|This one has also been released on vinyl: Rhino R1 70515.
The liner notes:
Louie Louie: The Saga Continues...
The wide appeal of 'Louie Louie' to any artist performing in any musical genre is only partially illustrated in the selections on this compilation album. Stamley Clarke/George Duke fusion jazz, Mongo Santamaria calypso, Time Code dance club, PAul Revere Top 40, Ike & Tina Turner R&B, Kinks 60s Brit rock, Pete Fountain beautiful music, Angels' '60s girl group, The Shockwaves surf, and Russian rock versions are examples of the same song done by 10 artists, none of whom could perform on the same stage together.
As author Richard Berry analyzed his impressions of KFJC's 'Maximum Louie Louie', (a radio marathon staged in Los Altos Hills, CA) he began to comprehend the unique longevity of his 1955 composition, its continuing potential for audience attraction, and its unsettling tendency to appear in unpredictable and even ridiculous contexts. Berry's dwindling opinion of the entertainment industry began to reverse, and he began to hope again that he might receive acknowledgement for his contribution to rock music. Three days after his return to L.A., Richard Berry saw his song featured in a two-column article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, in the state of Washington, more impetus was brewing to push the history of 'Louie Louie' from the unusual to the implausible. Resolution No. 85-12 to the Legislature of the State of Washington by Whatcom County Commissioner Craig Cole called for 'Louie Louie' to be proclaimed the official state song. Citing Washington's need for a 'contemporary theme song that can be used to engender a sense of pride and community, and in the enhancement of tourism and economic development', Cole's reolution 'respectfully memorializes the Washington State Legislature to proclaim 'Louie Louie' as the official state song', and to name a newly created county 'Louie Louie County'. It also petitions Governor Booth Gardner' to take a public stand on the issue'. (A column in the March 12, 1985, Seattle Times stated that 'a spokesman for the governor said Gardner has never heard either [state song] 'Washington, My Home' or 'Louie Louie'. The governor is to listen to both songs in the next few days.')
Support for Cole's resolution from the governor or from 'Washington, My Home' composer Helen Davis (then aged 79) was not exactly earth-shattering, resulting in Senate Resolution 1985-37 which dodgingly declared April 12, 1985 'Louie Louie Day'. Support for Cole's resolution from the voting populance and the media, however, was significant, and several thousand people attended a 'Louie Louie' rally that April day to view performances by Paul Revere And The Raiders, The Wailers, and The Kingsmen. The following Sunday, April 15, 1985, a Seattle affair featured the premiere performance of a new, Washington-flavored lyrics specially penned by Berry. Berry, in tones similar to Dr.Frankenstein's when he realized the cosmic significance of his creation, gasped, 'How far can this thing go?' While washington's State Senate passed Cole's resolution, the House did not, and 'Louie Louie' did not become the official state song. (In retrospect, this is probably a good thing. Had his legislation passed, it would probably have been known as 'Cole's Law'.)
Subsequently 'Louie Louie' outbursts continued to occur throughout the United States. Norfolk, Virginia's WNOR utilized 36 hours of 'Maximum Louie Louie' to successfully generate press and TV coverage for their format change from urban to oldies; Dallas, Texas' KRQX staged a 12-hour April Fool 'Louie Louie' studio hijacking; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's WWSW segued from all news to and oldies format with several days of solid 'Louie Louie'. In Philadelphia, WMMR's 'Morning Zoo' personality John DeBella was inspired to 'stage a parade for no reason'. The 'no reason' would be 'Louie Louie'. Ramifications of this parade's success will eventually push the history of 'Louie Louie from the moderately unlikely to the solidly unbelievable.
Meawhile, Richard Berry discreetly renewed his pursuit throught the Artists Rights Enforcement to obtain his legitimate share of royalties for 'Louie Louie'. Berry was eventually granted 75% copyrights and 50% publishing rights to the 'ultimate rock 'n' roll song', which he had written nearly 30 years earlier.
Timing of Berry's royalty acquisition was fortuitous. Subsequent to the copyright settlement, 'Louie Louie' was licensed to the cerebral, avant-garde advertising agency Chiat/Day for use in their 'The Real Stuff' ad campaign for California Cooler. This campaign, a big change from the 'One More Reason To Hate California' approach initially used to position California Cooler in the market, was designed to counter the homespun crackerbarrel humility of the 'Ed and Frank' campaign, which had enabled Bartles and Jaymes to capture the lead in wine cooler sales. Use of the 'Louie Louie' party-animal battle cry was combined with a national 'reunion' tour of The Kingsmen, and a mail-in sales drive for 'Best Of Louie Louie, Volume 1'. Although the multi-million dollar campaign didn't regain California Cooler's lead in market share, it was a significant upswing for the reconstituted Kingsmen (who performed more shows and saw more money than they used to in a year) and a boost for sales of 'The Best Of Louie Louie Vol. 1' ('It's moving faster than a Wally George record', quipped Rhino President Richard Foos.)
Back in Philadelphia, WMMR's John DeBella was once successfull Grand Marshal. In 1985, when he staged the first 'Louie Louie' parade, inspired by the KFJC-KALX marathon wars, he intended it as an April Fool's Day publicity stunt for WMMR. To DeBella's pleasant surprise, more than 7,000 spectators turned out on a grisly-weathered April 1 for the parade. The second annual parade on Sunday, April 13, 1986, attracted, according to April 14's Philidelphia Inquirer, an estimeted 10,000 spectators. They watched '...a bizarre, ragtag group of marchers - well over 1,000 of them. (There were) many brigades (about 50 units, included the Tye-Dyed Toga Brigade), bands (such as the Nasal Academy Marching Band), floats and horse-drawn carriages...' Many of the groups played kazoos, enabling those who didn't know the lyrics to 'sing' along. With response this large, a third parade was inevitable. Sunday, May 10, 1987, the third annual 'Louie Louie' parade featured more than 5,000 participants, and culminated with a live on-air performance of 'Louie LOuie' by more than 70,000 spectators. When Richard Berry had asked 'How far can this thing go?' he didn't get any answer. As had been proven, no rational prediction would have been accurate, and no accurate prediction would have been rational.
There was an additional dimension to WMMR's 1987 parade. Planned as a fundraiser, the third annual 'Louie Louie' parade contributed $10,000 towards the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial planned foor Penns Landing. The fundraising potential of a 'Louie Louie' theme parade was noted by members of the Leukemia Society of America, who happened to be in Rochester, New York. With about three weeks preparation, the local chapter of the Leukemia Society and station WCMF staged a 'Louie Louie' parade which, on a raspy day in June, netted more than $3,000 for leukemia research. The Leukemia Society, impressed with the parade's success, decided to utilize 'Louie Louie' theme parades in its 1988 national fundraising efforts. Combining with major sponsors such as Eastern Airlines, Chemical Bank, Pizza Hut, Sea World, Taco Bell, Chevron, Harrah's, Mr. K's, Coors, and, naturally Rhino Records, the Leukemia Society sponsored 'Louie Louie' parades in conjunction with radio stations in over 40 cities. The Flagship Parade, WMMR's May 22 mega-event, includes performances by The Kingsmen and attracted more than 30,000 spectators anmd raised more than $39,000 for leukemia research. The total of spectators and contributions from the more than fifty parades across the country since May 1, 1988 is at this time, with the track record of this song, inestimable.
The chapter of 'Louie Louie - The Saga' concludes with our hero, 'Louie Louie' on the precipice of a national event involving scores of stations, hundreds of renditions, thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and millions of kazoos. What can possibly happen next? Can 'Louie Louie' cure a major disease? Can Rhino issue a 'Louie Louie' compilation album without 13 pages of liner notes? For the answers, watch your record store for Volume III of 'The Best Of Louie Louie'.