This Day in Black History: Dec. 25, 1907

Iconic jazz singer and bandleader Cabell "Cab" Calloway was born.

Posted: 12/25/2012 03:23 PM EST

On Dec. 25, 1907, legendary jazz musician and bandleader Cabell "Cab" Calloway was born in Rochester, N.Y.

Calloway’s figure is synonymous with jazz music’s big band era in the 1930s. Raised in Baltimore, the young singer left law school in the 1920s to sing with a band called the Alabamians. After success with the band led to a career in Chicago’s jazz scene, the "Hi De Ho" man made his way to New York City, where he landed a gig at Harlem’s Cotton Club. His style of singing popularized "scatting," and his band launched the careers of other jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Cozy Cole, Chu Berry and Doc Cheatham.

Calloway’s career as a performer spanned several decades, and his most famous hits included "Minnie the Moocher," "Kickin' the Gong Around," "Moon Glow" and "The Jumpin' Jive."

He performed until his death on Nov. 18, 1994, at age 88.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

(Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners