Louis Prima

Active - 1936 - 1967  |   Born - Dec 7, 1910   |   Died - Aug 24, 1978   |   Genres - Musical, Comedy

Share on

Italian-born musician Louis Prima spent most of his personal and professional life in his adopted home town of New Orleans. At age 13, Prima joined his older brother's band as a jazz trumpeter; within five years Louis was fronting his own group, the Collegiates. Rising to fame as a scat singer a la Cab Calloway and Martha Raye, Prima occasionally left Louisiana for Hollywood, guest-starring in such features as Rhythm on the Range (1936), Manhattan Merry-Go-Round (1937) and Rose of Washington Square (1939). He was also shown to good advantage in short subjects, notably RKO's Headliners series and a sprightly Columbia 2-reel comedy of 1936, The Champ's a Chump. From 1948 through 1962, Prima was married to vocalist Keely Smith, who dueted with Louis on several hit records, the most popular of which was "That Old Black Magic." Louis Prima's final movie gig was as the voice of King Louie in the 1967 Disney animated feature The Jungle Book.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography