New Orleans paid tribute to one of its most famous native sons with the unveiling of a new bronze statue of the Chief in Legends Park on Bourbon Street Saturday night.
Master of Ceremonies Frank Maselli, Chairman of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation, introduced committee members and celebrities in attendance to the park full of guests, enjoying Italian salad and lasagna compliments of Restaurant Eleven 79, with fresh cannoli from Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream Parlor.Legends Park dignitaries attending the reception included Beverly (Mrs. Al) Hirt, Chris Owens, Dr. Frank Minyard, Ronnie and Gardner Kole, Joe Segreto, Paul Ferrara, and Jackie Clarkson.
Louis Prima, Jr. and Joyce Prima had the honor of unveiling their father's statue.
Musical entertainment was provided by the NOCCA Jazz Ensemble with special guest appearances by Ronnie Kole and Louis Prima, Jr.
Later that evening, Deacon John and the Ivories paid musical tribute to Louis Prima at Snug Harbor, with special guest drummer Paul Ferrara. Renditions of "When You're Smiling", "Che La Luna", and "Sing, Sing, Sing" brought the audience back to the time when Paul played with Louis and Keely Smith in the late fifties. Paul wrapped up his appearance with an a cappella version of "The Bigger The Figure", Louis Prima's hilarious ode to obesity, based on Rossini's aria from The Barber of Seville.
Happy Birthday Louis!