Joyce Prima Ford, Louis Prima’s eldest daughter, died July 23 at 89 years old. Despite her father’s wish that she pursue a life off stage she built her own career as a singer. She began performing in New Orleans at seven years old, and by the time she was a teenage beauty she was fronting a number of bands around the city.
Hoping to keep her out of showbiz her father sent her to New York to manage business for him, and it worked for a number of years. She moved back to New Orleans in 1952 and raised a family. But eventually the stage would call her back and she spent several decades singing at venues and events around New Orleans, often in tributes to her father. In 1988 she married local big band radio DJ Sam Ford.