With all the great artists of the modern day, it's easy to forget the great ones of days past, such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and of course, the greatest crowd-pleaser of all, Cab Calloway. As someone who loves to ham-it-up myself, I'm completely in awe of Calloway's acts and style, and his ability to do it all with class. My best memories of Cab Calloway are of his roles in the Blues' Brothers movie, his role as the dancing ghost in an old Betty Boop cartoon, and of course, as his role as the "Hi-De-Ho" man on Sesame Street episodes from when I was a kid. Even though he was an old man in his 70's at that point, he was still such a charismatic, energetic performer -- it was easy to fall in love with his show, and with his songs.

Cab Calloway in a Jam session (left), Cab Calloway in the Blues' Brothers movie (right)

Download Cab Calloway Singing His Most Famous Song of All Time,


Here are the lyrics to that song at a 1940's performance, transcribed by me!

Minnie the Moocher

Folks here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher
She was a red hot hoochie-coocher
She was the roughest toughest frail
But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale
Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi.... (Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi)
Whoa-oh-oho-oh-oh-oho.... (Whoa-oh-oho-oh-oh-oho)
Ee-de-ee-de-ee-de-ee.... (Ee-de-ee-de-ee-de-ee)
Way-hey-ey-ay-ee-ay-ay-ay.... (Way-hey-ey-ay-ee-ay-ay-ay)
She messed around with a bloke named Smokey
She loved him though he was Coke-y
He took her down to Chinatown
And he showed her how to kick the gong(?) around
Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi.... (Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi)
Whoa-oh-oho-oh-oh-oho.... (Whoa-oh-oho-oh-oh-oho)
Yeah-eah-aa-aheah-ah-ah-ah.... (Yeah-eah-aa-aheah-ah-ah-ah)
Whoa--ioh--ioh--iohh.... (Whoa--ioh--ioh--iohh)
She had a dream about the king of Sweden
He gave her things that she was needin'
He gave her a home built of gold 'n steel
A diamond car ... with big pl-atinum wheels
Hi-de-i-de-i-de-i-de-iii.... (Hi-de-i-de-i-de-i-de-iii)
Oh-de-oh-de-oh-de-oh-de-O-oh.... (Oh-de-oh-de-oh-de-oh-de-O-oh)
Skitleedatleedootidituditooey.... (Skitleedatleedootidituditooey)
A-boo-rrigi-boo-rrigi-boo-rigi-ay.... (A-boo-rrigi-boo-rrigi-boo-rigi-ay)
He gave her a townhouse and his racing horses
Each meal she ate was a dozen courses
She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes
She sat around and counted them a million times
Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-i.... (Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-i)
Whoahohohohohohooooooh.... (Whoahohohohohohooooooh)
Whay-hey-heey-heey-hey-a-ay.... (Whay-hey-heey-heey-hey-a-ay)
Whoa-oh - Whoa-oh.... (Whoa-oh - Whoa-oh)
Poor Minnie Poor Minnie Poor Minnie....

Email me here ethan@isp.nwu.edu

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