Keely Smith began her singing career at the tender young age of 14 with a naval air station band led by Saxie Dowell. This was before child labor laws. She made her professional debut with the great Louie Prima in 1949. This broke many other kinds of laws.
She became the ‘straight man’ in his lounge act, setting up jokes for the funny man. They did not do the standard 60-4o split in favor of the straight man. Louie did the financially solvent solution and married the young singer in 1953.
As a group they had a string of top 40 hits which included “That Old Black Magic” (which is not about the occult) and “I’ve got you Under My Skin” (which is not about Jeffery Dahmer). For much of the 1950s they were the toast of Las Vegas. We do not see what is go great about being the ‘toast of Vegas’. I mean toast is just burned bread….
Eventually, Keely branched out on her own with the massive solo hit “I Wish You Love” We here at ComedyGuys.com remember being told that you only wish for things that never happen. Sad, so sad…
Eventually she signed with Reprise Records, the home of Frank Sinatra and Frank Zappa. In 2001, Keely recorded the brilliant CD Keely Sings Sinatra. She never got around to recording Keely Sings Zappa. We would love to have heard her versions of “Dancing Fool” or “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.”