Cab Calloway

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Cab Calloway Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Cab was the first African-American band-leader to be prominently featured on radio.

    • Cab received the Ebony Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1985.

    • Cab was presented with National Medal of the Arts, by President Bill Clinton in October 1993.

    • Cab's two biggest Broadway successes were in Porgy and Bess (1952), opposite Leontyne Price and William Warfield, and in Hello, Dolly! (1967), opposite Pearl Bailey and his daughter Chris Calloway.

    • Cab's 80th birthday, in 1987, was celebrated with a concert at Carnegie Hall, where he was reunited with several musicians from his original band.

    • Cab's biography was to be made into a film in 1987, with Lou Gossett Jr. as producer and director, and Lionel Richie playing Cab. However, Richie turned the role down, and the project was abandoned.

    • Cab recorded a disco version of "Minnie The Moocher" in 1977.

    • Cab helped establish the Cab Calloway Museum at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1980s.

    • Cab's most famous acting role to modern audiences was his portrayal of Curtis, life-long friend of Jake and Elwood in The Blues Brothers. (1980) He also performed his greatest hit song in this, "Minnie The Moocher," wearing his trademark white tuxedo.

    • Cab was in a short-lived Broadway revival of The Pajama Game with Hal Linden and Barbara McNair, in 1973-1974.

    • Cab was guest judge in 1986 for the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment's "Wrestlemania 2" at Nassau Coliseum for a boxing match between Mr. T and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

    • Cab appeared in the 1991 music video for Janet Jackson's "Alright."

    • Cab wrote a book in 1944 about "jive talking" called The New Cab Calloway's Hepsters' Dictionary: Language of Jive.

    • Cab's daughter, Chris, also went into singing and acting.

    • Cab had a school named after him, the Cab Calloway School of The Arts in Wilmington, Delaware, which opened in 1992.

    • Cab was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987.

    • Cab became the bandleader of Harlem's famous Cotton Club in the 1930s, filling in for Duke Ellington whenever he was out on tour.

    • Cab had the first jazz album to sell a million copies, "Minnie The Moocher," in March 1931.

    • Cab's favorite way of dress was a white tuxedo.

  • Quotes

    • Cab Calloway: 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.

    • Cab Calloway: My audience was my life. What I did and how I did it, was all for my audience.

    • Cab Calloway: I forgot the lyric to another song that I was doing and I put in skee-tee-tuh-bee and the hi-de-hos and it became very effective. And then I sat down and wrote 'Minnie the Moocher.'

    • Cab Calloway: You see this rapping they're doing today, I did that 25, 35, 45, 55 years ago! Call it rap or scat, singing for me was just a feeling that you got.

    • Cab Calloway: The only difference between a black entertainer and a white entertainer is that my ass has been kicked a lot more and a lot harder because it's black.

    • Cab Calloway: During the '40s they used to say that I had 40 suits and 40 pairs of shoes. It ain't true. I had 50 suits and 50 pairs of shoes and 50 pairs of pearl-gray gloves too. They used to say that I got arrested twice a month for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike. That's a lie. Brother, I owned the New Jersey Turnpike, and I used to run that big old Lincoln through the Holland Tunnel and over the Jersey meadowlands like there was no tomorrow. They used to say that I had a beautiful woman in every city and town in the country. Shoot, I had two, one for rainy days and one for sunny days. They say I've had and lost millions of dollars. Buddy, they haven't stopped counting yet. Women, horses, cars, clothes. I did it all. And do you know what that's called, ladies and gentlemen? It's called living.