She was the hippest doll in America, a real cool cat before they called it that. While live wire Louis Prima put everything he had into his mad, frantic style, his taciturn counterpart never batted an eyelash, just stood around, her ankles crossed, waiting for her turn to sing. It was heat and ice, yin and yang, thrust and parry, an age-old give and take dressed up in the swinging style of '50s jive, when Prima and Smith ruled the scene from the lounge at the Sahara.The marvellous Miss Keely Smith is eighty-five years old today.
"I was far from hip and cool," she says. "I'm basically a square. I've led a very normal life."
Why not kick off your heels, settle down and enjoy the great lady herself singing a superb medley of her hits (including I Got a Right to Sing the Blues, I Wish You Love, That Old Black Magic, I'll Walk Alone, and It's Magic), by way of a celebration?
We love her.
Read my tribute to Miss Smith on the occasion of her 80th.