Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Brother Louie

by

Hot Chocolate



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Hot Chocolate was an interracial group from London who had a hit in 1975 with "You Sexy Thing" Written by their lead singer Errol Brown and bass player Tony Wilson, the song is about a romance between a white man and a black woman.
The spoken interludes in this song were performed by the British Blues musician Alexis Korner. It was pretty controversial stuff, as Korner said, "I don't want no Honky in my family" and "I don't want no Spook in my family."
The Hot Chocolate version of this song didn't gain any traction in the United States, possibly because of the subject matter. The spoken sections portraying the parents' reactions to the interracial couple were rather graphic, using the epithets "Honkey" and "Spook," which was enough to scare many radio stations away.

About 6 months after Hot Chocolate's version, the New York City group Stories recorded the song. Their version, which left out the spoken parts and featured a more pronounced string section, proved much more palatable to American listeners, and went to #1 in the US. It was the only hit for Stories.
Other artists to record this song include The Drifters, Code Red, and the Quireboys, whose version hit #31 in the UK.
Errol Brown is proud of Hot Chocolate's tag as Britain's first multiracial pop band. He told the Mail On Sunday January 25, 2009: "That was deliberate. I wanted to show the world that we could work together, whatever our color or creed. It may sound idealistic, but bigotry and prejudice have always offended my sensibilities. I thought it important to show that we were all God's children and needed to respect each other. This is my philosophy of life. It's the way I've tried to live."
The Stories version of the song was used as the theme to the FX show Louie, starring the comedian Louis C.K.
Ian Lloyd of Stories explained to Forgotten Hits how they came across this song: "Sitting in Bob Reno's A&R office at Buddah records, I went through a lot of different, demo tapes & discs. When I heard the chorus to 'Louie' I told Bob - 'This is a number one record – let's do it.' At the time I did NOT know that I was listening to Hot Chocolate's finished master - I thought it was just another demo. I think both versions were released around the same time... the rest is rock history."
If you thought The Stories version of this song was Rod Stewart, you're not the only one. Ian Lloyd says most people thought he was either black ("as the night") or Rod Stewart when they heard his voice. He says he even got some fan mail intended for Stewart.
Hot Chocolate
More Hot Chocolate songs
More songs with boys' names in the title
More songs with relations in the title
More songs that were hits for more than one artist
More songs about racism or discrimination
More songs with a spoken part

Comments (4):

On July 6th 1973, the Stories performed "Brother Louie" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
One month earlier on June 17th, 1973 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on August 19th, 1973 it peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 8 of those 18 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
The week it reached #1 it had jumped over "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings, which had been at #2 and never did make #1...
The Stories had three Top 100 records; "I'm Coming Home" (#42 in 1972), "Mammy Blue" (#50 in 1973), and "If It Feels good, Do It" (#88 in 1974).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
There is a significant difference between Hot Chocolate's version and the Stories' version. The "View Lyrics" link on this page takes you to the Stories version. In the Hot Chocolate version, in the second verse, SHE takes Louie home to meet her parents. That's why in the spoken part, you hear her father saying "...I don't want no honky in my family". Then later, in the Hot Chocolate version, Louie takers her home to meet his parents. That's when you hear the spoken part of his father saying "I don't want no spook in my family." Of course, the Stories version does not have any of the spoken parts, but also, in both verse 2 and in verse 4, Louie is taking her home to his parents and there is not a verse about her taking Louie home.
- Nick, Grand Prairie,
I've never heard the Hot Chocolate version period. If anyone has a recording of it, please let me know.
- Andy, B'ham, AL
I cant understand why I never hear this classic song on a radio .Why did Hot Chocolate fail to perform better after this masterpiece.This is hot Chocolate at their unblemished and true self-best.Before the oh no no nitpicking people came along.The Stories had a one hit wonder and I say shame shame on the Americans for letting Hot chocolates masterpiece go to waste.
- john, Brisbane, United States
You have to to post comments.
Dave MasonDave Mason
Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.
Dan ReedDan Reed
Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.
Dino Cazares of Fear FactoryDino Cazares of Fear Factory
The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.
Graham ParkerGraham Parker
When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.