Cab Calloway: Minnie the Moocher


Minnie the Moocher


Cab Calloway (vocals)


Jukebox Hits 1930-1950 (Acrobat 4026)

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Cab Calloway (vocals),

R.Q. Dickerson, Lammar Wright, Reuben Reeves (trumpet); De Priest Wheeler, Harry White (trombone); Arville Harris, Andrew Brown (clarinet, alto sax); Walter “Foots” Thomas (tenor sax, baritone sax), Earres Prince (piano), Morris White (banjo), Jimmy Smith (tuba), Leroy Maxey (drums)


Composed by Cab Calloway, Clarence Gaskill & Irving Mills


Recorded: New York, March 3, 1931


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

The word hep, signifying "in the know," had appeared by the early 1900s, but its greatest vogue came during the 1930s, when hepcat lingo was codified in Cab Calloway's Hepster's Dictionary (1936) by the leather-lunged, hugely popular singing & dancing bandleader. In his greatest hit, "Minnie the Moocher," Cab's jive so masterfully veiled references to cocaine and opium that even Hollywood came running. By the time he revisited her for The Blues Brothers (1980), Cab had been mooching off Minnie for half a century, but neither he nor his audiences ever seemed to tire of the Moocher's infectiously nonsensical call-&-response scatting.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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