That Old Black Magic

Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and the Golden Age of Las Vegas

By Tom Clavin
(Chicago Review Press, Hardcover, 9781556528217, 227pp.)

Publication Date: November 2010

List Price: $24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description

In 1948, New Orleans veteran trumpeter and singer Louis Prima stumbled into a young girl named Keely Smith. She was barely a performer at all, almost half his age, destined for a relatively quiet life; their encounter was pure coincidence. But they went on to invent The Wildest,” the most exciting and successful lounge act Las Vegas has ever seen, an act that became one of the hottest in the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their records were hugely popular, and they were courted by Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Robert Mitchum, and other well-known entertainers of the day. Their professional success helped bring about the rise of Las Vegas as a mecca of American entertainment. Their love story ended soon after they helped usher in John F. Kennedy’s presidency--singing That Old Black Magic” for him at his inauguration--but their influence is still evident. And Keely still draws SRO audiences to her nightclub appearances.

            Now, on the occasion of Louis Prima’s 100th birthday, comes the first book on this duo, illustrating not only one of show business’s greatest love stories but also the Vegas milieu in which they reached the pinnacle of their success.




About the Author
Tom Clavin is the editor of the "East Hampton Independent" and the "Southampton Independent", two of the most award-winning weekly newspapers in the United States. His articles have appeared in "Reader s Digest", "Cosmopolitan", "Golf" magazine, "Family Circle", and other publications. Clavin is also the coauthor of "Halsey s Typhoon".


Praise For That Old Black Magic

"This book brought me back to my days in Vegas, which we’ll never see again. That was a one-time-only event. I enjoyed Louis Prima more than any other entertainer I’ve seen onstage, that’s how good he was."  Shecky Greene

"Clavin has produced an easy read that is informative, entertaining and enlightening . . . makes a valuable contribution to the world's body of knowledge about one of the greatest entertainers of all time."  NewOrleans.com



"Crisply written and engaging."  PopMatters

Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound






Update Profile