Much to celebrate today 11 April. It’s Barbershop Quartet Day, National Submarine Day and Eight Track Tape Day. But more importantly it is also National Pet Day in the US and here’s the crescendo….it is International Louie Louie Day honouring the birth of that song’s creator, Richard Perry, in 1935.
Berry took inspiration from the rhythm of “El Loco Cha Cha” when writing the song. He and his band, Richard Berry and the Pharoahs recorded “Louie Louie” in April 1957 as a calypso doo-wop B-side to “You Are My Sunshine.” The Kingsmen recorded the version that started the song’s enduring presence in 1963.
There are reportedly over 2000 versions of Louie Louie including covers by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Iggy Pop. John Belushi’s performance in National Lampoon’s Animal House turned the song into a frat party anthem. There’s much lively and passionate debate about the top 10 covers of Louie Louie.
But there is no one more passionate about the song than the LLAMAS. The Louie Louie Advocacy and Music Appreciation Society was formed in early 2007 by a group of musicians, fans and collectors with a particular (and in some cases obsessive) interest in the song Louie Louie. The stated mission of LLAMAS is to:
Foster awareness of the unique role that the song Louie Louie has played in the history of popular music;
Promote an ongoing appreciation and popularity of Louie Louie; and
Encourage musical education and a broader appreciation of music through the amazing variety and creativity that has been demonstrated in the many, many different versions of Louie Louie, in almost every musical style imaginable.
The LLAMAS are committed to, among other things, promoting the observance of International Louie Louie Day each year on April 11, lobbying to get Louie Louie recognised by Guinness World Records as the song that has been covered more than any other (Guinness currently recognize “Yesterday” by the Beatles as having that honour) and revitalising the effort to have Louie Louie declared the official rock song of Washington State.
Louie Louie Day has an even more important association for me. My daughter has a dog called Louie. Actually it’s not her dog, it’s her friend Jaimie’s dog but that fact seems to escape my daughter and thankfully Jaimie, who is very neat and very organised is also very tolerant. So Louie’s more like my daughter’s overly indulged nephew. Louie has the most expressive face I have ever seen in any human or canine. Big statement but I am not kidding. He is also very very cute and when I visit I always sing (badly) Louie Louie to him and he doesn’t run away or howl. So it seems only appropriate that he features on today’s wrap.
Wrapping gifts for fur children is becoming positively mainstream, and I have been asked why I don’t wrap more for pets. So this wrap will address that major oversight. It also provided another opportunity to use personalised paper which is becoming increasingly popular. Personalised paper is not for everybody and every occasion, but it can be both a lovely gesture and a bit of a hipster design statement. I’ve also added in some doggie treats on top – Louie, this one’s for you.