If for no other reason than that he was the original writer and performer of "Louie Louie" (itself based on "El Loca Cha Cha" by Rene Touzet), Richard Berry holds a permanent place of honor in the history of rock & roll. Beyond that, though, Berry was an important, if secondary, figure of the early- and mid-'50s Los Angeles R&B scene. As a teenager with the Flairs and as a solo act, Berry recorded quite a few singles that demonstrated his versatility with ballads, novelty songs, and even Little Richard-styled numbers. His facility with deep-voiced comic material was a clear forerunner of the Coasters, and in fact he was the uncredited lead singer on Leiber & Stoller's "Riot in Cell Block #9," recorded by the Robins (later to mutate into the Coasters). He took another uncredited vocal as Ella James' deep-voiced sparring partner on "Roll With Me, Henry," one of the biggest R&B hits of the mid-'50s. Berry originally recorded "Louie Louie" in 1956; the record was a regional hit in several West Coast cities, but no more than that.