Cab Calloway's song "Minnie the Moocher" is familiar to many people, due to its status a one of Cab's swinging classics, which was used for the title and inspiration for a spookly little Bettie Boop short cartoon, complete with a spectral walrus whose dance moves were rotoscoped from Cab himself. Flash forward to 1980 with Calloway in his 70s, Cab returned to belt out the tune in The Blues Brothers in classic Cab Calloway swinging style, returning the song to broad prominence. But do you know how the song came to be? You've probably heard the somber "Saint James Infirmary," but have you heard of "Willie the Weeper" or "Willie the Chimney Sweeper"? Mix the two, and you have a few pieces of the story behind Cab Calloway's big hit (Google books preview). [more inside]
Ten Second Songs covers pop songs in twenty different styles: Linkin Park - In The End, Ariana Grande - Problem, Jason Derulo - Talk Dirty To Me [more inside]
Moonwalking is often attributed to Michael Jackson, but as summarized in this low resolution clip from Soccer AM, it was performed under various names in decades before MJ's live television performance in 1983. Let's backslide through the years, from Cab Calloway's 1932 version that he called "The Buzz" to Jeffrey Daniel performing the backslide as a member of Shalamar in 1982 on Top of the Pops in the UK. [more inside]
Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
Whether working with the Nicholas Brothers (Previously), working with the muppets, working with that funny, funny, funny reefer man, or making out with your wife, Cab Calloway never fails to entertain.
Fred Astaire said this five-minute sequence from Stormy Weather was the finest piece of tap dancing ever filmed. via
Sakupen is the online name of a musician/artist who made two of my favorite flash music animations (warning: first link goes to artist's myspace page w/audio). The first one, "Dad's Home" is a mayhem filled coffee buzz set to Cab Calloway's Reefer Man, and the second, "Walk, Smash, Walk" is about a robot whose job is to Walk and then Smash and then Walk some more. Wildly different styles, but both are captivating; large versions of both cartoons can be viewed here.
Yoda/gigolo a little flash friday fun