Storyville Records

Calloway, Cab

Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader. He was strongly associated with the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, where he was a regular performer. Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the United States' most popular African American big bands from the start of the 1930s through the late 1940s. Calloway's band featured performers including trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon "Chu" Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton. Calloway continued to perform until his death in 1994 at the age of 86. Cab Calloway was born in a middle-class family in Rochester, New York, on Christmas Day in 1907. He lived there until moving to Baltimore, Maryland in 1918. His father, Cabell Calloway II, was a lawyer and his mother, Martha Eulalia Reed, was a teacher and church organist. When Cab was young, he enjoyed singing in church. His parents recognized their son's musical talent and he began private voice lessons in 1922. He continued to study music and voice throughout his formal schooling. Despite his parents' and vocal teachers' disapproval of jazz, Calloway began frequenting and eventually performing in many of Baltimore's jazz clubs, where he was mentored by drummer Chick Webb and pianist Johnny Jones. After graduating from Frederick Douglass High School Calloway joined his older sister, Blanche, in a touring production of the popular black musical revue Plantation Days. Calloway attended Lincoln University (a historically black university) in Pennsylvania, but left in 1930 without graduating. When the tour ended in Chicago in the fall, Calloway decided to remain in Chicago with his sister, who had an established career as a jazz singer in that city. His parents had hopes of their son becoming a lawyer like his father, so Calloway enrolled in Crane College. His main interest, however, was in singing and entertaining, and he spent most of his nights at the Dreamland Ballroom, the Sunset Cafe, and the Club Berlin, performing as a drummer, singer and MC. At the Sunset Cafe he met and performed with Louis Armstrong who taught him to sing in the "scat" style.

Recordings

Fats Waller / Cab Calloway: Legendary Radio Broadcasts Vol.. 3

LEGENDARY RADIO BROADCASTS: 2 CD This is Vol. 3 of a new series of famous radio broadcasts – more fine artists to follow a.o.: Ella Fitzgerald, Mildred Bailey, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway etc. It was in the 30ies and 40ieswhen the radio was the most important media before television took over. There were many different radio broadcasts all over USA. Live programs from different concerts and studio recordings. Count Basie had nightly broadcasts from Reno Club in Kansas City. When John Hammond heard a broadcast he went to Kansas City to hear the band in person. He then decided to bring it to New York City where they opened at the Roseland. To be regular featured on the radio was the best promotion an artist could get. Storyville has found many fine radio programs with various artists that will be released in the Legendary Radio Broadcasts series. FATS WALLER Fats Waller was a virtuoso pianist and was an influence to many of his contemporaries. He was only 39 years old when he died on December 15, 1943 in Kansas City on a train from Los Angeles to New York. He was also a real composer. Many people will know Honeysuckle Rose, Ain’t Misbehavin’ without knowing Fats Waller. The CD contains 13 Legendary Broadcasts. The first known broadcast from February 2, 1936 to the last three broadcasts from December 1943. CAB CALLOWAY Cab Calloway was never a musician. He was a pure showman. He switched to music in the late ‘20s and became a singer and dancer. But one suspects that to Calloway it was all show business. He could always spot a good musicians and besides Duke Ellington he had the best big band with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Tyree Glenn, Quentin Jackson, Chu Berry, Bennie Payne and Milt Hinton. There are two radio broadcasts from 1940 and 1945 on the CD.