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Video: Mid-Valley Legendary: ‘The Fabulous Wailers at the Castle’

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This album is a time capsule that captures an early garage rock band at the peak of their powers.

It’s fun, loose and energetic and it just sounds like a party. And it apparently was that night in 1961, when the Wailers performed for about 2,000 teens at the Spanish Castle, a legendary venue between Tacoma, Washington, and Seattle.

The Wailers were from Tacoma, and they were huge in the Northwest scene in the late 50s and early 60s, playing at Oregon State College and elsewhere. And while you might not have heard of them, they played an outsize role in the history of rock.

The band recorded an early version of “Louie Louie” that became a regional hit and was covered by other groups, including the Kingsmen from Portland.

One of the Wailers’ biggest fans was a young guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, who later had a smash hit with “Spanish Castle Magic.”

And the group formed a record label that signed the Sonics, a proto-punk outfit whose heavy sound influenced later bands such as Nirvana and the White Stripes.

The path of rock music flows directly through this band in a weird way. But “The Fabulous Wailers at the Castle” also stands out on its own merits, with surfy tunes, R&B songs and more.

Just as a reminder, we're putting out new videos every week with our Mid-Valley Live section. Previous Mid-Valley Legendary videos have included "Johnny Q" by the Crazy 8s and "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society."

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