Cab Calloway’s engagements at the Apollo Theater in Harlem (part 1)

  The Apollo Theater in Harlem is a milestone in the showbusiness’ landscape. Not only for jazz but also for soul, pop, rock, rap, comedy, dance and amateur performances. This venue who has revealed to the world artists like Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown thank to its famous Wednesday Amateurs’ Night, has welcomed thousands of performers, vaudeville acts, Black or white. And among them, Cab Calloway. Thanks to the considerable surviving archives, the many photos, press ads and testimonies (by other performers, reviewers, members of the audience), The Hi De Ho Blog proudly presents the very first history and survey of the 26 week-engagements (plus the many benefits evenings, and other events) when “Hi De Ho” resonated in the 125th Street’s temple of music. Part 1: The Thirties, when the Cotton Club star comes to real Harlem   Read the full story →

Leroy MAXEY: The drummer without solo (part 3)

Is there a curse for the Cab Calloway’s musicians from the rhythm section? Like Cab’s first pianist, Earres Prince with Benny Payne, like guitar player Morris White with Danny Barker, like Al Morgan with bass player Milt Hinton, drummer Leroy Maxey remains in the shadow of his successor Cozy Cole. And yet, Leroy ‘Cash’ Maxey had long been the drummer of the Missourians when Cab took over as leader of the band. Jazz historians have since recognized him as a classic drummer, notable for his use of the bass drum pedal and his four-to-the-floor technique. The Hi de Ho Blog will tell you what we know about the man who was a small star in his time, a great seducer (almost a bigamist) who was fired overnight by Cab because he couldn’t play an up-to-date solo... + Vintage drummers specialist Nicholas D. Ball offers deep research on Maxey’s playing and drum kit. A must-read! Read the full story →