5/17/18 O&A NYC THE MORNING FUNNIES: Betty Boop- Snow White featuring Cab Calloway in St. James Infirmary Blue)

Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer with contributions from animator Grim Natwick among others. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop series of films which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in comic strips and mass merchandising. Continue reading

2/19/18 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY- CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Stormy Weather- Featuring Katherine Dunham And Her Dance Troupe

Stormy Weather is a 1943 film musical produced and released by 20th Century Fox. The movie is considered one of the best Hollywood musicals with an all African-American cast and serve to  showcase of some of the top African-American performers of the time. Continue reading

7/19/17 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY: Moms Mabley- Comedienne, Social Activist, LBGTQ Icon

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Moms Mabley performing a comedy act (1948) one of her lines “Cab Calloway once call me a dog. I would like to be a dog if Cab Calloway would be my tree.” Continue reading

4/10/17 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: Cab Calloway- Minnie The Moocher (The Blues Brothers 1980)

Cab Calloway’s performance of his million selling 1931 jazz classic Minnie the Moocher in the 1980 comedy The Blues Brothers. Continue reading

10/30/16 O&A NYC SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ CONCERT: Cab Calloway And Betty Boop- Minnie the Moocher (1932)

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Cab Calloway And Betty Boop- Minnie the Moocher cartoon begins with actual film footage of Cab Calloway dancing a slow and sensuous dance in front of his orchestra as they perform the Prohibition Blues. This is the oldest known film footage of Cab. 

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The haunting and beautiful instrumental, Prohibition Blues, is an old Missourians piece that was recorded by them in early 1930, right before Cab took over as leader of their band. This cartoon has the only recording of the piece with Cab Calloway. By early 1932, when this cartoon was produced, the group had been renamed Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, but in this film, they are still wearing their old Missourians uniforms. 

Cab Calloway And Betty Boop- Minnie the Moocher (1932)

5/28/16 O&A NYC ITS SATURDAY- ANYTHING GOES: Stormy Weather- Featuring Katherine Dunham And Her Dance Troupe

It is Saturday

Stormy Weather poster with Lena Horne

Stormy Weather is a 1943 film musical produced and released by 20th Century Fox. The movie is considered one of the best Hollywood musicals with an all African-American cast and serve to  showcase of some of the top African-American performers of the time. Continue reading

2/1/16 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: Lena Horne – Stormy Weather featuring “Katherine Dunham with her dance troupe.” (1943)

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Stormy Weather, the title song and dance sequence for the 1943 film of the same name, starred Lena Horne and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Katherine Dunham with her “dance troupe”. Other notable performers in the movie were Cab Calloway and Fats Waller (both appearing as themselves), the Nicholas Brothers dancing duo, comedian F. E. Miller, and singer Ada Brown. Despite a running time of only 77 minutes, the film features some 20 musical numbers. This was Robinson’s final film (he died in 1949); Waller died only a few months after its release. Continue reading

2/23/15 O&A Hollywood Monday: Cab Calloway’s Hi De Ho (1934)

Hollywood Mondays

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Cab Calloway’s Hi-De-Ho (also known as Hi-De-Ho) is a 1934 musical short film. The film stars Cab Calloway, Fredi Washington, Ethel Moses  and the Cab Calloway Orchestra. This jazz musical short written by Milton Hockey and Fred Rath has a comedy plot about marital infidelity.  Continue reading

2/20/15 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Dances From The Cotton Club

Shall We Dance

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Out and About NYC Magazine is proud to present three dance and music clips from the legendary Cotton Club. Opened in 1923, the Cotton Club on 142nd St & Lenox Ave in the heart of Harlem, New York. The Cotton Club was operated by white New York gangster Owney Madden who used the club as an outlet to sell his alcohol to the prohibition crowd. 

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The Cotton Club at first excluded all but white patrons although the entertainers and most of staff were African-American.  Dancers at the Cotton Club were held to strict standards; they had to be at least 5’6” tall, light-skinned with only a slight tan, and under twenty-one years of age.

The Apollo Dancer sat the Cotton Club Revue in 1938.

Shows at the Cotton Club were musical reviews that featured dancers, singers, comedians, and variety acts, as well as a house band. Duke Ellington led that band from 1927 to 1930, and sporadically throughout the next eight years. The Cotton Club and Ellington’s Orchestra gained national notoriety through weekly broadcasts on radio station WHN some of which were recorded and released on albums. In this clip Duke Ellington and his orchestra perform  Rockin in Rhythm & Bugle Call Rag with dancers Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill from 1933.

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Cotton Club Dancers Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill

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The entertainers who played at the Cotton Club were some of the most widely known blues and jazz performers of their time including Cab Calloway. This is one of Cab’s broadcasts from The Cotton Club in the 30’s after Duke Ellington took to touring on the road. They later became co- house bands at the club.

Cab ( Cotton Club) Calloway 1934 Zaz Zuh Zaz

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Elegant black show girls ditch Opera for Jazz as they get seduced by a hot jazz tune in Red Hot. You’ve never seen this kind of action from the 1930s main stream Hollywood before, it was cut by the Hays Code. Red Hot stars Dorothy Salter and Maurice Rocco.

Red Hot 1930s Cotton Club Show

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The Silver Belles of Harlem are dancers who performed at the Cotton Club during its heyday era. Group members include Marion Coles, Elaine Ellis, Cleo Ellis, Fay Ray, and Bertye Lou Wood were featured in the 2006 documentary directed by Heather Lyn MacDonald, entitled Been Rich All My Life.

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