Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24: Jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Prima died on this day in 1978...

Louis Prima - The Wildest
That Old Magic
... he was 67 when he died from a brain tumor.

Born in New Orleans, Prima studied violin for several years as a child and later, he played trumpet with Irving Fazola - his brother's band - and the pit band of the Saenger Theater.

In 1934 he moved to New York, working regularly on 52nd Street with old New Orleans friends like Eddie Miller and George Brunies, and also new acquaintances like Pee Wee Russell. Louis's informal jazz group was known as Louis Prima and His New Orleans Gang. In the 1950s, Prima began performing with his wife, Keely Smith in Las Vegas. in 1959, they won the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus for "That Old Black Magic."

Louis was the voice of King Louie in the '67 Disney animated feature The Jungle Book and in 2008, he was posthumously inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Press links below to view You Tube videos:
-- "That Old Black Magic"
-- "Just a Gigolo"

-- "When You're Smiling / Oh Marie"
The Jungle Book (40th Anniversary Platinum Edition)

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