He was the singer of a song that teenagers went crazy about, especially as they tried to figure out what they thought must be the “dirty” lyrics to this group’s one-hit wonder. His name was Jack Ely, and he died at age 71 yesterday, April 28, 2015.
“Despite being one of the most famous songs of the 20th century, Ely’s incoherent singing made the 1963 hit version of “Louie Louie” [by the Kingsmen] also one of the most misunderstood,” writes the Associated Press, continuing, “The FBI was so mystified by the hard-to-understand lyrics that it conducted an investigation into whether the song was obscene.”
Adds Rolling Stone, the FBI came to the conclusion “that the vocals were ‘unintelligible at any speed.’ The Feds eventually compiled a 455-page report on the single…”
The original version of the song had been sung by its author, Richard Berry, in 1957.
Ely died “at his home outside Bend, Oregon. His son, Sean Ely, confirmed the death to the Associated Press, and said he didn’t know what illness his father died of, ‘because of his religious beliefs.'”
To read more about this story please click here, which will take you to the AP article.
Here’s Jack Ely singing the Kingmen’s hit version of Louie Louie.