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4.7 out of 5 stars32
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2002
So many great songs on one CD. I'm sure everyone must know at least one Louis Prima song (even if they don't know it!) Just A Gigolo, Buona Sera, Jump, Jive, an' Wail, Whistle Stop, The Music Goes Round and Round!! Don't expect to sit down and listen to this one, you can't help but want to dance. Brilliant!
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on 4 December 2000
no CD i own captures the feeling of being at home with my 50 crazy hilarious italian relatives more perfectly than this one. louis' ragged voice and keely smith's satin-smooth sound are 2 great tastes that taste great together. "banana split for my baby" is definitely a highlight
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“Collectors Series” by Louis Prima, released by Capitol Records from US in 1991, contains 26 songs. I have compiled a detailed song listing (including album and singles label & number, chart position, release date)(BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB200=Billboard Album Chart):

01 JUST A GIGOLO – I AIN’T GOT NOBODY*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
02 OH, MARIE*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
03 BUONA SERA (Capitol F3856)(uncharted a-side, November 1957)*with Sam Butera & the Witnesses; from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
04 JUMP JIVE AN’ WAIL (Capitol HF 200)(b-side, 1960)(Netherlands)*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
05 BASIN STREET BLUES/WHEN IT’S SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
06 THE LIP (featuring Keely Smith)(Capitol CL 14862)(UK b-side, 1958)*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
07 WHISTLE STOP (with Sam Butera & the Witnesses)(Capitol F3615)(uncharted a-side, 1956)
08 5 MONTHS, 2 WEEKS, 2 DAYS (with Sam Butera & the Witnesses)(Capitol F3566)(uncharted a-side, 1956)*from album “Strictly Prima” (Capitol T1132)(1959)
09 BANANA SPLIT FOR MY BABY (with Sam Butera & the Witnesses)(Capitol F3566)(b-side, 1956)*rare gem
10 THERE’LL BE NO NEXT TIME (featuring Sam Butera)*from album “Call of the Wildest” (Capitol T836)(1957)
11 WHEN YOU’RE SMILING – THE SHEIK OF ARABY*from album “Call of the Wildest” (Capitol T836)(1957)
12 BABY, WON’T YOU PLEASE COME HOME (with Keely Smith)(Capitol F3663)(uncharted a-side, 1957)
13 I’VE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
14 PENNIES FROM HEAVEN*from album “The Wildest” (Capitol T755)(1956)
15 ANGELINA – ZOOMA ZOOMA*from album “The Wildest Show at Tahoe” (Capitol T908)(1957)
16 BEEP! BEEP! (Capitol F3856)(b-side, 1957)*rare gem’
17 EMBRACEABLE YOU – I GOT IT BAD AND THAT AIN’T GOOD (with Keely Smith)*from album “Las Vegas Prima Style” (Capitol T1010)(BB200 12/1958)
18 SING SING SING*from album “Strictly Prima” (Capitol T1132)(1959); previously unreleased in stereo
19 THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC (with Keely Smith)(Capitol F4063)(a-side, BB Pop 18/November 1958)*b-side “You Are My Love” not included here
20 THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND ROUND*previously unreleased
21 HEY, BOY! HEY, GIRL”*from album soundtrack “Hey Boy! Hey Girl!” (Capitol T1160)(BB 200 37/1959)
22 LAZY RIVER*from album soundtrack “Hey Boy! Hey Girl!” (Capitol T1160)(BB 200 37/1959); previously unreleased, unedited stereo version
23 I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN (with Keely Smith)(Capitol F4140)(a-side, BB Pop 95/1959)*rare gem
24 YOU’RE JUST IN LOVE*from album “The Wildest Come Home” (Capitol T1723)(1962)*with Sam Butera & the Witnesses
25 TWIST ALL NIGHT*from album “The Wildest Come Home” (Capitol T1723)(1962)*with Sam Butera & the Witnesses
26 ST. LOUIS BLUES*from album “The Wildest Come Home” (Capitol T1723)(1962)*with Sam Butera & the Witnesses


1 This set, released in 1991, remains my reference all these years. There is a good mix of rare singles and album tracks.
2 The most outstanding aspect of this set is the sound, remastered by Bob Norberg using original master tapes. It was produced by Bob Furmanek.
3 There is a 16-page booklet with an informative essay by Scott Shea. Information about label and number, chart position, dates of releases plus names of source albums was all included.


1 Being Collectors Series, the songs belonged only to Capitol Records. Singles on Dot Records are naturally not included.


Louis Prima was born on December 7, 1910 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a great jazz trumpeter, singer, composer and bandleader. He and Keely Smith were married from 1953 – 1961. He first joined the Hotcha Trio in 1933 and later started his New Orleans Gang and later his own orchestra. In 1967, he made an acclaimed cameo in Walt Disney’s animated film, “The Jungle Book”, providing the voice of King Louie the Orangutan, and a duet with Phil Harris on “I Wanna Walk Like You.” He has a long recording career by himself, and also with Keely Smith and Sam Butera. He sadly died on August 24, 1978 (age 67).

If money is no object, of course, one can always get the Bear Family box set. For me, this current set with great sound is totally enjoyable, and is still highly recommended to all Louis Prima fans.
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on 19 July 2010
This album is a lot of fun and has great dance/party music. Keep em rocking.
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on 2 June 2010
I first heard this music in a Robert De Niro movie and liked it. In the movie Robert seemed to like it and that's good enough for me ! Yet seriously, I do like Jazz and find that Prima is what I consider to be the old fashioned type , but lovely, easy going and mellow on the ears.
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on 16 February 2016
In the mid 50s, Louis Prima's wild jive embraced Rock and Roll at a time when other artists were rejecting it, making him one of the hottest acts in America. If you want a single CD of Louis Prima, then this is it. This is remastered by Capitol from the original master tapes, and the sound quality is really good. Some tracks appear for the first time in stereo.

I especially like the voice of Keely Smith, and she can be heard on tracks 6 ('The lip'), 17 ('Embraceable you / I got it bad and that ain't good' [live]), 19 ('That old black magic'), 21 ('Hey Boy! Hey Girl!') and 23 ('I've got you under my skin'). Smith effortlessly raises the class of the mayhem going on around her (one review says that her presence "ennobled the stage, while never seeming above the comic proceedings"). Track 10 (There'll be no next time) has Sam Butera, the leader of Prima's backing group, on vocals.

As a special bonus, the liner notes contain interesting information about the original recordings - matrix numbers and even take numbers. Surprisingly for music which sounds so spontaneous, almost nothing was recorded in one take. One track even went to take 10! It just goes to show how much hard work goes into making music sound natural.

Almost everything here is included on the much praised 2 CD set Wild, Cool & Swingin' on Capitol's "Ultra Lounge" series. Is that a better set? Most people will be fine with this set. Missing on the 2 CD set are tracks 7 (Whistle stop), 12 (Baby, won't you please come home), 'Beep! Beep!' (16), a humorous play on the Sputnik mission, 25 ('Twist all night') and 26 ('St Louis Blues'). The inclusion there of two Keely Smith ballads - 'Autumn leaves' and 'Don't take your love from me' make it tempting, but most people aren't buying Louis Prima for his ballads, and this CD can be picked up for next to nothing. A bargain.
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on 16 September 2013
As a fan of Louis Prima for many years,i have to say this is Prima in his rock'n'roll years & although is jazz tinged you cannot deny these tracks were aimed at the fiftie's teenagers.
Every track is a dance classic that was intended for you to jive to.
Louis has a rhythm section that is second to none & a voice that was pure magic to the ears & Sam Butera to blast you away & forget your troubles for a few hours.
Top tracks for me are Sheik of Araby & Sleepy time down south,but as i first mentioned all the tracks on this album are classics.
Louis was'nt just an entertainer he was also a great musician & song writer whose career started in the 1930's with his song writing's being use by some of the great swing bands of the time.
Buy this album then buy one of his earlier career & you can see he was born to make dance music & make people enjoy themselve.
Happy listening!!!!!!!!!!!!.
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on 24 December 2012
This is a dream album, such a treat, I bought it only being aware of a very few songs, pennies from heaven, world on a string, and Louis Prima's voice over in The Jungle Book cartoon, so was hopeful, but didnt know what to expect. It certainly doesn't disappoint. If you like that type of music, happy, swing then I'd highly recommend it. Not stopped playing it since I got it.
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on 2 February 2014
I listen to lots of old music thanks to my parents - the Rat Pack, Glenn Miller, Johnny Ray, Al Jolson, and they are all great. But this album, this has to be the most fun album I've listened to. The fun Louis Prima had recording these tracks is totally apparent, makes me sing, clap and dance. Fantastic!
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on 6 November 2014
the king of swing in its splendor
- great classics songs that make you want JUMP, JIVE AN' WAIL
- great for lindy-hop and cooking italian food
- great for the joyful ambiance throughout the album
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