1. A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman
2. A man who is hired as an escort or a dancing partner for a woman.
Not, one would think, the kind of thing a normal man would admit to. Certainly not the kind of thing that one would proudly claim on the opening track to your big hit album, and signature song. Not the sort of thing a normal man would do if he were in his 40s, in the middle of his fourth marriage, and singing with his practically teenage wife.
Later on he and his practically teenage wife (although she had well and truly entered young womanhood by the time they got to it) would sing “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” (better known for the Andrews Sisters version, but a minor hit for Louis and Keely reaching No.55 on the Australian charts in August 1955), featuring the lyric “of all the girls that I’ve known, and I’ve known some” thus seeing Louis boast to his wife (with quite a bit of pride) about all the girls that he’s slept with, which in polite society is just not done.
But then Louis Prima was not a normal man.
He was a dirty old man.
And he knew it. He was proud enough of it to sing a lyric like “there’ll come a day/ when youth will pass away/what will they say about me?” You already know what they will say Louis… what they are already saying… that you are a dirty old perverted man. With a practically teenage wife.
That practically teenage wife was Keely Smith. They met when she was 17 (some say 16), when she joined his band. And she was - with her big wide eyes and the shortest, chicest hair cut that side of France - rather hot, in an entirely 100% aloof kind of way.
It certainly was an odd little relationship.
How to explain it…