I saw the Prima-Smith show in Las Vegas about 50 years ago ["Lights, No Camera," March 15].
The middleweight champion Gene Fullmer was sitting a couple tables away. Keely Smith was flirting with him and got the giggles. It was the greatest live show I have ever seen. The waiters were so shocked at the extent to which Smith lost it they stopped working and just stopped and stared. The whole evening was just a riot. Louis Prima played the straight guy and the whole thing was fantastic.
When I was a much younger version of my 76-year-old self, I was fortunate to catch a Las Vegas lounge act starring Louis Prima and Keely Smith, accompanied by Sam Butera and the Witnesses. What fun that was! Their act combined his gravelly voiced sound, humor and craziness with her mellow, crisp tones and deadpan persona to create "That Old Black Magic," a piece I can't listen to without being transported to that smoky lounge again.
Thanks for a good story. I hope Hackford's efforts translate to the theater.