Make note that the Fleetwoods were signed by the Northwest’s first rock recording company, Dolton Records. Most of you boomers know they singed another group, the Ventures, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band that became famous internationally, and recorded the theme song for the TV show, Hawaii Five-O. Other groups in this era are The Brothers Four, Chad Mitchell Trio, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and my personal favorite, The Kingsmen (Louie, Louie). They were followed in the Sixties by Robert Cray, Larry Coryell, Queensryche, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Alice in Chains, and Danny O’Keefe.
Then a local disc jockey named Pat O’Day helped launch a local pre-grunge band, the Sonics, and later, the biggest star, the one and only, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix played down on Jackson Street, just as Ray Charles and Quincy Jones before him. Nirvana was formed in 1987, but released their it single, “Love Buzz” with Seattle’s Sub Pop Records. This label also helped groups like Soundgarden and Mudhoney.
Seattle has also benefitted by having outstanding music schools. The Cornish School of Fine Arts at the U Dub are among our country’s best. And the high school jazz studies programs at Garfield and Roosevelt High Schools provide a foundation for future artists. Of course, Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project (EMP) is one of the country’s great music museums. Even Muzak was based here for many years.
This is one of the many reasons we love to visit Seattle. Over the years, we have seen many well known artists perform here. This includes the now famous Kingsmen, singing their hit, Louie, Louie at the Triple Door. Back on April 6, 1963, they walked into a three microphone studio and recorded Louie, Louie. It was more yelling than singing, with about $40 worth of beer. The warm up had some mistakes, but became the only recording for the 45 rpm record. The single reached Number 1 on the Cashbox chart, and Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it sold over a million copies and received a gold disc.
The Governor of Indiana was the first to allege the indecent lyrics, mostly by Jack Ely of the Kingsmen. Ely was forced to use a strange microphone, and compounded his enunciation with some braces on his teeth (and the beer). Soon, radio stations across the country caught wind of this, and the song was either wildly popular or banned. It came to a head when the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover wrote to radio stations, barring them for playing the song. And the rest, as they say, is history.