Swing Legend Louis Prima’s Catalog Acquired by Reservoir

Reservoir Media has acquired the catalog of Louis Prima from the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, the company announced Thursday (Oct. 20). The deal encompasses rights to both his publishing and recorded music.

One of the greatest artists, trumpetists and songwriters of the big band era, New Orleans-born Prima’s catalog includes decade-defining songs like “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which he both wrote and recorded. His catalog also includes famous renditions of standards like “I’m Just a Gigolo (I Ain’t Got Nobody),” “Pennies from Heaven,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and “Buona Sera (Good Night).” “Pennies from Heaven,” in particular, has had a recent renaissance thanks to TikTok users, with nearly 300,000 short videos having been created to the song to date, reestablishing it with a new generation of music fans.


Prima’s prominence in popular culture was also immortalized through his voice role as King Louie, the orangutan from Disney’s 1967 animated film The Jungle Book, which features Prima’s classic track “I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song).”

In the intervening years, Prima’s songs have been covered and re-recorded countless times, including by the Charlie Calello Orchestra (“Sing, Sing, Sing”), Reba McEntire (“Sunday Kind of Love”) and The Brian Setzer Orchestra (“Jump, Jive an’ Wail”). In 2018, Kids See Ghosts — the rap project comprised of Kanye West and Kid Cudi — sampled Prima’s “What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’)” on their song “4th Dimension.”

Rell Lafargue, Reservoir president and COO, commented of the acquisition, “Louis Prima composed and recorded some of the most iconic swing music of all time – his name and the genre are practically synonymous. We are honored to represent his catalog, working to drive deeper recognition of his legacy for generations to come.” He added, “Born and raised in Louisiana myself, I am proud to partner with Tony Sylvester from the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, particularly to further support their impactful work in the city of New Orleans.”

Kristin Robinson