Keely Smith

  • Born: March 9, 1928
  • Died: December 16, 2017
  • Location:


Keely Smith

Singer known for her music and comedy act with Louis Prima…

Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima, has died of apparent heart failure in Palm Springs, according to the Associated Press. She was 89. For full coverage and obituary from, click here.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I am a clergyman who became a good friend of Keely, because I went often to her performances. The first time, I flew from NY to California to see and hear Keely at the McCallum Theater. This was followed by at least (I may be missing some) 27 times when Keely was singing in NYC- namely, May 8, 2001..May 23, 2001..May 25, 2001..May 25, 2002..April 29, 2003..May 6, 2003..May 14, 2003..May 17, 2003..May 20, 2004..June 3, 2004..June 4, 2004 @8:30pm..June 4, 2004 @11pm..June 5, 2004 @8:30pm..June 5, 2004 @11pm..January 31, 2005 for Keely's Nightlife Award for best femal vocalist.. April 20, 2005.. April 25, 2005 for the MAC awards where Keely received a lifetime achievement award and 4 standing ovations.. April 27, 2005..May 6, 2005@8:30pm..May 6, 2005@11pm..May 7, 2005@8:30pm..October 6, 2005..April 3, 2007.. April 24, 2007..May 10, 2007.. June 4, 2008.. June 8, 2008. Of the 28 times I personally saw Keely perform, how many times was she Excellent? 28. How many times did she give 100% to her fans? 28. God bless Keely and her family.
Rev. Paul Driscoll

Posted by Paul Driscoll - New Yord, NY - friend   December 06, 2018

My condolences to Keely's family and to her multitude of friends. I had the pleasure of seeing Keely in concert at Bimbo's in San Francisco many years ago. It was a blast and Keely sung her heart out. At the end of the concert she came out into the audience singing "When The Saints Go Marching In." She got several audience members to join her in the song, but when she got to my table, she stumbled, but luckily I caught her in time. I did not get to sing with her, but she continued to sing like the trooper that she was. I have many of her recordings and will be listening to her angelic voice for many years to come.

Posted by Frank Catale - Cathedral City, CA - acquaintance   March 17, 2018

Listening to your music right now brings back so many wonderful memories l have of my husband!
We always felt we were your number one Fans !

Posted by Maryann Black - Saint Augustine, FL - Friend   January 22, 2018

Condolences to Keely Smith's family and friends. I am so sad to hear of her passing. I found out some minutes ago. She was one of my favorite singers. She had such a beautiful voice. I always wanted to see her in concert. May she Rest In Peace.

Posted by Susan Y. - Knoxville, TN   January 18, 2018

Love and miss you!

Posted by Lu Prima - Toluca Lake, CA - Daughter   January 16, 2018


Our sweet Keely, may you journey in peace

Posted by Gary Hernandez - West Covina, CA   January 12, 2018

Dearest Keely,

Your voice, passion, and stance in the music industry, will forever be embedded in my 33 year old soul and beyond. The influence you made and the joy you shared with many, we are in debt. Forever in our hearts, dear Keely, I love you always!

Posted by Gary Hernandez - West Covina, CA   January 12, 2018

Saw her at Irving Plaza in NYC years ago and she was nothing but perfect.

Posted by D van L - Brooklyn, NY   January 11, 2018

Keely, you are the GREATEST. Thank you for sharing your incredible God-Given voice with the world, and for being such a beautiful lady. You were always so nice to me, and I will treasure you always ♡ As your family and friends gather today to celebrate you, know that I am there too in my heart. All my love dear Toni and Luanne - I am celebrating your mom today with you.♡♡♡

Posted by Karen Pennington - Livermore, CA - friend   January 06, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. May your fun filled memories of her bring you joy and happiness

Posted by Gwen Johnson    January 06, 2018

I just want to say Toni am sorry for your loss I never knew your mother but if you were anything like her or she anything like you then I know she was a beautiful person because that's what you are love Lillie

Posted by lillie Culberson Nelson - Palm desert, CA   January 06, 2018

I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family for their loss of a talented woman. May you find comfort and help in God during this time of sorrow.

Posted by A friend   January 05, 2018


I read this today and it made me think of you Mama K..... "Your Memory is my keepsake, with which we'll never part. God has you in his keeping. I have you in my heart."

Posted by Jennifer Carter - La Quinta, CA - Family   January 03, 2018

What a Performer! Love You Keely.

Posted by Rey Criollo - Joliet   January 03, 2018

Toni, so sorry for your loss. Thank you sharing your beloved mom with the Theatre League. Much love Marla

Posted by Marla Lewin - Palm Springs, CA   January 01, 2018

Thank you Keely....was priveliged to see you in person on Okinawa in mid 60's and again in Virginia Beach in the mid- 70' Mother and I rushed to the Lounge to catch your last show that day....
We are Blessed to have had you in our Lives...your Music will go on forever...

Posted by A friend   December 31, 2017

Toni & Luanne, My deepest sympathy to the both of you, I adored and enjoyed being a friend of your mom. She was a great Lady and I will always keep her in my prayers.
Forever in my heart,
Sammy Bordonaro

Posted by Samuel Bordonaro - Buffalo, NY   December 29, 2017

My deepest sympathies to the surviving family that have to endure the loss of their dear Keely. The God of all comfort will grant you peace and strength in the coming weeks. Remember all the good things and the times that you shared together.

Posted by S B - PA   December 28, 2017

Prayer, peace and comfort to the family. Your mother was a lovely lady and brought so much joy to all of us! Agape' love to you all!

Posted by A friend   December 27, 2017

My condolences go out to the family. I truly enjoyed Ms Smith's music. God comforts all who mourn. Is. 61:2

Posted by - FL   December 27, 2017

A National Treasure adored worldwide she's one of the greatest singers and performers of the last hundred years and she will be missed by millions, her sweet voice and unique song stylings will live on forever.

Posted by Rich and Peggy Victor - Moses Lake, WA   December 27, 2017

`Back in 1953 Keely and Louis Prima appeared at the Paramount Theatre in NYC. I was a high school student and was ompressed with their act that I became a Keely smith fan.
Years later I was in Las Vegas and was thrilled to see close up in her lounge act.
I will miss keely she was part of my youth. Sing for me in heaven.

Posted by Charles Weisman - Bronx New York, NY - Student   December 24, 2017

Remember her and Louie Prima on T V as child. She brought a lot of entertainment and enjoyment my life. RIP, Keeley Smith.

Posted by Susan Stephenst - TRUCKSVILLE, PA   December 23, 2017

Great voice, R.I.P.

Posted by D. STELLA TUCKER - LENOX, MA   December 23, 2017

My condolences to the family. Rest in Peace Keely, you will always be my absolute favorite. Your talent amazing, but your heart and joy for life was just as big. I was blessed to meet you once and you were absolutely wonderful to me. I will never forget your kindness and wonderful sense of humor. May God Bless you and your family.

With much love and respect,

Posted by Evelyn Bremner - Chicago, IL   December 23, 2017

So sorry to hear of the great Keely Smith's passing. My brother and I attended several of her Massachusetts performances. In our opinion, Keely was one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, female singers of all time...a true legend!!! To her children, please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved Mother.

Posted by Nancy Marchand - Framingham, MA   December 23, 2017

Sending condolences to Toni and Luanne for the loss of your dear mother ~ Keely Smith. May the hope that God's word gives us for those we lost in death be comforting, faith building and encouraging to you (John 6:40) ~ Linda, Queens, NY

Posted by A friend   December 23, 2017

Our condolences to the family. She will be missed. She was very talented. May you find comfort In God's word, he promise to comfort and sustain you during this time of sorrow.

Posted by - Miami, FL   December 23, 2017

That wonderful Tidewater, Virginia, accent had us "oot of our mind" with joy for all these years.

Posted by Rey - Charlottesville, VA   December 22, 2017

She was a joy to watch and listen to and what
a face !!!

Posted by Connie Lynch - Pointblank, TX   December 22, 2017

Sorry to hear of your passing. Oh how I loved you when I was little. I never heard music like the kind you did, and I loved you with Louie. RIP

Posted by louise wisinski - west allis, WI   December 22, 2017

Keely will be missed! The family and friends has wonderful memories of herv life to help ease the pain. May the love of God grant peace and strength from 2nd Thessalonians 2:16, 17 during this difficult time. My sincere condolences.

Posted by A friend   December 22, 2017

Comfort from our God
Love from our God
Peace from our God
All promises our Heavenly Father has given us
My prayers are that family and friends feel the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father during these days

Posted by P - L, GA   December 22, 2017


Dear Keely Smith: "Without a song or a dance, what are we? So, I say, 'Thank You for the Music.....For giving it to me!'"

Posted by Jan F. - IN   December 22, 2017


DEAR FAMILY OF KEELY SMITH: "If they gave me a fortune, my pleasure would be small. I could lose it all, tomorrow, and never mind, at all. But, if I should lose your Love, Dear, I don't know what I'd do.....For I know I'll never find another You!"

Posted by Paul Alan - Crown Point, IN   December 22, 2017

My sincerest sympathy for the loss of your loved one (Psalms 9:9).

Posted by Betty-NC    December 21, 2017

So very much musical pleasure- Keely and Louie back together. TM

Posted by A friend   December 21, 2017

We will miss you; RIP, Ms Smith.

Posted by A friend   December 20, 2017

Won't ever be another singer like her. Was lucky enough to see her and Louie in person. We are losing all the good ones.

Posted by Patricia Kihl - MISSION, TX   December 20, 2017


Rest in Peace

Posted by Scott Chamberland - St.Agatha, ME   December 20, 2017

One of my favorites,Im truly going to miss her.God Bless you Keely.

Posted by Charles Gray - Lancaster, NY - friend   December 20, 2017

lost another great talent, remember seeing her and louie in 1951 in malvern, pa

Posted by A friend   December 20, 2017

loved your voice. you gave us so many great songs. sorry I never saw you in las vegas. rest in peace.

Posted by bill - parma, OH   December 20, 2017

May the God of all comfort be with family and loved ones.

Posted by Stacy    December 20, 2017

Miss Keely was my favorite, because she could sing, perfect performance always.She had a great life and I am sad she is gone...another great one gone...Pray for us!

Posted by A friend   December 20, 2017

So sorry for your loss. May the family have peace and strength from Almighty God during this difficult time.

Posted by A friend   December 20, 2017

So glad to have met you in the desert. You were one of the greats!

Posted by Carol Lisa Lozito - Huntington Beach, CA   December 19, 2017

sorry toni and luanne mom was a nice lady
johnny from chicago

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

Sincere condolences to the Primo family for the loss of your beloved mother. May beautiful memories of happy times shared with her bring you solace and peace. May the God of all comfort sustain each of you during your time of grief.

Posted by Juanita - Cleveland, OH   December 19, 2017

Keely Smith was a wonderful entertainer who I've admired for years. I offer condolences and love to her children, Toni and Luanne as this loss must be especially difficult at this time of year.

Amy Condit

Posted by Amy Condit - Long Beach, CA   December 19, 2017

This is from Ric Marlow that passed Away last February he was a good friend of Keely and I decided to honor her for him

Posted by Michelle Moscatel - Palmsprings, CA - Friend   December 19, 2017

"You were the love of my life whem I was a teen ager". Happy trails Keely!

Posted by Robert Kelley - Sciotodale, OH   December 19, 2017

I am sending my condolences to the family at this time of your loss. May God continue to keep you in his care.
sending my condolences to the family at this time of your loss. May God continue to bless your family and keep the family in his care.

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

My condolences to the family and friends of Keely Smith. You are in my prayers

Posted by Fj    December 19, 2017

Posted by Karan wider - Columbus, OH   December 19, 2017

Prayers of peace to her family, and gratitude for one of the very great artists of our lives!!! "A Keely Christmas" resounding now!

Posted by Judith A. - Lewes, DE   December 19, 2017

Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017


So very sorry to hear of the passing of the great Keely Smith. My thoughts, prayers & condolences go out to her family, friends & associates. I enjoyed her jazz style music & recall watching her & Louis Prima perform on t.v. many times & have several of her records. She was truly one of our icons and will be missed. May she rest in eternal peace and may the perpetual light shine upon her.

Posted by Nancy Woodwell-Freedman - Sandy Hook, CT   December 19, 2017

My heartfelt condolences and prayers for the Smith family and acquaintances. May Almighty God in his infinite wisdom grant solace during this most challenging time. Ms Smith was truly an extraordinary talented and accomplished lady of integrity. Ms Smith will truly be missed. With Love & Prayers

Posted by A Caring Neighbor    December 19, 2017

RIP to a lovely and talented lady

Posted by S boyce - Woodbridge, CT   December 19, 2017

She was the greatest


Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017


Family and Friends: My sympathies on your great loss. Ms. Smith was one of my all time favorites since childhood.

Posted by Ann Windebank - Barefoot Bay, FL   December 19, 2017

Sorry for your loss May God of all tender mercy comfort you in your times of sadness

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

One of the best jazz/swing swingers during my time (I'm 85 years old), and always the LADY. She will be missed.

Posted by Emile Sander III - New Orleans, LA   December 19, 2017

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Keely. Rest assured life is precious to our Creator. He promises to act in our behalf.
1 Corinthians 15:26

Posted by Christian    December 19, 2017

My deepest condolences to the family of Keely I am really sorry for your great loss.b.y

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

Keely Smith was pure class. May she rest in peace. Tom Mortensen
Bay Area CA

Listened to her and Louie since 1959.

Posted by Thomas Mortensen - Concord, CA   December 19, 2017


Posted by - GA   December 19, 2017

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Taylor - D,T   December 19, 2017

She would come to the Rendezvous Lounge at Resorts to watch Sam Butera. She was a great lady.

Posted by - Somers Point, NJ   December 19, 2017

Great singer of her time and together with Louie a star.

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

Heard her & Louie. She was wonderful. Great voice & look. Miss you. R.I.P. A fan since the 70's

Posted by Teresa Shapiro - Ft Lauderdale, FL   December 19, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Posted by - OH   December 19, 2017

I loved her style, her voice and her wit. Rest in Peace Keely. And to her children, I am sorry for your loss of your mother. Her voice lives on.

Posted by DEBORAH RAPPA - PACIFIC GROVE, CA   December 19, 2017

Rest In Peace, dear friend. Keely, you will be forever in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with Toni and Luanne at this sad time. May God hold You in the Palm of His Hand. You will be so missed. ❤❤

Posted by Kay Vance - Plaistow, NH - Friend   December 19, 2017

Rest In Peace, dear friend. Keely, you will be forever in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with Toni and Luanne at this sad time. May God hold You in the Palm of His Hand. You will be so missed. ❤❤

Posted by Kay Vance - Plaistow, NH - Friend   December 19, 2017

To the family of Keely Smith: So sorry to hear of your loss. Her memory and singing abilities will be missed my many.

Posted by JMS    December 19, 2017

Tony, Luanne, Family, Friends, Fans,

We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one. Our condolences and prayers are with the family in your grief. Cherish her memories. May the God who gives peace be with all of you.-RO.15:33

Posted by A friend   December 19, 2017

Rest in peace Keely. You made everyone happy with your singing. We will all miss you.

Posted by David Pearlstein - Las Vegas, NV   December 19, 2017

pillolaq genoa italy very nice singer partner LUIS PRIMA WONDERFOUL ALAWAYS IN MY HEART

Posted by ALESSANDRO VERMINI - GENOA ITALY   December 19, 2017

Deeply sorry about Ms. Smith, she will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Posted by A friend   December 18, 2017


Beautiful woman with a great voice. Always enjoyed hearing her sing THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC with Louie Prima.

Posted by Joan - OH   December 18, 2017


Lovely voice. Rest in eternal Peace Keely.

Posted by Sheila - L.A., CA   December 18, 2017

You will always have a place in my heart.
Bless You.

Posted by Joe Fusco - Santa Rosa, CA   December 18, 2017

what a voice, so talented and pretty! loved all the songs with louie!! God bless you!!!

Posted by A friend   December 18, 2017



Posted by Glen James Hausfeld - Minneapolis, MN   December 18, 2017

R.I.P. Keely

Bob Larsen
Palm Springs CA

Posted by Bob Larsen - Palm Springs, CA   December 18, 2017

One of the greats! She will be missed!

Posted by Gary Butterfield - Alpharetta, GA   December 18, 2017

Loved your singing. May you Rest In Peace.

Posted by Leo Perez - Denton, TX   December 18, 2017


Godspeed Keely, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

Posted by Harry Simpson - Buckeye, AZ   December 18, 2017

I always loved watching her and Louie singing on TV, usually on the Ed Sullivan Show. I have one of her albums and listen to it often. I love you Keely. God bless you.

Posted by Evrand Blass - Lexington Park, MD   December 18, 2017

R.I.P. I'm a big fan. God Bless her children.

Posted by LAWRENCE GUIDRY - HOUMA, LA   December 18, 2017

Please accept our sincere condolences. We know during this very difficult time, it is important to have comfort and hope. This can be found in God's word the Bible at Acts chapter 24 and verse 15. It gives the hope of a bright future.

Posted by A friend   December 18, 2017

Posted by Jeff Wilson - Rancho Mirage, CA   December 18, 2017

We'll will miss you !

Posted by Adrian Barnette - Topeka, KS   December 18, 2017


Posted by Linda Tracy - Cleveland, OH   December 18, 2017

Family Album

Keely Smith