CALLOWAY, Cab. Prof. Cab Calloway’s Swingformation Bureau.

(New York, NY): Cab Calloway, Incorporated,, 1939.  First edition.  Small booklet measuring 11cm by 7cm.  15 pages. Edited by Michael H. Goldsen.  Like, but far scarcer than the much-coveted Hipster’s Dictionary, the volume presents an introduction to the world of jazz slang.  The volume is intended, via a series of quizzes and snippets of ‘swinginformation’, to enlighten the square about the hepcat life.  Having successful completed the quizzes the reader is entitled to a ‘catskin hiploma’.  As a bandleader, singer, author, dancer and songwriter, Calloway performed for more than 60 years, from Chicago jazz joints to the Cotton Club, on Broadway and in Hollywood movies. His influence in the music world was huge.  Casting himself as the ultimate hep cat Calloway sold this volume at his performances (he was a marvel to watch – a veritable dervish who dashed from one end of the stage to the other, his limbs and his mop of unruly hair flying in all directions as he flashed an enormous smile.) as a ‘how-to book’ for the unhep.  A good copy, in stapled wrappers, of this fragile and rare volume.  Some creasing, and rust stains at staples.  Worldcat locates a single copy.


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