Born in the Pacific Northwest, Dick Peterson grew up in quaint, picturesque Gig Harbor, Washington, where early on he developed a passion for classical music and a curiosity for Jazz. Moving to Portland as a high school student, at 17 the author joined a local rock-’n’-roll band, The Kingsmen, and soon found himself in the middle of one of the most famous incidents in the history of rock music: the controversy surrounding the alleged dirty lyrics of “Louie Louie.” Today, more than 40 years later, he continues to perform with The Kingsmen.
He has held positions with Chapel Music, Capitol Records and Avco Embassy Records and acted as musical producer for television specials on ABC, PBS, NBC and CBS. He studied music production under Lamont Dozier and worked under his employ for three years. He has worked with artists like The Pointer Sisters, Mac Davis, Dionne Warwick, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Andre Crouch and Billy Davis; as a performer, he has appeared with The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Ricky Nelson and a host of other legendary music figures. As a songwriter, he has been recorded by artists such as Kenny Rogers, Laura Branigan, Bill Medley and Peter Allen. Winner of the Ginga Musical Festival and a member of the Northwest Music Association Hall of Fame, Mr. Peterson is featured in the Northwest Passage exhibit at EMP in Seattle. He has appeared on The Today Show, American Bandstand, Where The Action Is, Shindig, Hullabaloo, and The Wolfman Jack Show as well as on numerous shows on MTV. He also appeared with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in the Beach Party movie How To Stuff A Wild Bikini. 1998 brought an end to nine years of precedent-setting litigation in which he won, for The Kingsmen, the rights to and ownership of all of the Kingsmen master recordings, including “Louie Louie.”