Had the pleasure of hearing Keely Smith sing last night. 79 years old [despite what you may read, that’s what she said last night] and still swinging and telling dirty jokes; still has a voice that is clear and straight and in fine pitch.
Don’t know who she is? She was Louis Prima's straight man: her signature perfect pitch voice with very little vibrato; she was sane to his wild. Don’t know Louis Prima? Ever heard of swing? Or be-bop? Or remember their 80s revival? Louis and Keely are the originators. David Lee Roth’s “I’m Just A Gigilo”? Roth was doing a cover of Louis and Keely [who to be honest were themselves doing a 1930s cover]. Here’s Prima and Smith in prime form in 1957-gotta love you tube. Brian Setzer doing Jump Jive and Wail; a Prima cover daddy-o. Get your hands on some Louis Prima and Keely Smith, you won’t be disappointed, the music is pure fun and energy, classic and also contemporary.
Was glad to see her perform some standard ballads as well as some Prima tunes and to watch her have fun on the stage, to own her audience-such a pro. She says she writing an autobiography and naming names. Ha, affairs with Frank [Old Blue Eyes] and Sean Connery to name a few [that she named].