Thursday, 8 March 2012
Louis Prima King of The Swingers
In Walt Disney's 1969 cartoon "Jungle Book," Louis Prima did the voice of the King Louis character and famously asked producers "Are you trying to make a monkey out of me" to which they replied "Well..yes", "Well you got me" Louis replied
Louis Prima's career began in the early 1930's, playing jazz trumpet in the style of fellow New Orleans trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Prima led his own swing band throughout most of the 30's and 40's, and starting in the mid-50's, he spent the rest of his career as a Las Vegas style entertainer. But during the late 40's and early 50's, he played a style of music closely resembling what we call rock and roll today.
Louis Prima was not an imitator of early R&B. It's no stretch of the truth to say that Louis Prima was one of the innovators of early R&B. Just as important, he was a superstar in the Italian community, and a major inspiration for the earliest Italian rock and roll artists, some of whom, such as Jimmy Cavallo, Sam Butera, and Pat The Cat, pre-date the entrance of rock and roll into the mainstream. Cavallos first R&B records were cut in 1951, Pat The Cat's were cut in 1952. Earlier still were some 1949 R&B recordings on the X label by a very young Sam Butera, who not only was inspired by Louis Prima in the 40's, but teamed up with him in the 50's and stayed with him for decades, and still plays Prima hits to live audiences in Vegas till this day.
Source - Hoy Hoy