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Cab Calloway

  • American musician
  • Born December 25, 1907
  • Died November 18, 1994

Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer, dancer, and bandleader. He was 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 big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s. Calloway's band included trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon "Chu" Berry, New Orleans guitarist Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton.


You don't think it was because a white man wrote it, a black man wrote it, a green man wrote it. What - doesn't make a difference! Doesn't make a difference. I think he did a good job.




Bubbles was a very good dancer. Tremendous dancer. He was one of our leading dancers of the country at that time. And, of course, he didn't have much of a voice.




What opera isn't violent? Two things happen, violence and love. And other than that, name something else. You can't.




The only credit I can give them. They synchronize wonderful. That's all. They synchronize very - you would have thought that they were actually acting, but they were synching all the time, and that's a rough job.




My audience was my life. What I did and how I did it, was all for my audience.




That's what George wrote! He wrote it. Why change it? There was this European company that I was speaking about awhile ago - course, didn't nobody know what Porgy was.




He was a silly guy. Out - do the other guy. That was his effort at all times.




Everybody that you could name would join in our audiences from, Laguardia on down. Everybody came. Everybody came to the Cotton Club.




We usually never got out of there before four or five o'clock in the morning. Every morning. So it was rough.




Everybody did something. It was very entertaining. We had a lot of fun. Lot of fun. And there was no segregation, that I could see. I never saw any.




A movie and a stage show are two entirely different things. A picture, you can do anything you want. Change it, cut out a scene, put in a scene, take a scene out. They don't do that on stage.




I think it was just an opera. Now, you go to opera, you expect to see and hear what the opera is. So, it was Catfish Row. It was singers. Marvelous voices. It didn't make no difference what color they were.




At times as a performer they segregated us in some of theatres.




It's very difficult to photograph an opera. And they messed up on it. It just wasn't there. And I don't blame the Gershwins for taking it away. Of course, if they had gotten the original company to have done it, it would have been very good.




We didn't have any segregation at the Cotton Club. No. The Cotton Club was wide open, it was free.




90%, 100% are going there to hear the singing. The story is another thing. Nobody's interested in the story. Happiness is happiness.



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