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Keely Smith

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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

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases From Alison Shearer, Quentin Angus, Chiara Izzi, The Grace Fox Big Band and More

Read "New Releases From Alison Shearer, Quentin Angus, Chiara Izzi, The Grace Fox Big Band and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast presents new releases from saxophonist Alison Shearer, guitarist Quentin Angus featuring Michael Mayo, the Grace Fox Big Band, vocalists Chiara Izzi, Angela Verbrugge and Carol Lipnik with birthday shoutouts to Bobby McFerrin, Billy Childs, Shirley Scott, Carole Bayer Sager, Keely Smith, Marilyn Harris, Nicki Parrott and Judy Niemack, among others. Thanks for listening and ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases, Birthday Shoutouts As Women's History Month Continues

Read "New Releases, Birthday Shoutouts As Women's History Month Continues" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Now in full swing, Women's History Month continues—this broadcast features new releases from Jane Monheit, Rebecca Dumaine, Yelena Eckemoff, Roni Ben-Hur and Kenney Polson with birthday shoutouts to Keely Smith, Shirley Scott, Nicki Parrott, Judy Niemack, Anat Fort, Miki Yamanaka, Bobby McFerrin and Mark Murphy, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you ...

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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 ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Article: Catching Up With

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, ...

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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 ...


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