Mar 3, 2010

Cab Calloway is outrageous, and i'm not mad about it- Cat Pastor

Cab Calloway(1907-1994) did a lot of the songs for Betty Boop cartoon, such as Minnie the Moocher and his song "St. James Infirmary Blues" for Snow White, which gave the cartoon a grim tone. Outside of Betty Boop he performed "Reefer Man", a song about a man who smokes marijuana cigarettes, and "Kicking the Gong Around" which was a reference to smoking opium. As if his sing titles weren't wild enough, have you seen him dance(vid below)???? He was the original moonwalker, moonwalking 50 years before Michael Jackson. Really, though, he as, i'm not just saying that or exaggerating. It may not be as smooth, but it is moonwalking. He always had gorgeous omen to dance with in his performances, and he put out a book called "The New Cab Calloway's Hepster Dictionary: Language of Jive" in 1944. Was this guy ahead of his time or what? He owned a club club called The Cotton Club (where he got stabbed in the leg by bandmate Dizzy Gillespie in 1941 after a fight over SPITBALLS) and was basically living the life being the coolest.

The thing I really like about his music is the tone it sets to the Betty Boop cartoons. To be honest, Betty Boop kind of annoys me (a lot) but when there is a Cab Calloway song in the cartoon it changes the whole mood from something more upbeat to something kind of creepy. Everything has to do with people submitting to a dangerous sort of back alley world, it reminds me of the Rolling Stones song "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)". In fact, it kind of puts me in a trace, and I become not irritated by the cartoon but completely absorbed by it. Calloway is outrageous in possibly the best way ever, and I'm totally reading his autobiography. I hope it doesn't make sense.

Anyway, watch this guy dance! The moonwalk-esque thing comes in a 2min 40sec:

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