Monday, November 10, 2008

Louis Prima - A Spoonful of Sugar b/w Stay Awake (1965)

Singer-trumpeter-band leader-lounge king Louis Prima had several distinct career arcs during his long career.

When this 45 was released in 1965, Prima's downward slope from the pinnacle of his Vegas years had begun, though it's doubtful that you could have told him that at the time.

In '63, he'd married singer Gia Maione, his fifth wife, who'd joined his band the year before, following the departure of Keely Smith, his previous wife and singing partner.

In '64, as he and Maione were starting a family together, Louis founded his own independent recording label, Prima Records.

This 45, capitalizing on the recent success of Disney's film, 'Mary Poppins' was released on the Prima label, but a deal was struck to release the LP 'Let's Fly With Mary Poppins' (recorded with Maione and Prima's backing band, Sam Butera and the Witnesses) on Disney's Buena Vista record label.

Likely that relationship forged with Disney had something to do with their approaching Prima in 1966 to lend his vocal and musical talents to their next upcoming animated feature,
'The Jungle Book'.

Listen to:
Louis Prima - A Spoonful of Sugar
(Prima Records 45, 1965)
(click for audio)

Listen to:
Louis Prima - Stay Awake
(Prima Records 45, 1965)
(click for audio)

See also:
For other Louis Prima 'Mary Poppins' tracks, click over to Covering The Mouse and JeansMusicBlog.


Laura Linger said...

Oh, there is so much to love about this.

First of all, Louis is channeling Lonesome Rhodes and his "just plain folks" with that hairdo and tweedy sportcoat.

Speaking of hairdos, you know that Gia Maione paid cash money at some hairdresser for that gorgeous flipped boufant for that photo. Or maybe not. Where is she posing with their bambino? At a bingo game at St. Francis Cabrini's as it was closing down for the night? What's with the upended card table? The case nearby holding...what? cigars?

The In Crowd said...

Hey Laura - -

Interesting observations all.

But if we're looking at the same photographs from the picture sleeve, Gia is holding baby Lena at the family hearth. See the fireplace grate and screen? I think that open case might be a domino set, or maybe backgammon? The eyes play tricks...

I've read that Lena is now a lounge singer, carrying on the family tradition.

Freshly-stirred links