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Who Let The Dogs Out

Who Let The Dogs Out 350 482 Forest City Film Festival

How many years has ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ been stuck in your head? Ruffly 17 years? Or did it pop back in your head just now looking at the song’s name after years of blissful silence? Either way, the hook has got staying power. A power that dates back to as early as 1959 and possibly before.

Answering the age old question of who exactly let the dogs out is more complicated than anyone ever thought. Fortunately, Ben Sisto has dedicated seven years to exploring and exposing a story steeped in show business, legal battles, female empowerment, artistic integrity and one very catchy hook.

Sisto, a marketer and cultural programmer for the Ace Hotel in New York, first fell down the rabbit hole in 2010 when he learned it was “Who Let The Dogs Out”‘s 10 year anniversary. At the time, its Wikipedia page gave a simple, uncited explanation that the original song was recorded off a parade float by a hairdresser named Keith.

Unemployed at the time, Sisto made his mission of the day to fix that citation. Now, almost a decade later, Sisto has finally pieced together the song’s origin…

Southwestern Ontario connection: John Diemer, the writer and sound mixer, grew up in London.