It’s hard to believe that it has been over 50 years since the death of jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Prima, but his music is still as popular as ever. Many consider him to be one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. His unique style and charisma are unmatched. He managed to fuse together various genres of music, including swing, jazz, blues, and even Italian opera. This made him popular with a wide range of audiences. In this article, we will take a look at 10 of his best songs.
10. Night Train (1957)
“Night Train” is a song about a train that is leaving the city and heading out into the country. It was written by Jimmy Forrest and originally recorded by Duke Ellington in 1952 and produced under the album title Ellington at Newport. The song became a hit for Louis Prima when he covered it in 1957. The song gained popularity quite quickly and became a staple in the live sets of many jazz and soul bands. It has been used in many movies and television shows over the years, including The Simpsons and American Beauty.
9. I’m In The Mood For Love (1957)
This song is about being in love and being happy. The song was written by McHugh in 1935 and was first recorded by Prima in 1957. It was an instant hit that reached the top of the charts. According to London Jazz News, the song has been covered by many artists, including Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble. It has been featured in movies, such as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Notebook.”
8. Rhythm On The Radio (1936)
This song is a perfect example of Prima’s early work. It’s a fast-paced, upbeat tune that will get your toes tapping. The song is about a radio DJ who plays nothing but swing music. It was produced by Dave Bartholomew and released on the Imperial label. The song was great and ranked in the top positions being played on most of the radios. It has been featured in many movies and tv shows such as American Gangster. It is one of those songs that makes people appreciate the power of radio and the impact it had in those days.
7. Swing It (1936)
This song is an up-tempo number that features Louis Prima on vocals and clarinet, with his band The New Orleans Gang providing the instrumental accompaniment. The lyrics are written in a playful, light-hearted style and the overall feel of the song is one of fun and excitement. The horns and rhythm section provide a driving force behind the melody, which is catchy and easy to sing along to. According to This Is My Jam, it was recorded under the album The Wildest and is two minutes and fifty-three seconds long. The song is about a man who is trying to persuade a woman to dance with him, using the analogy of a swing. Being a great song, it has been featured in many movies, such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Aristocats, and Wall-E.
6. I Wanna Be Like You (1967)
From Disney’s 1967 animated classic The Jungle Book, “I Wanna Be Like You” is one of Louis Prima’s most well-known songs. Sung by the character King Louie, an orangutan who wishes to be human, the song is a catchy mix of big band and jungle sounds. This song was recorded by Prima with his then-wife Keely Smith and saxophonist Sam Butera. It has been used in countless commercials and movies over the years and is still a favorite among fans of Prima’s work. Being a great song, it has been featured in several movies such as the “Forrest Gump”.
5. Buona Sera (1956)
This is a great song that talks about how a good evening can be. It is a great way to say goodbye to the day and hello to the night. It was written by Prima and produced under the direction of Elliott Lawrence. The song was originally released as a single and then included on the album The Call of the Wildest. It received much appreciation after being featured in the 1957 film The Pajama Game.
4. On The Sunny Side Of The Street/Exactly Like You (1957)
This song is a perfect example of Louis Prima’s mastery of the swing genre. Featuring his wife Keely Smith on vocals, the song is so good and received much appreciation from the public that it won Louis Prima the Grammy Award for Best Male Performance in 1957. It was released as a single and included on the album The Wildest. According to Playback FM, the song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Ella Fitzgerald. It has been featured in movies like The Blues Brothers and Wall-E.
3. Angelina / Zooma Zooma (1957)
Originally written in 1936, “Angelina” is a classic Louis Prima tune that was revitalized by his collaboration with Sam Butera and the Witnesses. He released it under the album The Wildest!, which is considered one of his best works. The song is about a woman who is beautiful and seductive, with a touch of mystery. It has been featured in many movies and TV shows, including The Sopranos, Taxi Driver, and Wall Street.
2. Just A Gigolo (1957)
Louis Prima’s “Just a Gigolo” was released in 1957 and features some of the most memorable horns in pop music history. It is a song about a man who is down on his luck and trying to make ends meet by playing the gigolo. It was a big hit then and was able to make a comeback in the 1980’s thanks to David Lee Roth’s cover. It has been featured in many movies including The Blues Brothers and Moulin Rouge.
1. Felicia No Capicia (1946)
This song has a great story behind it. Louis Prima wrote it for his wife, Felicia, who was originally from Sicily. The song is about a man who is trying to woo a woman who is playing hard to get. He produced the song and it became a big hit in 1946 being played on the radio constantly. The song has been featured in movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas.
As you can see, Louis Prima was a very talented musician with a great career. He was able to write and perform many great songs that are still popular today. If you have never heard of him check out some of his work in the songs above.