Cabell “Cab” Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader. He was strongly associated with the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, where he was a regular performer. Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the United States’ most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s. Calloway’s band featured performers including 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.
When Elvis Presley exploded in 1956, the swivel-hipped rocker’s avalanche of hits provided ample fodder for BELL RECORDS. Arthur Shimkin’s budget-priced label subsisted on a steady diet of well-done covers that utilized top New York studios and some of the city’s leading session musicians, BELL’s roster of vocalists trying hard to capture the feel of Elvis’ groundbreaking rock and roll.