Remembering Richard Berry, writer of Louie Louie

On this day in 1997, Richard Berry, who wrote the rock ‘n’ roll anthem Louie Louie, died in his sleep in Los Angeles at 61. Berry wrote the song in 1955 and recorded it two years later. But it was not a hit until 1963, when The Kingsmen’s version went to No. 2 on the Billboard chart. Berry sold the rights to all his songs, including Louie Louie, for $750 in 1956. Thirty years later, an artists’ rights group helped him recover $2 million in royalties.

The FBI is still looking into this song for dirty lyrcs.