The Congo-Conga

Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway sings an early Latin number

Cab Calloway, the King of Hi-De-Ho, is best remembered for “Minnie The Moocher,” various jive songs dominated by his crazy scat-singing, and his boisterous vocals.

While never a Latin jazz specialist, Calloway noticed the popularity of Cuban songs such as “The Peanut Vendor” and did what he could to be part of the movement.

His Aug. 30, 1938 recording of “The Congo-Conga” has a spirited vocal worthy of Desi Arnaz a decade later.

The rhythm section (with Leroy Maxey on drums) has a fun time with the rumba rhythms and there are short solos from clarinetist Chauncey Haughton, Chu Berry on tenor and probably trumpeter Shad Collins.

– Scott Yanow

Click here to Support 30sJazz