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Keely Smith

The “Queen of Las Vegas” swing, Keely Smith, is one of the last living legends of the great Rat Pack era of the 1950s and ‘60s. For nearly half a century, the Cherokee-Irish singer has thrilled audiences around the world, entertaining music fans with unequaled charm. Keely is perhaps best known for her partnership with Louis Prima, with whom she helped turn Las Vegas into an entertainment mecca for the rich, the famous and everyone in between. Keely’s royal ascent began in Norfalk, Virginia, where she, aged just 11-years old, became a regular on a popular, Saturday morning children’s radio program, “Joe Brown’s Radio Gang.” By 16, she was singing professionally alongside local big bands, entertaining servicemen at local Army, Navy and Marine bases and, more importantly, getting a chance to experience the swing movement first-hand

ARTICLE: MEET THE STAFF

Meet Pat and Mike: The Jazz Bastards

Read "Meet Pat and Mike: The Jazz Bastards" reviewed by AAJ Staff

About Pat and Mike Pat and Mike host the Jazz Bastard podcast. Mike is a English professor who normally makes his home in jny: San Diego; Pat is a lawyer's helper living in Central Indiana. They met as Freshmen in college and having been bugging each other ever since. (Mike—Actually I'm a Humanities lecturer—if ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Do the Jazz Shuffle

Read "Do the Jazz Shuffle" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we have have decided to do the jazz shuffle, and by shuffle we don't mean the jazz rhythm, but the feature that allows to play anything on a hard-drive in a randomized order. A perfect approach to revel through unexpected pairings, daring juxtapositions and accidental non sequiturs. After all if one ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Keely Smith (1929-2017)

Keely Smith (1929-2017)

Keely Smith, a vocalist best known in the 1950s at nightclubs and on TV as the stone-faced half of a husband-and-wife comic duo in which she impatiently waited out and mocked the rubbery crooning style of mate Louis Prima before delivering a sincere pop rendition of her own, died on December 16. She was 89. After ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Ralph Hepola

Read "Take Five with Ralph Hepola" reviewed by Ralph Hepola

About Ralph Hepola Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States, Ralph Hepola studied piano before starting on the tuba at age twelve. At seventeen, he was chosen to play before the British Royal Family in the Manitoba All-Province Band at Brandon, Manitoba in Canada. While still in high school, Ralph began performing ...

NEWS: RECORDING

The Intimate Keely Smith

The Intimate Keely Smith

Keely Smith spent the 1950s in the shadow of her husband, Louis Prima. Both Smith and Prima were superbly talented for different reasons. Prima was a natural showman, a terrific musician and a high-energy R&B crooner. But Smith was the better vocalist. As Prima's straight-faced sidekick, Smith occasionally joined him in a comedic duet. When she ...

Jane Monheit and her Muses...

Read "Jane Monheit and her Muses..." reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

When vocalist Jane Monheit blew the music community's hair back with her debut recording Never Never Land (N-Coded Music) in 2000, she was 22-years old, beautiful, sensual, soon-to-be-married and talented with chops to spare. By 2016, Monheit had released nine additional studio recordings, including the well-received Come Dream With Me (N-Coded Music, 2001) and Surrender (Concord, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thisbe Vos: Under Your Spell

Read "Under Your Spell" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A Southern California Girl with a love of standards and romantic music, Thisbe Vos is not your typical female vocalist performing Louis Prima/ Keely Smith duets in a jazz band. Born in the Netherlands, Vos began exploring music by playing the harp and doing musical theatre and only after joining the British swing band, The Jive ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings Collector’s Edition Box Set

Read "Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings Collector’s Edition Box Set" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Bill WymanBill Wyman's Rhythm Kings Collector's Edition Box SetProper American2011 From all accounts, founding member Bill Wyman resigned from the Rolling Stones in 1992 because he was weary of the frantic pace of life as bassist for “The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band."Wyman's bass ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Giacomo Gates: An Unconventional Backstory

Read "Giacomo Gates: An Unconventional Backstory" reviewed by Sean Dietrich

Giacomo Gates brings a rich, full-bodied timbre to the vocal jazz table. His pure vocalese approach has earned him lauds among critics, who hail him a champion artist in the modern jazz genre. He's been performing alongside the most recognized artists in the industry, using only his voice to produce a broad range of spectral color. ...


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