Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on May 8th, 2018
Jack Ely: The lead-singer of a then unknown band, that in a $50-recording session, recorded one of the biggest hits ever.

That recording session in April, 1963 recorded “Louie, Louie,” subsequently selling in the millions and has now been recorded by over 1,800 other singers.

On YouTube, it plays all over the world, and it has been played in movies and TV shows. Yet the odds were heavily against the song becoming a hit.

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The lyrics are of a lovesick Jamaican sailor telling his story to a bartender named Louie. A simple song but it was recorded in a session in which almost everything went wrong.

Jack was the 19-year-old lead-singer of the Kingsmen, and was wearing tight braces on his teeth, making it difficult to sing.

Jack Ely
The Kingsmen, from left, Don Gallucci, Jack Ely, Lynn Easton, Mike Mitchell and Bob Nordby. Credit Gino Rossi
Photo: nytimes.com

It didn’t matter because the song was to be an instrumental and the engineer set the lone microphone above the band to capture the sound of their instruments.

So, when Jack decided to sing the song, to be heard over the instruments, he had to scream the lyrics.

Jack even got on his tiptoes to get as close to the microphone as possible.

Because the song was recorded in just one take, when Jack made an error in a lyric the drummer and the incoherent sound of the lyrics covered it.

What resulted from these problems was a unique hard-driving rock sound, since copied by many other rock bands.

So the next time you face a tough challenge, just think about “Louie, Louie” and know almost anything is possible.

Editor's Note: To see some combination of the Kingsmen lip-sync “Louie, Louie,” in a 2-minute, 42-second 1960’s recording on YouTube, click here.

To learn more, click here.

In the next KazanToday: A man who became a first-time entrepreneur at the age of 66.

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