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Louis Prima

Louis Leo Prima (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978) was an American singer, actor, songwriter, bandleader, and trumpeter. While rooted in New Orleans jazz, swing music, and jump blues, Prima touched on various genres throughout his career: he formed a seven-piece New Orleans-style jazz band in the late 1920s, fronted a swing combo in the 1930s and a big band group in the 1940s, helped to popularize jump blues in the late 1940s and early to mid 1950s, and performed frequently as a Vegas lounge act beginning in the 1950s.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, his music further encompassed early R&B and rock'n'roll, boogie-woogie, and even Italian folk music, such as the tarantella. Prima made prominent use of Italian music and language in his songs, blending elements of his Italian identity with jazz and swing music. At a time when "ethnic" musicians were often discouraged from openly stressing their ethnicity, Prima's conspicuous embrace of his Sicilian ethnicity opened the doors for other Italian-American and "ethnic" American musicians to display their ethnic roots.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 7, 1910 (New Orleans), Died August 24, 1978 (New Orleans)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1933 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, trumpet, composer, songwriter, leader, lyricist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 35 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-77034 10-in. 9/28/1933 Chinatown, my Chinatown Hotcha Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-77036 10-in. 9/28/1933 Dinah Hotcha Trio ; Louis Prima Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet  
Victor BS-100883 10-in. 8/4/1936 Sing, sing, sing (With a swing) Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra ; Georgia Boy Simpkins Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-102347 10-in. 7/7/1936 Sing, sing, sing (With a swing) Connie McLean Rhythm Orchestra ; Alex Miller Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist, composer  
Victor PCS-09571 12-in. 7/6/1937 Sing, sing, sing Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor PCS-09572 12-in. 7/6/1937 Sing, sing, sing Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-018167 10-in. 1/15/1938 Yes, there ain't no moonlight (So what) Freddy Martin Orchestra ; Martin-Aires Trio Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio songwriter  
Victor BS-021418 10-in. 3/10/1938 Where have we met before Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Paula Kelly Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-021648 10-in. 3/29/1938 Where have we met before? Guy Lombardo ; Royal Canadians Jazz/dance band, with vocal trio songwriter  
Victor BS-047903 10-in. 3/1/1940 Sing a spell Blue Barron ; Three Blue Notes Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio and vocal ensemble composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-053134 10-in. 6/13/1940 Be happy Glenn Miller Orchestra ; Marion Hutton Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-068348 10-in. 11/24/1941 Tica ti - tica ta Marilyn Duke ; Vaughn Monroe's Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo and male vocal ensemble composer  
Victor BS-068850 10-in. 1/11/1942 Tica ti - tica ta Dick Todd Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-068867 10-in. 1/12/1942 Tica ti - tica ta Jan Savitt ; Top Hatters Jazz/dance band, with vocal composer  
Victor BS-071869 10-in. 2/19/1942 Tica-ti tica-ta Tito Guizar Male vocal solo, with instrumental quintet composer  
Victor E0VB-4551 10-in. 10/19/1950 Oh babe! Homer and Jethro Male vocal duet, with string band songwriter  
Victor D7VB-1443 10-in. 7/24/1947 Civilization (bongo, bongo, bongo) Louis Prima Orchestra ; Louis Prima Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, leader  
Victor D7VB-1445 10-in. 7/24/1947 Say it with a slap Louis Prima Orchestra ; Louis Prima Male vocal solo, with vocal chorus and jazz/dance band vocalist, leader  
Victor D7VB-1446 10-in. 7/24/1947 Forsaking all others Louis Prima Orchestra ; Louis Prima Male-female vocal duet, with vocal chorus and jazz/dance band vocalist, leader  
Decca 63166 10-in. 1/17/1938 Now they call it swing Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
Decca 63167 10-in. 1/17/1938 Yes, there ain't no moonlight Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
Decca 63168 10-in. 1/17/1938 Rosalie Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
Decca 63169 10-in. 1/17/1938 Where have we met before? Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
Decca 63783 10-in. 5/16/1938 Why should I pretend ? Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
Decca 63784 10-in. 5/16/1938 Doin' the serpentine Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 35 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prima, Louis," accessed May 20, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108876.

Prima, Louis. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108876.

"Prima, Louis." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 20 May 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108876

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