Home Read Classic Album Review: Keely Smith | Keely Sings Sinatra

Classic Album Review: Keely Smith | Keely Sings Sinatra

Louis Prima's ex delivers the good with a swinging tributed to Old Blue Eyes.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For my money, Keely Smith —Vegas lounge lizard Louis Prima’s ex-wife, straight-gal and scrappy duet partner — never got the recognition she deserved. But hey, there’s still time.

Fully in comeback mode and, at age 69, still in good voice — and still sporting her trademark pageboy coif — Keely follows up her well-received 1999 disc Swing, Swing, Swing with this tribute to Old Blue Eyes. Backed by a crack big band, Smith capably applies her velvety pipes to chestnuts like Night and Day, Angel Eyes, All The Way, It Was a Very Good Year and My Way, caressing the ballads, kicking up her heels on the ring-a-ding-dingers, and generally delivering the goods in a way that woulda made Frank smile. And apparently, did; this CD was recorded before Sinatra’s death, but put on hold to avoid seeming like a posthumous cash-in. In other words, along with being a great balladeer and a helluva babe, Smith is also what Frank woulda called one classy dame.