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Lot 0312
Heading: (1942 Cab Calloway’s ‘Jive Dictionary’)
Title: Cab Calloway’s Jive Jubilee of Songs / Includes Original Jive Dictionary
Place Published: NY
Publisher:Mills Music
Date Published: 1942

Cab Calloway’s Jive Jubilee of Songs / Includes… Original Jive Dictionary (Mills Music, NY, 1942) Original pictorial wrappers. 48pp., 9 x 12 ins., with words and music for 18 songs popularized by Calloway and his orchestra at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. Includes Calloway’s 1-page Jive Dictionary, on the verso of the rear cover.

Includes Calloway’s 1-page Jive Dictionary, on the verso of the rear cover, giving the meaning of 125 “quaint expressions which originated among Harlem’s musicians and performers”, many of which would work their way into the general American vernacular, including Boogie-Woogie (a new dance), corny (old fashioned, stale), freeby (no charge, gratis), gravy (profits), jitter bug (a swing fan), kopasetic (absolutely okay, the tops), mellow (all right, fine), ofay (white person), pad (bed), skin (drums), yeah man (an exclamation of assent). Calloway’s jazz lexicon first appeared in 1938; a 1939 “revised edition” - a tiny 5-inch square, 13-page booklet of 200 words, titled “The new Cab Calloway’s cat-ologue/A Hepster’s Dictionary” - has been called “the first dictionary published by a black person”; it was reprinted in 1944 as a 16-page, “New Cab Calloway’s Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive”. All three separate printings are now very rare, leaving this 1942 sheet music extract as the only obtainable version. (See other listings in this auction, from 1934 to 1953, about the “jargon of jazz”).


Slight wear to spine, very good.

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1942 Cab Calloway’s ‘Jive Dictionary’

Auction ended on Thu, Aug 14, 2014
Estimate $120 - $180
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