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The King of the Swingers and his Outgoing Production

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The “King of the Swingers” was born December 7, 1910 in New Orleans; from Italian American descent, Louis Prima was a great trumpeter, singer and actor whose musical career got its top during the 1950’s and who is considered as one of the most important jazz and blues representatives. With a very extrovert personality, Prima developed a unique sound and voice interpretation, as well as being influenced by the grand developers of jazz, as in the case of Louis Armstrong.

When he was a child, he studied violin and his brother Leon was already a bandleader; therefore, he decided on following his family’s legacy and what he had learned. At his brother’s band, Irving Fazola, he played the trumpet. A few years later, he formed his own group, which he called Louis Prima’s New Orleans Gang. By 1934, Prima settled down in New York and eventually worked on 52nd Street, with some of his friends Eddie Miller, Pee Wee Russell, and George Brunies.

He also lived in Los Angeles, where he performed at the Famous Door Nightclub. Louis Prima got married for the first time with Keely Smith, with whom he had a famous live interpretation, somewhat likely to Sonny and Cher’s popular presentation. They both recorded a song which later became a classic: “That Old Black Magic”.  Smith and Prima got divorced in 1962 and during this same year, Louis remarried singer Gia Maione.

Louis Prima died on August 24, 1978; his death was caused by a brain tumor, which made him go into coma, producing serious headaches and memory problems. Although Prima passed away, he will be remembered for being a person with a unique charisma and a clear sense of what real jazz and swing music is.

We invite you to check his official web site and listen to some of his greatest hits!

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