Cab Calloway

“The Hi-Di-Ho Man”

Cabell “Cab” Calloway III was born in Rochester, New York December 25, 1907. Calloway comes from very well educated parents. His mother Martha Eulalia Reed, was a Morgan State College graduate. His father Cabell Calloway Jr. was a graduate of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania and by 1989 his father worked as a Lawyer and did real estate. Cab Calloway III grew up in a middle-class home. His parents recognized his vocal talents and put him into voice lessons in 1922. Surprisingly, his parents disapproved of jazz, but Calloway went against their wishes and began performing in many Baltimore nightclubs. After high school Calloway went on touring with his older sister, Blanche. His sister became an accomplished bandleader before her brother did, and throughout his life he would acknowledge his sister as his inspiration for his own success. His father had hoped that he would follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer, so being a good son he registered into Crane College, but his heart was wrapped around music. He became an understudy to singer Adelaide Hall and he met Louis Armstrong who taught him to sing in the “scat” style. He didn’t last in college and followed his own dreams by leaving to sing in a band called Alabamians. He later became a successful bandleader of his own orchestra. Calloway and Duke Ellington were known for breaking the major broadcast network color barrier in their time. After a long lived successful musical career Calloway suffered a severe stroke and passed away November 18, 1994, at the age of 86.