William Thornton BLUE: the creative but forgotten clarinettist

Listen to Cab Calloway’s recordings from the early 1930s ... If your ear is dominated by a hopping, acrobatic and remarkably creative clarinet sound, you are enjoying one of the great forgotten musicians in the History of Jazz who spent more than 30 years in an asylum: William Thornton BLUE. It is my good friend the late Christian Bonnet (1945-2017) — whose ear was particularly demanding - that made me discover the talent of this clarinetist and alto saxophonist whose solos give a unique sound to the first Calloway shellacs... The Hi De Ho Blog will tell you the almost unknown story of the man who nicknamed himself “The reputed Blue”. Read the full story →

“From Cab Calloway to Duke Ellington” series: the perfect career

The Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington orchestras were among the most popular of the 1930’s and 1940’s. They were also responsible for disbursing the highest payroll! Of course, the Duke had the prestige and incomparable excellence. Many of the musicians who passed through Cab’s bandstand were eager at one time or another to join Ellington. Only a handful of them succeeded in that objective ... and fewer still traveled the other direction. The Hi De Ho Blog reviews them all for you. And there are a few unexpected names on the list!  Read the full story →

Earres PRINCE, the pianist Cab never appreciated

  Earres Prince? With few fans (maybe 2 or 3 maximum in the world), who the hell knows anything about this inconspicuous man missing from all the jazz dictionaries? All the more reason for The Hi De Ho Blog to tell you a bit about the man who was the first pianist for – and apparently never appreciated by – Cab Calloway.  He had the difficult task of preceding – not succeeding – Benny PAYNE, the pianist Cab had met before leading the Missourians.   Read the full story →

Morris ‘Fruit’ WHITE: from the Missourians’ banjo to Calloway’s guitar

Very little is known about Morris WHITE, Cab Calloway’s first rhythm guitarist and banjo player.  While French critics seem to have appreciated his musicianship during the 1934 European tour, he attained little or no place in jazz literature.  In the history of Cab’s orchestra, it’s Danny BARKER who is recognized as the star of the guitar in the rhythm section. The musicologist Gunther SCHULLER, however, awarded White many compliments throughout his study of the music of the Cab Calloway orchestra.  The Hi De Ho Blog is excited to tell you everything we know about Morris ‘Fruit’ White.  And as a bonus, thanks to Nick ROSSI, guitarist, writer and jazz historian, we are able to offer you an extra deep dive into analyzing Morris' technique and instruments.   Read the full story →

Discoveries of Cab Calloway broadcasts in the Savory Collection

"Every collector's wet dream", c'est ainsi que Loren Schoenberg qualifie ce qui est l'événement de l'année 2010 - peut-être des années à venir - dans le monde du jazz. Au printemps dernier, Loren Schoenberg, directeur du futur Musée du Jazz à Harlem, a fait l'acquisition d'une incroyable collection de disques de transcriptions radiophoniques des années 30. Ces quelque 975 acétates appartenaient à William SAVORY qui avait été ingénieur du son (il était dans l'équipe qui avait mis au point les 33 tours, rien que ça) et dont le métier était d'enregistrer pour de riches clients les concerts de musique classique et d'opéra qui passaient à la radio. Mais lui, ce qui lui plaisait, c'était le jazz... Read the full story →

New Cab Calloway treasures in the SAVORY Collection

Loren Schoenberg est décidément quelqu'un de bien. A son amour et sa connaissance du jazz vient s'ajouter une générosité que bien des collectionneurs et amateurs de jazz feraient d'avoir... Dernière preuve en date, l'émission diffusée le 9 mai 2011 dans l'émission Night Light de David Brent Johnson sur la radio publique de l'Indiana. Durant une heure, Loren Schoenberg diffuse de multiples extraits issus de la collection SAVORY en cours d'exhumation. On ne compte plus les Fats Waller, les Duke Ellington, les Joe Sullivan et les Benny Goodman retrouvés.. Concernant Cab Calloway, l'émission permet d'entendre deux extraits particulièrement intéressants, datés de 1938... Read the full story →

Lammar WRIGHT as told by Wilmer WISE, his bandstand friend

Lammar WRIGHT (1905-1973) was an incredibly talented trumpeter who played in Cab’s orchestra between 1930 and 1944. He was one of the Missourians when Cab grabbed the band. Wilmer WISE (born in 1936) is another incredibly talented trumpeter, who has been playing in many fields, from big bands, Broadway pits, philharmonic orchestras, to rock and soul studio groups. We were honored to meet and interview him in October 2011 about his bandstand friend, Lammar Wright with whom he worked between 1956 and 1967. Read the full story →

The Cab Calloway TV Show in 1959 from the Rancho Don Carlos in Winnipeg, Canada

This show is one of a kind testimony of the way Cab Calloway sang and toured in the late fifties, when times were harder than during the Swing era. And, on a personal matter, this is a TV show I’ve been privileged to watch at Cab Calloway’s house in Westchester along with Cab’s daughter, Cecelia. I thought I’d never see it again, but here it is, after a dedicated fan posted it on YouTube. Read the full story →