Richard Berry is an African American Singer born on April 11, 1935. He performed with doo wop and harmony groups in the 1950s and wrote the rock standard "Louie Louie." Unfortunately Berry signed away his writes for the song and saw little financial benefits at the beginning.
Berry and his group the Pharaohs recorded You are My Sunshine on Flip Records in 1957. It was a minor regional hit and sold 130,000 copies. When it was released again local R&B bands adopted the song and established its popularity. The Kingsmen recorded Louie Louie and it became a huge hit. Louie Louie has been recorded over 1000 times form different groups.
In the 1980s Berry was living on welfare with his mother. California Cooler requested permission to use Louie Louie in a commercial but they needed Berry's signature to use it. Subsequently California Cooler, the publishers and Berry settled out of court and made Berry a millionaire.
Berry and his ex-wife Dorothy recorded a duet The World Needs Peace in the 1980s. He recorded the same song with a new title What We Need with his six children singing background years later. Berry continued to play night clubs and shows until his final performance in 1996 at a benefit concert in Long Beach, California. His health declined and he died of heart failure in 1997. Louie Louie is the most recorded rock song of all time and is ranked #54 on the Rolling Stone Magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Berry married Dorothy Adams in 1957 and they had two children, Pam and Marcel. He died January 23, 1997 in California.