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'Louie Louie' singer Jack Ely of the Kingsmen dies at 71

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Don Ryan/AP

Jack Ely, of the 60s rock band the Kingsmen, died in his Redmond, Ore. home on Tuesday, succumbing to an unknown illness, his son Sean Ely told The Associated Press. He was 71 years old.

His band’s version of “Louie Louie,” originally a Richard Berry composition, was a chart monster in 1963, establishing itself as a landmark rock-and-roll song. (How many other performers could have bragged their most well known song was analyzed by the FBI?) It even earned a second life in the 1970s with its brief appearance in Animal House; John Belushi even covered it for the film’s soundtrack.