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Cab Calloway: Minnie the Moocher 
Cab Calloway and His Orchestra: “Minnie the Moocher” (Brunswick, 1938)

A hit so big it followed Calloway all the way to his role in 1980’s The Blues Brothers. Calloway based the arrangement on Louis Armstrong’s version of “St. James Infirmary,” the lyrics on “Willie the Weeper,” and the famous call-and-response scat on his own ingenuity. It’s a preview of how jazz would become popular entertainment—and how Calloway would become known as “The Hi-De-Ho Man.” MICHAEL J. WEST

Learn more about “Minnie the Moocher” on Amazon.