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The Kingsmen

The Kingsmen were a rock band from Portland, Oregon who rose suddenly to fame with their recording of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie." After their recording of a much altered version of the song became a national hit in 1964, the group was reorganized when drummer Lynn Easton trademarked the band's name and announced that he was now lead singer (although, because he could not sing "Louie Louie," he lip-synched the recording when performing). Easton and another original member remained with the official band; Jack Ely, who sang lead on "Louie Louie," formed his own band with the same name; and Don Gallucci, the piano player, formed Don and the Goodtimes. Easton eventually established his right to the name and Ely was forced to stop using it. The official band had more hits in the 1960s with party versions of "Money," "Little Latin Lupe Lu," and "The Jolly Green Giant."