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, lyricist
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 32 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||instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist|
|Victor||BS-77036||10-in.||9/28/1933||Dinah||Hotcha Trio ; Louis Prima||Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist|
|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||lyricist, composer|
|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|
|Decca||63166||10-in.||1/17/1938||Now they call it swing||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63167||10-in.||1/17/1938||Yes, there ain't no moonlight||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63168||10-in.||1/17/1938||Rosalie||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63169||10-in.||1/17/1938||Where have we met before?||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63783||10-in.||5/16/1938||Why should I pretend ?||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63784||10-in.||5/16/1938||Doin' the serpentine||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63785||10-in.||5/16/1938||You call it madness||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||63786||10-in.||5/16/1938||Nothin' too good for you||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||vocalist, instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||65952||10-in.||7/12/1939||A good man is hard to find||Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang||instrumentalist, trumpet, vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prima, Louis," accessed January 17, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108876.
Prima, Louis. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108876.
"Prima, Louis." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 17 January 2022.
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