He has been called "the Quincy Jones of Salsa." He made his professional debut with Joe Loco's band in 1956, replacing vibraphonist Pete Terrace. He made his own debut as a bandleader in 1963, with Introducing Louie Ramirez (Remo Records). He subsequently recorded for Alegre, Fania, Atco, United Artists Records, Caiman and FNA. He partnered with Charlie Palmieri and Joe Cuba in 1965 to 1968. He partnered with Tito Rodriguez and released Tito Rodríguez y Louie Ramírez En Algo Nuevo LP in 1972.
He became a staff producer at Fania in 1975. He appeared as a sideman or a production assistant on many recordings by other artists, such as Willie Colón in the 1970s. On June 7, 1993, while driving along Junction Boulevard in Queens, New York, Louie Ramirez suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 55. He was recording his third album with singer Ray De La Paz. It was entitled "Preparate Bailador".
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