On April 11th, music lovers around the world celebrate “International Louie Louie Day” in honor of Richard Berry’s iconic rock song “Louie Louie”. The song is based on a Cuban song that has that famous opening riff, it was a song that was very popular on Los Angeles radio and while waiting backstage to perform, Berry heard a cover version of it by a local dance band inspiring Richard to compose it in a calypso beat.
The song has over 2000 recorded covers, countless live performances, and samples, the song has earned its place in rock and roll history. Although the Kingsmen’s version is perhaps the most well-known, Berry’s original composition must not be overlooked as it inspired the cover’s popularity. The song, was also inspired by an R&B interpretation of “El Loco Cha Cha” and Berry’s local bartender named Louie, written in 1955 and released in 1957.
It has been covered by legendary musicians like Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and Bruce Springsteen, and has been recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The song’s joyfully simple, anthemic chorus has had an undeniable impact on modern-day rock and roll. This year’s celebration of “International Louie Louie Day” includes the release of a brand new version of the original master with an extended edit of the legendary opening riff by Ace Records.
To celebrate International Louie, Louie Day, Arturo will share the Cuban roots of Louie, Louie including the riff that Richard Berry got stuck in his head to compel him to write Louie, Louie.