LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-JUNE 18, 2019…ON THIS DATE IN 1973 THE ‘STORIES’ RELEASED A COVER OF ‘BROTHER LOUIE’, A SONG THAT HAD BEEN A HUGE HIT IN ENGLAND BY THE BAND HOT CHOCOLATE. THE SONG IS ABOUT A ROMANCE BETWEEN A WHITE MAN AND A BLACK WOMAN. ERROL BROWN THE LEAD SINGER FOR HOT CHOCOLATE, CO-WROTE THE SONG. BROWN WAS BORN IN JAMAICA AND WAS RAISED BY A SINGLE MOTHER WHO MOVED HIM TO ENGLAND WHEN HE WAS YOUNG. HE TOLD “MELODY MAKER” THAT THIS SONG WAS INSPIRED BY REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES:
“That comes from early dating in a place where there’s a majority of white people. That was fine for us because we grew up and rubbed shoulders with other nationalities so it wasn’t a heavy thing. But in those days a lot of white parents never had anything to do with black people. It was understandable – they just didn’t know what was going on, apart from what they read in books or saw on TV.”
THE SPOKEN INTERLUDES IN THE HOT CHOCOLATE SONG WERE PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL, USING GRAPHIC RACIAL EPITHETS THAT WERE ENOUGH TO SCARE MANY RADIO STATIONS AWAY FROM PLAYING THE RECORD.
APPROXIMATELY 6 MONTHS AFTER THE HOT CHOCOLATE VERSION, THE STORIES RECORDED THE SONG AND RELEASED IT AS A SINGLE. THEIR VERSION LEFT OUT THE SPOKEN PARTS AND A VERSE WHERE LOUIE MEETS THE GIRLS PARENTS. THE STORIES VERSION WENT TO # 1 AND STAYED ON THE CHARTS FOR CLOSE TO 4 AND A HALF MONTHS. IT WAS THE ONLY HIT FOR THE STORIES.
HERE’S ‘BROTHER LOUIE’ WITH THE ‘STORIES’ PERFORMING ON THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL CIRCA 1973