Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov. 18: Legendary jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway died on this date in 1994.

He was 86 when he passed away following a stroke.

Cabell "Cab" Calloway III was born to a middle-class family in Rochester, New York, on Christmas in 1907 and lived there until 1918.

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." Blanche Calloway herself would become an accomplished bandleader before her brother, and he would often credit her as his inspiration for entering show business.

Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the US most popular African American big bands from the start of the 1930s through the late 1940s. By 1932, Cab Calloway was a household name by 1932, and never really declined in fame.

(Continued below CDs...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Links to ENTIRE Amazon Website):

Are You Hep to the JiveHi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab CallowayGreatest HitsThe Early Years: 1930-34

(... continued)

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.


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