Louie, Louie

Many, many, many years ago, a small rock group called The Kingsmen had a surprising hit with what would go on to become one of the most instantly-recognizable – and least-intelligible – songs of the twentieth century – “Louie Louie”.

I’m not a huge fan of the song, but enjoy oddball trivia as much as the next nerd, so I am familiar – as most people reading this are, I expect – with the curious history of the song, which includes a fairly involved investigation by the FBI, who attempted to determine whether, as some people had complained, the lyrics “secretly” contained obscenities. (Whatever set of supposed obscenities it contained were much, much milder than anything you’d hear in a rap song today, of course. Oh, how the times have changed…)

I was pretty sure someone (Russ Kick?) had put the whole FBI file on the song online, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The Smoking Gun has a few excerpts, but not the whole thing, and they make for moderately interesting reading.

As it turns out, the BBC did a one-hour show about the song and it’s investigation by the FBI last year, to mark the song’s fiftieth anniversary. You can download that radio program, called Louie and the G-Men, right here. It’s a 51MB MP3 file, so probably best avoided if you’re on dial-up or a similarly slow internet connection.


Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on February 13th, 2008| Comments Off on Louie, Louie

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