Cab Calloway

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Cab Calloway


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Born: 25th December 1907, Rochester, New York, USA. Died: 18th November 1994, Cokebury Village, Hockessin, Delaware, USA.

American band-leader of the 1930s-1940s, jazz musician, singer, song-writer & multi-talented EmCee renowned for his 'scat singing' style.

Calloway's orchestra rotated as a 'house band' with that of Duke Ellington at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem through the Prohibition era. His snappy 'zoot-suit' dress sense and skillful vaudeville song-and-dance routines made him an extremely popular entertainer. His 'moonwalking' predating that of Michael Jackson by about a half-century.

In later years he continued performing and featured in films, such as "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965) with Steve McQueen & Edward G. Robinson. The "Cab Calloway School of the Arts", in Wilmington, Delaware, was dedicated in his name in 1994. Calloway died shortly after a stroke and his ashes are interred at Ferncliffe Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Brother of Blanche Calloway.

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Cabell Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader. He was a regular performer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, where he became a popular vocalist of the swing era. His niche of mixing jazz and vaudeville won him acclaim during a career that spanned over 65 years. Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the most popular dance bands in the United States from the early 1930s to the late 1940s. His band included trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Jonah Jones, and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon "Chu" Berry, guitarist Danny Barker, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Cozy Cole. Calloway had several hit records in the 1930s and 1940s, becoming the first African-American musician to sell one million copies of a single record. He became known as the "Hi-de-ho" man of jazz for his most famous song, "Minnie the Moocher", originally recorded in 1931. He reached the Billboard charts in five consecutive decades (1930s–1970s). Calloway also made several stage, film, and television appearances until his death in 1994 at the age of 86. He had roles in Stormy Weather (1943), Porgy and Bess (1953), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), and Hello Dolly! (1967). His career enjoyed a marked resurgence from his appearance in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Calloway was the first African-American to have a nationally syndicated radio program. In 1993, Calloway received the National Medal of Arts from the United States Congress. He posthumously received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. His song "Minnie the Moocher" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, and added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2019. Three years later in 2022, the National Film Registry selected his home films for preservation as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant films". He is also inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the International Jazz Hall of Fame.