The Campaign to Make
Louie Louie
The State Song of Washington

Click here for a proposal for a Louie Louie design for the Washington state quarter.

On this page, I will eventually put a detailed history of the movement to make Louie Louie the state song of Washington.  But for now, here's the summary from the liner notes that came with "The Best of Louie Louie, vol. 2" (Rhino Records, 1988).  And below that are links to some of the official documents related to this movement.

Meanwhile, in the state of Washington, more impetus was brewing to push the history of 'Louie Louie' from the unusual to the implausible. Resolution No. 85-12 to the Legislature of the State of Washington by Whatcom County Commissioner Craig Cole called for 'Louie Louie' to be proclaimed the official state song. Citing Washington's need for a 'contemporary theme song that can be used to engender a sense of pride and community, and in the enhancement of tourism and economic development', Cole's resolution 'respectfully memorializes the Washington State Legislature to proclaim 'Louie Louie' as the official state song', and to name a newly created county 'Louie Louie County'. It also petitions Governor Booth Gardner' to take a public stand on the issue'. (A column in the March 12, 1985, Seattle Times stated that 'a spokesman for the governor said Gardner has never heard either [state song] 'Washington, My Home' or 'Louie Louie'. The governor is to listen to both songs in the next few days.')

Support for Cole's resolution from the governor or from 'Washington, My Home' composer Helen Davis (then aged 79) was not exactly earth-shattering, resulting in Senate Resolution 1985-37 which dodgingly declared April 12, 1985 'Louie Louie Day'. Support for Cole's resolution from the voting populace and the media, however, was significant, and several thousand people attended a 'Louie Louie' rally that April day to view performances by Paul Revere And The Raiders, The Wailers, and The Kingsmen. The following Sunday, April 15, 1985, a Seattle affair featured the premiere performance of a new, Washington-flavored lyrics specially penned by Berry. Berry, in tones similar to Dr. Frankenstein's when he realized the cosmic significance of his creation, gasped, 'How far can this thing go?' While Washington's State Senate passed Cole's resolution, the House did not, and 'Louie Louie' did not become the official state song.

Whatcom County Resolution no. 85-12 - "A Memorial of the Whatcom County Council to the Legislature of the State of Washington to Proclaim "Louie Louie" as the Official State Song" (introduced and passed 7 March 1985)

Washington State Senate Floor Resolution 37 (1985) - declaring April 12, 1985, to be "Louie Louie Day" (adopted 15 March 1985)

April 1985 Proclamation by Seattle Mayor Charles Royer - proclaiming April 14, 1985 to be a Louie Louie Day in Seattle (adopted 10 April 1985)

Pacific County Memorial & Resolution No. 1 - in support of keeping "Washington, My Home" as the official State song (adopted 16 April 1985)

Washington State Senate Bill 5024 (1986) - designating Louie Louie as the official "rock-n-roll" song of the state of Washington (read and referred to committee 24 January 1986)

August 2003 Proclamation by Washington Governor Gary Locke - proclaiming August 24, 2003, to be "Louie Louie Day" (signed 20 August 2003).

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Last Updated 15 July 2008
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