He put together his first band at the age of 14. He wrote a hit, “Sing Sing Sing,” that eventually entered the Grammy Hall of Fame. His band’s performances were so popular, all of New York’s 52nd St. between Fifth Avenue and Broadway was once renamed “Swing Street” in their honor. And when Elvis Presley was asked where he got his “wiggle,” he instantly gave this man’s name.
Thirty-two years after his death, Louis Prima is finally getting his due – a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to be presented on July 25 in front of the Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles. In commemoration of the event, Prima’s son, Louis Prima, Jr., will accept the award with his sister Lena and also perform with his band the Witnesses, accompanied by vocalist Sarah Spiegel. The concert will also mark the start of the day-long “Walk the Walk” celebration for the Walk of Fame’s 50th anniversary. Prima’s central role in this high-profile event, his son said, will give some long-awaited recognition to the Sicilian-American trumpeter, band leader and original “King of Swing” whose 50-year career is sometimes overlooked.
“Getting him this star took 20 years, and a little bit of luck,” said Prima, Jr. “It’s going to finally recognize what he gave with his career – he gave the world a smile.”