“A plane! A plane for my musicians!”

Tout le monde sait que l'orchestre de Cab Calloway était parmi les mieux traités du business : la paie était la meilleure, 4 semaines de congés payés par an et 1 semaine à Noël avec une prime, au moins 3 costumes de scène inclus, etc. Dans le "package" Calloway, il y avait également le transport. Quand ce n'était pas dans un bus spécial, l'orchestre avait pour habitude de voyager dans un wagon Pullman bénéficiant d'un grand confort. Les nombreuses photos de Milt Hinton vous ont déjà montré tout ça. Ce que l'on sait moins, c'est que tout l'orchestre profita pendant quelques mois d'un nouveau type de transport, unique dans tout le monde du jazz à l'époque : un avion ! Il n'y a guère que The Hi de Ho Blog pour vous raconter pareille anecdote ! Read the full story →

Zanzibar Cafe, New York: home of Cab Calloway

  Cab Calloway spent some quality time at Zanzibar... entire months! Café Zanzibar, "Home of the Stars", was a Broadway theater that opened in 1943 with the aim of succeeding the prestigious Cotton Club which had recently closed.  But Zanzibar brought one notable difference: the black audience was accepted there. This policy greatly contributed to its success both with orchestras and the public. The Hi De Ho Blog tells you everything he knows about the Café Zanzibar. Read the full story →

Memory tour of Manhattan Theaters with Christopher Brooks Calloway

On October 9, 2013, I had the pleasure to interview Cab Calloway’s grandson, Christopher Brooks Calloway. Guitarist and bandleader of the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Christopher has been entertaining audiences with his performance and personality for more than 30 years. His grandfather sang with him on several occasions, but as a mentor, Cab remains a permanent influence on Christopher. During my last trip to New York, for a few hours we chatted and walked around Times Square stepping from one theater to another, seeking the places where Cab Calloway played. We shared histories and anecdotes and Christopher opened his heart about his grandfather’s legacy. Read the full story →

Cotton Club Revue Season #1: 1957, from Miami to New York and Las Vegas

In the Fifties, Miami became the place to be: hotels and resorts, nightclubs, beaches, the city was magic. Before retirees, tourists were the main source of income. It made sense for entrepreneurs to try their luck with an ambitious revue. Glamour, chorus girls, tap dance and entertainment were on the menu. And if you add Cab Calloway as the main course, you’re headed for success. So they say. And so it happened... well, at the beginning.     Read the full story →

Cotton Club Revue Season #2: 1958, from Miami to...

The second year, expected to fulfill the hopes of the first season, didn’t happen the way it was supposed to. With many changes in the leading parts, certainly lacking pizzazz, with a downgraded show, the 1958 Cotton Club Revue had also had to face bad luck. Even the GONE Album recorded to support the show was released right after the closing of the engagement in Miami… But it takes much more to dishearten Cab Calloway! Read the full story →

“Cab Calloway ’68”: the everlasting album with Bugs Bower

In March 1968, Cab Calloway released an album entitled “Cab ‘68” with 11 songs arranged and conducted by Maurice Bugs BOWER. The LP was the first release by label P.I.P., of Pickwick International. Leaning on the Hello Dolly!’ success, Cab sang tunes from the Broadway repertoire with new arrangements that were also of a new kind for the 60 year old king of Hi De Ho. The goal? Reaching a new and younger audience. We’ve been lucky and honored to interview Dr. Bugs Bower who has fond memories of this record. You’d never guess he’s 92! Read the full story →