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Cab Calloway Collection

Best known for his creative vocalizations or scatting and his catchphrase "hi-de-hi-de-ho."

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16 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 5 hours, 23 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
6 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from July 10, 1945:

"One Night Stand Broadcast"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Cab CallowayGreat Jazz can be a collection of paradoxes. It was developed by rural black musicians in the South, but it was commercialized and became an art form when it was adopted by urban white bands and audiences. Jazz is usually played by a large or small ensemble, but the compositions celebrate the individual voices of the instruments in the ensemble. The most popular and best remembered Jazzmen are the bandleaders who put together and led the great orchestras, but most of them would prefer to be remembered as masters of their own instrument.

Louis Armstrong and Harry James had their trumpets, Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington had the piano, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman had the clarinet, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller the trombone. Most of them could play more than one instrument, but specialized in the one they considered their own. Perhaps the greatest showman of the great Jazzmen had just his voice and a sense of "scat", the great Cab Calloway.

Cabell Calloway III was born on Christmas Day, 1907, in Rochester, New York, and grew up in the semi-affluent Sugar Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Sugar Hill was the center of black business, cultural, and political society, not just for Baltimore but for the entire Eastern seaboard in the early years of the twentieth century. His father, Cabell Calloway, Jr., had graduated from Pennsylvania's Lincoln University and built his fortune as a lawyer and real estate investor. The younger Calloway's parents discovered he had a talent for music. They encouraged him early on by providing voice and music lessons as part of his education but expected that he would follow in Cabell Jr.'s footsteps into law and business.

Cab CallowayNot surprisingly, Cab's parents and music teachers disapproved of Jazz. It is even less surprising that the young man began frequenting the many Baltimore nightclubs that featured the hot style of music. Cab met many Baltimore area Jazz luminaries and was informally tutored by drummer Chick Webb and pianist Johnny Jones. After graduating from high school, Cab joined his older sister, Blanche, in a touring production of Plantation Days. Still hoping to salvage a legal career for their son, Cab's parents sent him to Crane College (now Malcolm X College) in Chicago. However, Chicago had an even hotter Jazz scene than Baltimore (as well as an active horse racing community, the tracks being Cab's other lifetime interest). Cab spent most of his evenings at the Dreamland Ballroom, the Sunset Café, and Club Berlin, singing, playing drums, or acting as MC. For a time, he was an understudy for Adelaide Hall at the Sunset Café, and here he met Louis Armstrong who introduced him to scat singing. Soon, Cab gave up even pretending to go to school and joined a band called The Alabamians.

While on the road, The Alabamians entered a band vs band rivalry with a group calling themselves The Missourians. The Missourians eventually came out on top, but not until Cab jumped the fence and became their leader. In 1930, the band changed their name to Cab Calloway and his Orchestra and went to try their luck in Harlem, New York City. Harlem was the Jazz capital of the world, and the hottest spot in Harlem was the Cotton club where Duke Ellington led the house band. Cab Calloway and his Orchestra were so exciting and popular that the Duke asked them to substitute for his outfit when they went on tour. Duke returned to the Cotton Club to discover that the Duke Ellington Orchestra was now the co-house band with Cab Calloway and his Orchestra. NBC broadcast a remote twice weekly from the Cotton Club, and Cab and his Orchestra were also featured on Walter Winchell's program and played on Bing Crosby's show from the Paramount. These broadcasts helped Cab and the Duke to shatter the network's color barrier.

Cab CallowayCab recorded "Minnie the Moocher" in 1931. The "call-and-response" chorus of "hi-de-hi-de-ho" happened when Cab improvised after forgetting a lyric, and it became his signature number. The song, along with several other Cab Calloway numbers, became the soundtrack to a series of Betty Boop cartoons in 1932. The short films even featured Cab's dancing using an animation technique called rotoscoping. Ellington and Calloway made more film appearances than any other Jazz musicians of the era. Cab's first "proper" film role was opposite Al Jolson in The Singing Kid (1936), which also featured Cab's orchestra and 22 Cotton Club Dancers.  

Between The Cotton Club gig, Hollywood, and touring, Cab Calloway and his Orchestra became one of the busiest acts in the country. Rather than deal with Jim Crow attitudes when traveling through the South, Calloway was successful enough that he could afford to hire a private railway car for the band. His scat improvisations, vaudeville sense of showmanship, and white tuxedo stylings made him incredibly popular with audiences. In 1944, he published The New Cab Calloway Hepster's Dictionary: The Language of Jive, which attempted to capture the patois of Harlem for curious outsiders. He even developed a precursor to Michael Jackson's "Moonwalk" dance move called "the Buzz" decades before the King of Pop was born.

Cab appeared in the 1952 European touring production of Porgy and Bess. He was featured in the Blues Brothers (1980) and performed a white tuxedo rendition of Minnie the Moocher. He suffered a stroke in June 1994 and died five months later on November 18, 1994. He was 86.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    16 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 5 hours, 23 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      16 shows - total playtime 5 hours 23 minutes
      1. Afrs Basic Music Library Jumpin Jive Cabcalloway.mp3
      2. Airtime Starring Gisele Mackenzie 560000 Cab Calloway.mp3
      3. Bill Stern Sports Newsreel 460823 355 Cab Calloway.mp3
      4. Cab Calloway Chop Chop Charlie Chan.mp3
      5. Calling All Bars By Cab Calloway 1940.mp3
      6. Come On With Come On By Cab Calloway 1940.mp3
      7. CP 430102 045 Linda Darnell Ink Spots Cab Calloway.mp3
      8. Gisele Mackenzie Show 560000 08 Cab Calloway.mp3
      9. Jubilee 430102 006 Cab Calloway Golden Gate Quartet 2nd Half.mp3
      10. Jubilee 440207 065 Cab Calloway Nat King Cole.mp3
      11. News Clips 450814 Japan Surrenders Cab Calloway Mutual.mp3
      12. One Night Stand 450709 0773 Zanzi.mp3
      13. One Night Stand 450710 Cab Calloway.mp3
      14. Shell Chateau 360125 43 Cab Calloway.mp3
      15. Treasury Dept Radio Transcription 500000 Cab Calloway.mp3
      16. Yank Swing Session 083 Jumpin Jive Jim Jam Jump.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    16 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 5 hours, 23 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      16 shows - total playtime 5 hours 23 minutes
      1. Afrs Basic Music Library Jumpin Jive Cabcalloway.mp3
      2. Airtime Starring Gisele Mackenzie 560000 Cab Calloway.mp3
      3. Bill Stern Sports Newsreel 460823 355 Cab Calloway.mp3
      4. Cab Calloway Chop Chop Charlie Chan.mp3
      5. Calling All Bars By Cab Calloway 1940.mp3
      6. Come On With Come On By Cab Calloway 1940.mp3
      7. CP 430102 045 Linda Darnell Ink Spots Cab Calloway.mp3
      8. Gisele Mackenzie Show 560000 08 Cab Calloway.mp3
      9. Jubilee 430102 006 Cab Calloway Golden Gate Quartet 2nd Half.mp3
      10. Jubilee 440207 065 Cab Calloway Nat King Cole.mp3
      11. News Clips 450814 Japan Surrenders Cab Calloway Mutual.mp3
      12. One Night Stand 450709 0773 Zanzi.mp3
      13. One Night Stand 450710 Cab Calloway.mp3
      14. Shell Chateau 360125 43 Cab Calloway.mp3
      15. Treasury Dept Radio Transcription 500000 Cab Calloway.mp3
      16. Yank Swing Session 083 Jumpin Jive Jim Jam Jump.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    16 recordings on 6 Audio CDs
    total playtime 5 hours, 23 min

    Cab Calloway Disc A001

    1. Afrs Basic Music Library Jumpin Jive Cabcalloway
    2. Cab Calloway Chop Chop Charlie Chan
    3. Calling All Bars By Cab Calloway 1940
    4. Come On With Come On By Cab Calloway 1940
    5. Yank Swing Session 083 Jumpin Jive Jim Jam Jump

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Cab Calloway Disc A002

    1. Shell Chateau 360125 43 Cab Calloway

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Cab Calloway Disc A003

    1. CP 430102 045 Linda Darnell Ink Spots Cab Calloway
    2. Jubilee 430102 006 Cab Calloway Golden Gate Quartet 2nd Half

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Cab Calloway Disc A004

    1. Jubilee 440207 065 Cab Calloway Nat King Cole
    2. One Night Stand 450709 0773 Zanzi

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Cab Calloway Disc A005

    1. One Night Stand 450710 Cab Calloway
    2. News Clips 450814 Japan Surrenders Cab Calloway Mutual
    3. Bill Stern Sports Newsreel 460823 355 Cab Calloway
    4. Treasury Dept Radio Transcription 500000 Cab Calloway

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Cab Calloway Disc A006

    1. Airtime Starring Gisele Mackenzie 560000 Cab Calloway
    2. Gisele Mackenzie Show 560000 08 Cab Calloway

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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