Louis Prima, “What Will Santa Claus Say?”
Today is the birthday of New Orleans-born, Sicilian-American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Prima (1910-1978). Prima was one of my mom’s favorites; she often raved about seeing him perform live in Providence in the ’40s (even my 86 year old mom is a bit too young to have experienced vaudeville). Prima was of the era of presentation houses (which mixed live performance and first-run films), big bands, and radio. And occasional films. Prima’s highest Q results today come from his voice-over in Disney’s 1967 The Jungle Book …and holiday records, which is where I first heard his voice. This kinda thing:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.