The late, great Cab Calloway on his 100th birthday,

Posted by Whitmore, December 29, 2007 01:21pm | Post a Comment

The legendary saint Cab Calloway, brought into existence on Christmas, was never off the cob, he was the heppest cat, the gasser on the scene, and scribe to the Dictionary of Hepology, not just any book of lingo like some hincty gate-mouth might cop to, emphatically no! This man’s a poet! Hey, Calloway was solid, a ready cat with serious chops, never capped, I mean never capped. Cabell Calloway III licks hit all the armstrongs every time with those "hi-de-hi's," and "ho-de ho's, singing in that blip beat key, swinging overcoats growling some hip and hot gammin’ grooves. Be it a gutbucket blues, the ready racket on the main kick or just some clambake where he’s got this cat riffing on the doghouse - hitting all the basso notes, cool Gabriel wigging on a boogie-woogie and some Jack on skins mugging heavy, Cab always crept out like the shadow, stylish threads togged to the bricks, walking hand made, custom to the thread mezz ground grippers … on each arm, a fine righteous queen he dug the last black, each dicty dutchess fresh off the dreamers and lily whites. 

At one point Cab was collaring 200 g’s a year, that’s one foxy stack of fins. Platter gravy coming on like a test pilot, cuts like "Minnie the Moocher", “Reefer Man” and "St. James Infirmary Blues" were everywhere man, chicks breakin’ it up, dropping a nickel or a dime note just to latch onto the hippest cat who could send the coolest riff riding high. Cab the man was the man; kids come again to the Cotton Club in the Apple, rug cutters Trucking, Pecking, or bugging to the Susie-Q, never no fraughty issue here. That’s the Bible baby! Cab and the cats digging a mess, one riff after another, and every hot killer jam taking off, that combo was always bustin’ conk, breaking up the joint like gangbusters. Zazu-zazu-zazu-zay! No room here for icky squares who can't collar the jive. The jitterbuggers at the Cotton Club always had a hummer of a ball. Yeah! Whipped up! Jumpin’ and mitt pounding till the chimes say its way past early bright. Ow!

Mr. Cab Calloway knocked me a few essential riffs too, like never blow your top, mellow and all will be copacetic. Don’t be afraid of some trickeration, chicks dig that. Don’t get played by some cut rate mo beating his gums. Keep your cogs shiny clean, your glims might miss focus on the hippest pigeon this side of nineteen thirty-sex and you don’t want to miss out. Dig the hard spiel, its jelly, you don’t have to dig that buddy ghee’s spoutin’ beef, that’s a bring down. Sound off man, slide your jib, just get in there lay your racket and beat out that bullshit, beat it out ‘cause that line is sadder than a map, and cat you can’t be that.

And remember, have a ball but grease your soul. One more thing: rub those crumb crushers every bright and black… your dentist will dig that gate. Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho!

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1930's (6), American Culture (94), Hepcats (5), History (52), Cab Calloway (6), Blather (58), Fashion (12), Jazz (150), New York City (101), The Cotton Club (1)