Cab Calloway and The Cotton Club Orchestra

Jacob Robinson

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On Christmas Day 1907, Cab Calloway was born into a middle class family in Rochester, New York. He lived there on Sycamore Street until the year 1918 when he moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he was raised until he was an adult.

As an adult, Calloway he was mentored by Chick Webb. Later, he created an orchestra called the Cotton Club Orchestra that performed Premier Jazz. This was a new sound during this time period and they played in the North America country. His orchestra took over a band called " The Missourians" and after that, the whole orchestra was hired to replace the Duke Elington Orchestra. The people loved them and then one day something amazing happened; they had been selected to be on the NBC radio broadcast!

Cab Calloway eventually felt like he needed to add a vocalist to the orchestra, so he searched and found Mrs. Thomas also known as 'Waterfoot Thomas' for her smooth singing. In 1931 they made their most famous song " Minnie the Moocher " and another one called "St. James Infanary Blues ".

In addition to music, Calloway was also an actor who couldn't show his face on tv. He worked behind the scenes as a voice actor for cartoons such as Snow White, Minnie the Moocher, and The Old Man of the Mountain. In 1933 he was able to combine his music and voice acting in a movie called "International Housewhere" with his featured song "Reefer Man". Calloway finally made a proper Hollywood movie appearance that included his Cotton Club Orchestra and 22 Cotton Club Dancers from New York. This moved his career further as a famous and musician.

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