• SumoMe

Cab Calloway

“Minnie the Moocher”

When I think of a short list of true, natural, gifted stage performers, Cab Calloway is always on that list. Calloway is probably known best for the chorus in his song, “Minnie the Moocher,” but he was a very talented scat singer and big band leader in the 30s and 40s.

His parents wanted him to become a lawyer like his father, but Calloway has other plans, so he went to Chicago and he learned to scat sing from none other than Louis Armstrong.

He used to substitute for Duke Ellington until his band became too big for those shoes and they took on their own life. One notable story about his time on tour was when he fired the great Dizzy Gillespie  because he thought Gillespie instigated the band in hitting him with spitballs. Gillespie then stabbed Calloway in the leg with a small knife. Those big band guys don’t mess around.

Calloway is one of the greatest scat/jazz/vaudeville singers and performers of all time, and he rightly deserves the small honor of a Tuesday Tunesday feature. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ballad of Minnie the Moocher.