A hundred years after his birth and 32 years after his death, the great popular-music star Louis Prima received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Prima’s son and daughter, Louis Jr. and Lena, were on hand at the Montalbán Theatre during the dedication ceremony late last month. Afterward, Prima Jr. and his eight-piece band (pictured above) played a half-hour set that included such vintage Louis Sr. fare as “Jump, Jive, an’ Wail,” “That Old Black Magic” and “Just a Gigolo.” The band closed its set as Louis Sr. used to so often conclude his, with a spirited romp through “When the Saints Go Marching In,” replete with a stroll through the crowd before returning to the stage for a rousing finale.
Prima’s was the 2,413th star on the Walk of Fame. The presentation ceremony and Prima concert kicked off “Walk the Walk,” a community event sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in celebration of the Walk’s 50th anniversary.
Over the past five years, Louis Prima Jr., a gifted musician and master of many instruments, has been keeping his father’s flame burning with a hard-swinging show reminiscent of his father’s. (As did his father, Louis Jr. also named his band, featuring singer Sarah Spiegel, the Witnesses.) To date, the group has played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, the Cicade Club in L.A., and other venues.
For more information on Louis Jr. and Sr., go to www.louisprimajr.com and www.louisprima.com. And check out the November digital issue of JAZZIZ (www.jazziz.com), which will feature more coverage of the Prima boys.