Cab Calloway

Highest Rated: 100% Louie Bluie (1985)
Lowest Rated: 83% The Blues Brothers (1980)
Birthday: Dec 25, 1907
Birthplace: Not Available
Inaugurating his performing career in Baltimore, African-American musical entertainer Cab Calloway organized his first band in New York. Calloway already had a strong following thanks to his recordings, when, in 1931, he replaced Duke Ellington as orchestra leader at Harlem's fabled Cotton Club. His lively, athletic performing style, coupled with his trademarked "Hi De Ho" delivery, was given nationwide exposure via his guest appearances in such Paramount features as The Big Broadcast (1932) and International House (1933). He also appeared in animated form in a cluster of Betty Boop cartoons produced by Max and Dave Fleischer, and it is safe to assume that the youngest cartoon fans in the audiences enjoyed Calloway's renditions of "Minnie the Moocher" and "St. James Infirmary Blues" without fully comprehending those songs' allusions to drug use and sex. George and Ira Gershwin used Calloway as the model for the character of Sportin' Life in their 1935 folk opera Porgy and Bess; though he initially turned down an offer to play the character in the original stage production because of a scheduling conflict, he was able to accept the role for a 1952 revival starring Leontyne Price and William Warfield. He also substituted for Sammy Davis Jr. on the soundtrack recording of the 1959 film version. Newly imposed censorship strictures required the uninhibited Calloway to tone down his performances and the content of his songs in films like The Singing Kid (1936) and Manhattan Merry-Go-Round (1937). The best of his "tame" film performances was in the 1943 20th Century Fox musical Stormy Weather, in which he co-starred with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne, and Dooley Wilson. Breaking up his orchestra in 1958, Calloway went solo for several years, notably as Horace Vandergelder in the all-black version of Broadway's Hello Dolly! As ebullient as ever, Calloway was seen fronting a band once more in 1980's The Blues Brothers. In 1976, Calloway wrote his autobiography, an engaging if not entirely candid work, titled Of Minnie the Moocher and Me. Cab Calloway is the father of actor Kirk Calloway.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Big Time Swing Actor 2008
No Score Yet Jazz Giants of the 20th Century Actor 2007
No Score Yet Soundies: A Musical History Hosted by Michael Feinstein Actor 2007
No Score Yet Big Band - Artie Shaw & Duke Ellington Actor 2006
No Score Yet Cab Calloway: Swinging at His Best Actor 2005
No Score Yet Boys are Back in Town: Classic Tracks From the Gentlemen of Jazz Actor 2005
No Score Yet Great Performances Actor 2005
No Score Yet Cab Calloway Swinging at his Best Actor 2005
No Score Yet Cab Calloway: Hi-De-Ho and Other Movies Actor 2004
No Score Yet Legends of Jazz: Forever Gold Actor 2004
No Score Yet Harlem Renaissance Actor 2004
No Score Yet Golden Age Of Jazz Part 1 Actor 2004
No Score Yet Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five Actor 2003
No Score Yet That Old Black Magic Actor 2002
No Score Yet Classic Jazz Drummers: Swing Era and Beyond Actor 2002
No Score Yet TV's First Music Videos - The Snader Telescriptions Actor 2002
No Score Yet The Black Big Bands Actor 1999
No Score Yet Harold Arlen: Somewhere over the Rainbow Actor 1999
No Score Yet Lullaby of Harlem Actor 1998
No Score Yet Harlem Globetrotters: 6 Decades of Magic Actor 1996
89% A Great Day in Harlem Actor 1995
100% Louie Bluie Actor 1985
No Score Yet Meet the Small Bands Actor 1985
No Score Yet Meet the Band Leaders - 112 Actor 1985
83% The Blues Brothers Curtis 1980
No Score Yet The Littlest Angel Gabriel 1969
85% The Cincinnati Kid Yeller 1965
No Score Yet Beatles - Ed Sullivan Presents the Beatles: 4 Complete Shows Actor 1964
No Score Yet St. Louis Blues Blade 1958
No Score Yet Hi-De-Ho Cab 1947
No Score Yet Cab Calloway - Hi-De-Ho and Other Movies Actor 1947
No Score Yet Stormy Weather Himself 1943
No Score Yet Manhattan Merry-Go-Round Actor 1937
No Score Yet Great Jazz Bands of the 30's Actor 1935
No Score Yet The Old Man of the Mountain Himself & Old Man 1933
No Score Yet The Big Broadcast Cab Calloway 1932
No Score Yet Minnie the Moocher Himself & ghosts 1932


No Score Yet Great Performances
  • 2005


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