September 11, 1943 – April 27, 2015
Jack Ely, the singer best known for the song "Louie Louie" has died at age 71. Ely co-founded The Kingsmen in 1959 and recorded "Louie Louie" on April 5, 1963. The song became a Number Two hit and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. Due to a dispute with band members Jack left the Kingsmen shortly after the single came out. He later formed a rival group, The Courtmen, who recorded their own "Louie Louie '66" – and later a group called Jack E. Lee and the Squires, who released a single titled "Love That Louie." Jack never received any money from the radio play of "Louie Louie." The FBI found the song was so hard to understand that they conducted an investigation into whether the song was obscene. The FBI concluded: unintelligible at any speed.
Jack lived in Terrebonne, Oregon on his farm where he trained horses. His son, Sean, confirmed the death on Wednesday. “Because of his religious beliefs, we’re not even sure what (the illness) was,” he said. "He wanted to try on different occasions to pursue other endeavors in the music industry, but I think when it was all done and said he was pretty happy that he did 'Louie Louie.'"
Louie Louie - The Kingsmen