Sunday, June 30, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 281 SONG #312

DAY 281: A Song by the Guy who invented the Moon Walk

Cab Calloway is credited to have been the first performer whose dancing style - or at least elements of it - could be described by use of the main characteristics of the moon dance: a dancer trying to go forward but in fact looking like being pulled back. He is also one of the earliest jazz singers to use and popularise the scat-style. In his most famous recording, "Minnie the Moocher" he used some kind of call and response scatting. The rendering of the song that most people might know is the one from the famous "Blues Brothers" movie from 1980, when Calloway was 73 years of age. Calloway has also been featured in three episodes of the Betty Boop animated movies (cartoons) from the 1930ies. First, version included here is from the late 1950ies, with a sympathetic competition at the end, then we go on with the Blues Brothers and after that with two Betty Boop episodes:

Betty Boop was a character created by Max Fleischer. Amongst the movies featuring Popeye the Sailorman and others, the Betty Boop cartoons have been among the bigger successes of the Fleischer Studios. In contradistinction to the Disney characters, Betty is - like most of the Fleischer's main cartoon figures - essentially human and not an animal, and her sexual/erotic characteristics are very openly displayed (see how she is attracting male persons in the "Old Man of the Mountain"). Fleischer, a son to Jewish immigrants born in Cracow, but raised in New York, is sometimes said to have been of "Austrian Jewish" descent, as Cracow was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at that time. Here are two of the Betty Boop episodes featuring Cab Calloway. The first one is about Betty leaving home because of a conflict with her parents (who are clearly drawn as Jewish) but returning to home sweet home after some frightening experiences. If you want further detailed information on that one, click on this link:, to "The Heptune Guide to Betty Boop Cartoons"

The second one is "The Old Man of the Mountain", featuring Cab Calloway's music from beginning to the end. For further information, click on the following link that leads you to "The Heptune Guide to Betty Boop Cartoons":

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