Friday, October 28, 2016

Louis Prima's Pretty Acres Golf Club

Louis Prima, the famous singer and big band director, built the Pretty Acres Golf Club on U.S. 190 in 1956, located halfway between Mandeville and Covington. 

A late 1970's map showing Pretty Acres Golf Club

According to a 2010 Inside Northside article, Prima first bought 36 acres there in 1951 for his race horses, and he even put in a mile and a quarter training race track. He then put in a few golf holes and liked it so much that in 1956, he bought another 60 acres and put in the 18 hole Pretty Acres Golf Course. At one time the facility included a restaurant, a motel and a miniature golf course for the kids.

Here's a yellow pages ad from the 1959 Covington area business directory phone book. 

The photo above shows the golf course in 1965

Here's a video that fades between 1965 and 2017 aerial photographs of the area.


The parish government website offered this information about Louis Prima and his career: 

"Louis Prima, Musician, December 7, 1910 - August 24, 1978

"Louis Prima was born December 7, 1910 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Prima was one of  the most influential figures in American music, with a career spanning from 1930 through 1975.  He wrote “Sing, Sing, Sing” in 1936, the song that defined the swing era.

"Prima’s early Italian hits were instrumental in giving rise to singers like Perry Como and Tony Bennett.  He formed his group The Witnesses in 1954 and ushered in a new sound to the Las Vegas stage with his hits “Just a Gigolo”, “Jump, Jive and Wail”, “That Old Black Magic” and many more.  His influence extended to Elvis Presley, who gave Prima credit as the source for his famous hip wiggle.

"Louis Prima performed in Las Vegas with Keely Smith and later Gia Maione.  Louis and Gia were married and lived in Covington, LA and Las Vegas, NV.  Louis built Pretty Acres, a golf course in Covington, which Gia maintained after his death."