a punch. The song really takes off with Mark Lindsay’s “Stomp ‘n shout and work it on out!” yell followed by a great guitar solo by Drake Levin.
But The Kingsmen delivered a rock solid version that killed the competition and it has become the standard. Ely’s effective “OK, let’s give it to ‘em, right now!” before the guitar break here is also wild and can safely be called early punk rock.
The b-side is an original instrumental rocker called “Haunted Castle” that has an interesting chord progression and provides further proof that this lineup of The Kingsmen were worthy of their title. Unfortunately, the band on this recording split soon after this release and singer Jack Ely is not featured on any of the Kingsmen’s later hits.