by Philip Cosores
Jack Ely, former singer of the Kingsmen, died on late Monday evening the age of 71.
The Kingsmen are best known as the performers of jukebox classic “Louie Louie,” one of the most covered and beloved rock and roll songs ever recorded. Ely sung on the recorded version in 1963, which was itself of a cover of the song originally written by Richard Berry in 1955. The Kingsmen version cost 50 dollars to record and resulted in a smash for the Portland, Oregon group, despite a federal investigation as to whether Ely’s indecipherable lyrics violated obscenity laws. (via Oregon Live)
Ely split with the band shortly after the “Louie Louie” sensation, and lived the rest of his life in Oregon where he participated in scattered musical projects and trained horses.