Cab Calloway biography
Singer, bandleader, dancer. Born Cabell Calloway III on December 25, 1907, in Rochester, New York. A charming, vibrant performer, Calloway is often associated with the jazz music of the 1930s. Sometimes called the "hi-de-hi-de-ho man," he perfected the art of scat singing, which uses nonsensical sounds to improvise melodies.
After playing in Chicago, Calloway went to New York and landed a gig at Harlem's famed Cotton Club. As the bandleader of Cab Calloway and his Orchestra, he was a regular performer at the popular nightspot. In 1931, he scored a hit with the song "Minnie the Moocher," which is considered by some to be first recording to feature scat singing. His other hits included "Kickin' the Gong Around" (1931), "Moon Glow" (1934), and "The Jumpin' Jive" (1939).
Besides his musical act, Calloway also appeared on stage and in films. During the 1930s and 1940s, he worked in such films as The Big Broadcast (1932), The Singing Kid (1936), and Stormy Weather (1943). Calloway spent two years in the cast of a revival of the musical Porgy and Bess, beginning in 1952. He also performed in other stage productions over the years and made more film appearances, most notably in the 1979 movie The Blues Brothers. During the film, Calloway put on his trademark white tie and tails and performed "Minnie the Moocher."
Calloway died on November 18, 1994.