Richard Berry

Real Name:
Richard Berry
Profile:
Born: April 11, 1935, Extension, Louisiana, USA
Died: January 23, 1997, Los Angeles, California, USA

American R'n'B and vocal group singer, songwriter and musician. Recorded most actively in the 1950s and 1960s. He performed and recorded with many of the doo-wop bands based out of Fremont High School. Most notably he wrote and recorded the original 'Louie, Louie,' later performed by The Kingsmen. Once the subject of an annual marathon by California college radio station KFJC, it is the second the most-covered song in in the history of rock music.

The Northwest has a long rock and and roll history. Maybe you remember Nirvana and Soundgarden, perhaps you even recall the Wilson sisters and Heart. But way before them there was something called the Northwest Sound featuring bands like The Wailers, The Kingsmen, The Frantics, Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Sonics. In 1962, while the rest of the country was listening to a host of teen idols, knock-offs on the twist craze, and some pretty good R & B, the Northwest was bathing in the glow of “Louie, Louie.”
“Louie, Louie” was a staple of the Northwest dance circuit. It was covered by every band worth a salt. It’s what the kids wanted to hear. It was issued as a single by Rockin’ Robin Roberts and the Wailers in ’62. It became a national hit by The Kingsmen in April 1963, and was covered by Paul Revere and the Raiders, Motorhead, Black Flag and Iggy Pop. The indecipherable lyrics, sung by a sailor to his bartender, were slurred by Kingsmen vocalist Ron Ely, popularized by John Belushi in Animal House, and investigated by the FBI. Few songs have garnered as much popularity, parental and institutional fear, and general curiosity as “Louie, Louie.”
Though we like to claim the song for our own, Louie, Louie” was not written in the Seattle, Tacoma or Portland. It was imported here by Richard Berry, a little known R&B artist from Los Angeles. According to Peter Blecha in his wonderful work on Northwest music, Sonic Boom, Berry was performing at the Eagles Auditorium in Seattle on September 21, 1957. Berry recorded the song on Flip Records in March 1957, with his band, The Pharaohs. While it was a modest success, selling some 130,000 copies on the West Coast, it was not Berry’s vehicle to fame and fortune. He sold the rights to the song in 1959.
Berry was also the author of another important song in Northwest music history. In 1959 he wrote “Have Love Will Travel.” The Sonics and Paul Revere and the Raiders both covered this song. It’s a terrific vehicle for the Sonics ragged sound and Gerry Roslie’s primal vocals. Another song with a wide variety of covers, including Ian Gillian of Deep Purple, Sky Saxon of the Seeds, and a terrific version by The Black Keys.
While Berry recorded and performed at least until the middle ’60’s, he lived in L.A. in relative obscurity and poverty until he reclaimed the rights to his songs in the 1980’s. It allowed him to die in 1997 as a millionaire.
Ace Records pressed a super Richard Berry anthology, appropriately titled Louie, Louie on red vinyl in 2014. It’s a great collection of 14 tracks In addition to Louie and Have Love, there is a great collection of doo wop and R&B tracks. It’s a great listen. For those seeking 7″ singles, Berry’s tunes remain surprisingly available and affordable for records of such importance.

Married to Dorothy Berry.
Sites:
Aliases:
In Groups:
Variations:

Artist

Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions

Albums

CLP 5371 Richard Berry And The Dreamers — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Dreamers (4) Richard Berry And The Dreamers (4) - Richard Berry And The Dreamers (Album) Crown Records (2) CLP 5371 US 1963 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
BS 112, BS112 Great Rhythm & Blues Oldies Volume 12 — Richard Berry Richard Berry Great Rhythm & Blues Oldies Volume 12(LP, Album) Blues Spectrum, Blues Spectrum BS 112, BS112 US 1977 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1002  Wild Berry! - Live From H.D. Hover Century Restaurant  — Richard Berry Richard Berry & Soul Serchers* Richard Berry & Soul Serchers* - Wild Berry! - Live From H.D. Hover Century Restaurant (Album) Pam Records 1002 US Unknown Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
PR 1501-S Casino Club Presents Richard Berry Combo - Live Session — Richard Berry Richard Berry & Soul Searchers* Richard Berry & Soul Searchers* - Casino Club Presents Richard Berry Combo - Live Session(LP, Album) Casino Records (26) PR 1501-S US Unknown Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1001 Live!! From H.D. Hover Century Restaurant  — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Soul Searchers (2) Richard Berry And The Soul Searchers (2) - Live!! From H.D. Hover Century Restaurant (LP, Album) Pam Records 1001 US Unknown Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions

Singles & EPs

1055 What You Do To Me / The Big Break — Richard Berry Richard Berry What You Do To Me / The Big Break (Single) Flair Records (5) 1055 US 1954 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1052 Bye, Bye / At Last — Richard Berry The Dreamers (4) Featuring Richard Berry The Dreamers (4) Featuring Richard Berry - Bye, Bye / At Last (Single) Flair Records (5) 1052 US 1954 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45-1058 Daddy, Daddy — Richard Berry Richard Berry & The Dreamers (4) Richard Berry & The Dreamers (4) - Daddy, Daddy (Single) Flair Records (5) 45-1058 US 1954 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45x1068 God Gave Me You / Don't Cha' Go — Richard Berry Richard Berry God Gave Me You / Don't Cha' Go (Single) Flair Records (5) 45x1068 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45x1064 Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car / Please Tell Me — Richard Berry Richard Berry Oh! Oh! Get Out Of The Car / Please Tell Me (Single) Flair Records (5) 45x1064 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
448 Rockin' Man — Richard Berry Richard Berry Rockin' Man (Single) RPM Records (5) 448 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1075 Together / Jelly Roll — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Dreamers (4) Richard Berry And The Dreamers (4) - Together / Jelly Roll (Single) Flair Records (5) 1075 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1071 Next Time / Crazy Lover — Richard Berry Richard Berry Next Time / Crazy Lover (Single) Flair Records (5) 1071 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45x452 Pretty Brown Eyes / I Am Bewildered — Richard Berry Richard Berry Pretty Brown Eyes / I Am Bewildered (Single) RPM Records (5) 45x452 US 1955 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
321 Louie Louie / You Are My Sunshine — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) - Louie Louie / You Are My Sunshine (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 321 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
202 Teenagers Love Song / Watusi — Richard Berry The Pharaohs (3) Featuring Rickey* The Pharaohs (3) Featuring Rickey* - Teenagers Love Song / Watusi(7", Single) Class 202 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
318 Take The Key / No Kissin' And A Huggin' — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) - Take The Key / No Kissin' And A Huggin' (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 318 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45x465 Yama Yama Pretty Mama / Angel Of My Life — Richard Berry Richard Berry Yama Yama Pretty Mama / Angel Of My Life (Single) RPM Records (5) 45x465 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
477 Wait For Me / Good Love — Richard Berry Richard Berry Wait For Me / Good Love (Single) RPM Records (5) 477 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45-106 Baby Please Come Home — Richard Berry Ricky* Baby Please Come Home(7") Empire Records (22) 45-106 US 1956 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45-321 Rock, Rock, Rock / Sweet Sugar You — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) - Rock, Rock, Rock / Sweet Sugar You (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 45-321 US 1957 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45-339 Besame Mucho / Do I Do I — Richard Berry Richard Berry Besame Mucho / Do I Do I (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 45-339 US 1958 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
45-336 Heaven On Wheels / The Mess Around — Richard Berry Richard Berry and The Lockettes Richard Berry and The Lockettes - Heaven On Wheels / The Mess Around (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 45-336 US 1958 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
331 You're The Girl / You Look So Good — Richard Berry Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) Richard Berry And The Pharaohs (3) - You're The Girl / You Look So Good (Single) Flip Records, Inc. 331 US 1958 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
5164 Walk Right In / It's All Right — Richard Berry Richard Berry Walk Right In / It's All Right Warner Bros. Records 5164 US 1960 Sell This Version