LOUIS PLIMA DAY HISTORY
The Annual International Louis Prima Day (now known officially as the International LOUIE PLIMA DAY!!) started back in the Great Blizzard of 1967 in the Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park. For those who would like to visit this shrine, the location is 97th Street and Millard Avenue. Nancy was shoveling snow like a madwoman (actually, more like a mad girl, since she was only 12 at the time....) when her mother called her and asked her to make dessert for the family dinner. Since Nancy's favorite dessert at the time was lemon cake, she proceeded to bake a lemon cake mix. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the Plima party), she broke the cardinal rule of cake baking and opened the oven door within the first half hour of baking. This was construed as the only possible reason for a two-layer cake coming out approximately 1/2 inch thick. The cake was such a thing of sheer beauty that the kids, Nancy (Poo), Barbara (Baboon), Mary Anne (Moo), Billy (Boo), and Kenny (Dood), decided to dedicate it to a cause and make a party out of it. At that time, Father Putz (now known as Chief Pleem) was playing his favorite music, none other than Louis Prima. The dedication was made and the cake was decorated appropriately with multicolored sprinkles, nonpareils, and CakeMate cake decorating gel (mmmmmmm...). Party hats were donned and party blowers blown and a great time was had by all. In fact, so much fun was had that the date was noted in Nancy's diary so it could be repeated the following year. The official first date of that fateful party was January 29, 1967. Since then, Louie Plima Day has been celebrated continuously every year on the last Saturday of January. Happy Pleem!
Louis Prima was born in 1911 or 1912 in New Orleans, LA and died on August 24, 1978. A musical prodigy with an exuberant and zany personality, he was leading a band in New Orleans when he was just 11. In 1934 he began recording Dixieland and became a major attraction. During this period his records included Eddie Miller and George Brunies. The well known Pee Wee Russel was a regular member of his group from 1935 to 1936. Following the trends, he moved effortlessly into the swing era composing his famous "Sing, Sing, Sing" (for a while his theme song) and led a big band in the 1940s. His great success came in the 1950s when he had a Las Vegas act co-starring his wife, Keely Smith (a singer's singer who never missed a note). It is in from this period we have his greatest hits which combined Prima's trumpet solos and upbeat vocals, Keely Smith's "deadpan" vocal delivery with perfect timing and pitch, and the driving tenor of Sam Butera.