Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:45 PM
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Back in 1963 during an after-hours session at the Northwestern , Inc. studios, an unknown rock group called The Kingsmen recorded a simple song about a sailor longing for his lady. The lead singer, Jack Ely, was either hungover or had just had his braces tightened (depending on which version of the story you believe).

Louie Louie made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s success may have been fueled by rumors that the vocals were intentionally slurred to mask profanities of one kind or another (depending on which “real” version of the lyrics one reads). Many radio stations refused to play it. The governor of Indiana banned it from the entire state based only on the rumor, since nobody could understand the lyrics.

The FBI investigated, but in the end concluded that … nobody could understand the lyrics.

A few years ago the notion was suggested, rather tongue-in-cheek I believe, that Washington statue use Louie Louie as the state song. Nobody would be offended by it since… nobody could understand the lyrics.

Following a long, long tradition of believing what you can’t hear, Benton Harbor, Michigan School Superintendent Paula Dawning has ordered the McCord Middle School Band not to perform Louie Louie in Saturday’s Blossom Time Grand Floral Parade. The band is now trying desperately to learn a new song in time for the parade.

Said Dawning:

It was not that I knew at the beginning and said nothing. I normally count on the staff to make reliable decisions. I found out because a parent called, concerned about the song being played.

One wonders if perhaps Dawning has never considered that her staff may have made a reliable decision, and it’s the sole “concerned” parent who is out to lunch? Hopefully she will be laughed out of town and the kids will get to play the song they’ve practiced all year.

For those interested, Wikipedia has both the original lyrics and the Kingsmen’s version. Neither is obscene.



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