Musical instruments, awards, sheet music, diaries, films and recordings that belonged to New Orleans music star Louis Prima have been donated to the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University.
Prima’s hits included “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” and “Just a Gigolo — I Ain’t Got Nobody.”
A singer, trumpeter and songwriter who performed for many years in Las Vegas and died in 1978, Prima also sang “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” for the 1967 Walt Disney animated feature film “The Jungle Book.”
Prima’s music evolved through the years, from jazz to swing to pop and rock ’n’ roll. He earned iconic status as an artist and entertainer through a career that spanned half a century, said Bruce Raeburn, director of special collections and curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive.
The Gia Maione Prima Foundation Inc., founded by Prima’s wife and lead vocalist, donated the items.
Starting in 2017, Tulane will house the collection in the Louis Prima Room of Jones Hall.
“We are excited to partner with Tulane University and be able to fulfill his late wife Gia’s dream of bringing the Louis Prima Archives to his hometown of New Orleans,” said Anthony J. Sylvester, managing member of the Gia Maione Prima Foundation.