You are a member of the “Louie-Louie” generation if “Louie-Louie” is a song that has been playing somewhere in the back of your head since you first heard it all those years ago. “Louie-Louie” was written in 1956 by Richard Berry, a second rate west coast R&B singer. It was originally about a lonely sailor telling his story to a bartender whose name was Louie. (In this blog and PodCast, he is known as “Big Louie”… his big bad self…our main man.)
The Kingsmen recorded the hit version of the song in 1963 as an audition to get work on a cruise ship. They didnâ€™t get the gig, but the record began to get radio play. But there was a problem.Thereâ€™s just no way anybody could understand what the hell Jack Ely, the lead singer is saying…so the rumor got started that the lyrics were dirty. Naturally, the “Forces For Good In The Community,”(F.F.G. I.T.C.)including the Governor of Indiana, were morally outraged. The FCC got involved. The Feds tried as hard as they could to figure out what the words really are. They even tried playing the record at different speeds. Finally, they gave up and said “we just canâ€™t understand it.”
And that did it.Every guy I knew all of a sudden had a typewritten copy of the “Official Lyrics” tucked in right beside that “trojan” in his wallet. In an unofficial survey that I conducted at the time, no two copies of the “Official Lyrics” were ever the same. The song zipped up the charts to number two and stayed there for six weeks.
ONLY NUMBER TWO ! John Belushiâ€™s ultimate Raunchy Party Anthem…The Lustful Lyric of “Animal House”…the rowdy soundtrack of our youth…never made it to Number one.
“Louie-Louie” was…and still is…”hot.” Itâ€™s sexy, it has “tude,” and itâ€™s right in your face. It became a hit during the age when radio was also, in Marshall McLuhanâ€™s terms…”hot.” McLuhan said radio is “hot” and television is “cool.” He was referring to the emotional impact of radio as opposed to television…and he was right. Iâ€™ve done my share of national radio and television commercials, and until fairly recently the voice overs for radio commercials always had more sex, “â€˜tude,” and “in your face” than the ones for television commercials. Radio was “hot.” It had us sweating and sexing “under the boardwalk.” Tv was “Kool.” It had us dozing in the air conditioning. These days “Broadband” and the F.F.G.I.T.C. are killing tv, and radio is being buried by Ipods and boredom.”Louie-Louie” wouldnâ€™t make it in todayâ€™s radio. It just wouldn’t fit.
Like the radio of its day, “Louie” got people hot and bothered. It was fun, and because we all thought it was dirty, it was sexy fun. Through the entire history of America, The “Forces For Good In The Community” (F.F.G.I.T.C.) have always been nervous about letting us think that sex should be fun. And “Louie-Louie” really set them off. The “F.F.G.I.T.C.” started collecting rock and roll records for public smashing…very much like Hitler collected books for burning just a few decades before.
And then those F.F.G.I.T.C. hypocrites came up with a smug, brilliant, ugly public relations move. They started connecting sex with violence at every opportunity…as in “Sex and Violence in the media is corrupting our society, putting our children at risk, and threatening the sacred foundation of marriage.” Sex and violence…two completely opposite activities that have nothing to do with each other…have now become almost the same word…”sexandviolence.”Just for the record…violence is about hurting people. Sex is about intimacy…or in the words of “Big Louie…his own bad self”… “Sex is about smiles.”
I told you that I got into radio for the same reason most of the other guys I knew in those days got into radio…to get girls. Call me a pervert, but I always liked girls…and women. And I loved the idea of being on the air in the middle of the night in bed with literally millions of women…well…at least my voice was in bed with them. All kidding aside, it was a beautiful, strong, intimate experience for me. The key word is intimate. And I just found out you canâ€™t be intimate on the radio anymore. I found that out when I recently tried to buy a few late night commercials to promote the Personal Audio CDs.
I did the all night show on the station involved for a number of years. So I was really surprised when the commercials were turned down. I called the Program Director…a guy Iâ€™ve known and respected for a long time…to ask him why I couldnâ€™t buy time for my CDs on his station. He was away from his desk, but his voice mail said “my call is important to him,” so I left my name and number. He called back, and he very politely apologized for not being there when I called. He said he was giving a lecture at a local college. I asked him what was his subject. There was a pause, and he said, “I was speaking on the need for more emotional intimacy in radio.” I said, “sounds good to me.” Then I asked why my commercials had been turned down. Another pause, and he said, “the Continuity Director said they were too…intimate.” You canâ€™t make this stuff up. I said, “does that mean theyâ€™re dirty ?” His answer was… “no…she just said theyâ€™re too intimate.” I said the only thing left to say. I said… “Kool.”
Big Louie…his own big bad self…would have just smiled sadly and bought a round for old times sake…for everybody still sweating and sexing under the boardwalk…and it would have been on the house.
1- Why did the cops stop the guy who had all those ladiesâ€™ panties in his car ?
2- What do pandas and singles bars have in common. 3- Whatâ€™s the WORST thing a woman can say to a man.
3 right – An hour under the boardwalk with someone who is only semi-good.
2 right – An hour long record hop with really raunchy rock and roll.
1 right – An hour long black and white video of American Bandstand.
0 right – An hour long sermon from your local F.F.G.I.T.C.
A fun bitÂ came in from Proud PodCast Participant Jim King. I liked it and I asked him if I could pass it along to you, and he said:
Hi Dick,Sure, feel free. My Friend Rich, who lives in Abington, sent it to meoriginally. Got to know him when he managed the Brigham’s ice cream shophere in Wellesley Hills. Great ice cream!!! It’s right next to where I work,Eaton Apothecary.
Hereâ€™s the bit:
FOUR places I have lived: Medway; Springfield, MA; Truro; Wellesley
FOUR of my favorite foods: chicken, fish, ice cream, veggies
FOUR places I would rather be: Italy, England, Cape Cod, San Diego
FOUR people I think will respond: Nancy, Dick, Lee, Rich
Here’s what you’re supposed to do…and please do not spoil the fun. Copy this, change the answers to your own answers, and send it to every one you know…asking everybody to send it to everyone they know including you.Â
For the record…Here are my “official” Dick Summer ConnectionÂ answers:
4 Places Iâ€™ve lived: Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis.
4 Favorite foods: tuna salad, salmon, steak, oatmeal. (Honest.With lots of raisins.)
4 Places Iâ€™d rather be: nowhere else, Ebbets Field, Santa Barbara, Maui
4 People I think will respond: Dick, Dave, Barb, Eric.
Now itâ€™s your turn. (My Email isÂ email@example.com Â )Â ps- aÂ very strangeÂ coincidence about the commercials for the Personal Audio cds being turned down by the Continuity Director at that radio station…most of the “Lovin Touch” material was written about my relationship with my lady Wonder Wench. I met her at that radio station. She was the Continuity Director.