[[caption-width-right:252: The Hi-De-Ho Man himself.]]

->''"During the '40s they used to say that I had 40 suits and 40 pairs of shoes. It ain't true. I had 50 suits and 50 pairs of shoes and 50 pairs of pearl-gray gloves too!"''
-->-- '''Cab Calloway'''

Cabell "Cab" Calloway III ([[AwayInAManger December 25]], 1907 November 18, 1994) was an American {{Jazz}} singer and bandleader. His band, originally called The Missourians, was one of the most popular African-American big bands of the [[TheGreatDepression 1930s]] and [[TheForties 1940s]]. Calloway's band featured trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon "Chu" Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton. Calloway continued to perform until his death in 1994 at the age of 86.

His impact on today's popular music reaches deep. In his own words; "You see this rapping they're doing today, I did that 25, 35, 45, 55 years ago!" Indeed, even the rotoscoped animations of his dance moves done for WesternAnimation/BettyBoop cartoons in the 1930's show him doing the moonwalk some 50 years before Music/MichaelJackson would make it popular.

In a word, he was cool before the 'old school' was even built.

Modern audiences probably know him best for his performance of ''Minnie the Moocher'', his most popular song, in the 1980 movie ''Film/TheBluesBrothers''. In his prime he was best known for performing at The Cotton Club in Harlem during [[TheGreatDepression the 1930's]]. He was among the first African-American celebrities in an age when performers in blackface were still the norm, breaking new barriers and paving the way for nearly every black performer to come.

!! Tropes pertaining to him and his music include:

* AlliterativeName
* AntiLoveSong: "That's What I Hate About Love"
* AsHimself: Appears in the all-black musical ''Film/StormyWeather'' as the friend of the fictional character played by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
* AudienceParticipationSong: Many of Cab Calloway's songs invoked this. His songs were often written so that his orchestra and/or the audience could repeat his scat talk. Every once in a while he'd surprise and confuse everyone by breaking out in very rapid, hard-to-repeat gibberish in place of his typical "hi-de-hi-de-hi-di-ho", just for laughs.
* BigBand: His was one of the first ''and'' one of the first to swing.
* ButNotTooBlack: [[FairForItsDay His lighter skin made it easier for white audiences to accept him in an era when blackface was still acceptable.]] Cab Calloway may have been one of the first people this trope was applied to.
* CallAndResponseSong
* CreepyJazzMusic: Possibly the trope codifier. Especially notable in the fairly creepy ''Betty Boop'' cartoons he appeared in. Many of his songs feature criminals and shady characters of the jazz subculture.
* DanceSensation: "The Calloway Boogie". Yes, he had his own boogie.
* FriendlyLocalChinatown: See OpiumDen below, if that gives you any indication.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The undisputed world champion of his time. "Minnie the Moocher" is a prostitute high on opium; "Smokey Joe" is a pimp; "The Hi-de-Ho Miracle Man" is a lying con artist; "The Reefer Man" was a street pot dealer. Few of the white patrons of the Cotton Club caught on.
* HaveAGayOldTime: In "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day"
--> "When the folks in Chinatown start acting gay/ There's something in the air that makes them feel that way."
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Minnie the Moocher
--> "She was the roughest, toughest frail/ But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale."
* IAmSong: "The Hi-Di-Ho Man"
* IncrediblyLongNote: You'd be amazed at his lung capacity. Just listen to "The St. Louis Blues".
--> '''Cab Calloway''': "The St. Louis bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...."
* JiveTurkey: Ain't nobody these days hep to the jive enough to dig what this hep cat's saying. Y'all a bunch of squares.
** A couple of his songs (like "Are You Hep To The Jive") are even dedicated to using as much slang as possible.
** Except for [[Film/{{Airplane}} Barbara Billingsly, of course]].
** Dig his [[http://www.dinosaurgardens.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/hepsters.html jive dictionary]]!
* LargeHam
* ManInWhite: A lot of the time, at least in his film appearances.
* MotorMouth: He enjoyed occasionally pranking the audience by doing a CallAndResponseSong, then breaking out into rapid fire gibberish. His appearance in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' includes this.
* TheMovie: Cab Calloway's ''Hi De Ho''. The plot is somewhat secondary to his musical performances though.
* OdeToIntoxication: "Reefer Man" and "Smokin' Reefer" were directly this, though a lot of his other songs are also riddled with drug and alcohol references.
* OpiumDen: Many of his songs take place here. Smokey Joe often takes Minnie the Moocher to an opium den in Chinatown to [[UnusualEuphemism kick the gong around]].
* PerpetualSmiler: During his performances.
* PimpDuds: Even by the standards of an era when zoot suits were the edgy streetwear uniform, he was pimpin'.
* RearrangeTheSong: He recorded a {{disco}} version of [[https://soundcloud.com/macjam/cab-calloway-minnie-the his signature song]] in the mid-70s, which he wanted to perform (but was told just to sing the original version of the song instead) in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' in order to promote it.
* RecurringCharacter: Minnie the Moocher and Smokey Joe appear in a lot of his songs.
* {{Rotoscoping}}: His dance moves were used in a few of Max Fleischer's WesternAnimation/BettyBoop cartoons...including on a [[DerangedAnimation dancing walrus]] in ''WesternAnimation/MinnieTheMoocher''.
* {{Scatting}}: Cab Calloway was famous for this. He later admitted that when he first began singing 'scat' it was because he'd forgotten the words to a song, but after it went over well with his audience he began to purposely write it into his songs.
* SequelSong: After "Minnie the Moocher" became his SignatureSong, Cab Calloway wrote a series of songs about Minnie and her boyfriend Smokey Joe.
* SesameStreetCred: One of the earliest celebrities to do it too.
* ShoutOut: Most of the swing bands out during the swing revival of the 1990's did at least one. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy did a cover of ''Minnie the Moocher'', and the Squirrel Nut Zippers did a music video much like the old Fleisher cartoons Cab appeared in, complete with the lead singer doing Cab's dance moves at the beginning.
** One of the rooster caricatures in the ''[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]]'' cartoon "WesternAnimation/SwoonerCrooner" is a black rooster resembling Calloway, who sings "Minnie the Moocher" with a "HI-DE-HIIIIIIIII!"
** The Oogie Boogie Man from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' was inspired by Cab Calloway -- complete with his villain song having near-direct recreations of parts of the Cab Calloway/Fleischer toon ''The Old Man of the Mountain''.
** King Dice from ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'' also took strong inspiration from Calloway, down to the "hi-de-ho" catchphrase and [[spoiler:his hands in his bossfight mimicking Calloway's dance moves]]. [[https://78.media.tumblr.com/8fc656635b81144635d9e15382e3d6dd/tumblr_oy9du6ugoH1w3xoouo1_500.png Confirmed by the creators.]]
** {{Music/Voltaire}} is a big Cab Calloway fan, and many of the songs from his album ''Ooky Spooky'' are an homage to Cab's style.
** Music/DannyElfman, of all people, performed a Calloway-inspired number in the ultra-weird ''Film/ForbiddenZone''
** And ''Series/JeevesAndWooster'' memorably included a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ_R8QBeYvs cover]] of "Minnie the Moocher." "Hoo-de hoo-de hoo, sir..."
** A fairly early ShoutOut is in the Gershwin opera ''Porgy and Bess''; the character of Sportin' Life is based on Calloway, so much so that Calloway was asked to play it in the 1952 revival.
** Calloway did a few shout-outs himself. Even Minnie the Moocher was originally a shout-out to his own sister, a bandleader in her own right, who had created the character.
* StillGotIt: He continued to perform right up until the last years of his life. His appearance in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' proved he still had it.
* StonersAreFunny: "Have you ever met the funny Reefer Man?" indeed...
* TakingTheBullet: The song "San Francisco Fan" is about a female performer who takes "a dozen slugs" for her no-good gambling boyfriend after he's caught cheating at a game and someone tries to shoot him for it.
** Minnie the Moocher takes the bullet for Cab Calloway in the movie ''Hi De Ho''.
* WalkingInRhythm: Cab during his performances.