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Posts Tagged ‘Cab Calloway

“Turn left at Greenland”*…

 

 

FSA photos

 

After a series of setbacks in the courts that repealed many of the First New Deal’s program, President Roosevelt pursued a new set of initiatives including the Resettlement Administration in 1935. It was charged with aiding the poorest third of farmers displaced by the depression and particularly focused on resettlement on viable lands and providing low-interest loans. Directed by Rexford Tugwell, a Columbia University economist, the RA came under immediate scrutiny. Realizing the battle for public opinion had begun, Tugwell hired his former student Roy Stryker to lead the Historic Section within the Information Division of the RA, which in 1937 was moved to the FSA.

In order to build support for and justify government programs, the Historical Section set out to document America, often at her most vulnerable, and the successful administration of relief service. The Farm Security Administration—Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) produced some of the most iconic images of the Great Depression and World War II and included photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein who shaped the visual culture of the era both in its moment and in American memory. Unit photographers were sent across the country. The negatives were sent to Washington, DC. The growing collection came to be known as “The File.” With the United State’s entry into WWII, the unit moved into the Office of War Information and the collection became known as the FSA-OWI File…

Now, from Yale, a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing 90,000 of those 170,000 photographs created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) from 1935 to 1945: Programmer.

* Ringo Starr, in response to the question “How do you find America?,” asked in a Beatles press conference on the first U.S. tour

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As we look and see, we might recall that it was on this date in 1931 that Cab Calloway recorded “Minnie the Moocher,” the first jazz record to sell one million copies and the song that cemented the popularity of “scat” singing (which had been first popularized in 1926 by Louis Armstrong’s “Heebie Jeebies.”)

 

“Pop music has been exhausted”*…

 

 

… and so it becomes the subject of art.

A year ago, local artist Elle Luna challenged artists from around the world with her “100-Day Project,” an idea with a simple premise: do the same thing every day for a hundred days — draw a doodle, write a poem, whatever — and document the results.

San Francisco–based designer Katrina McHugh responded by making infographics based on popular song lyrics that reference the natural world, mirroring the style of vintage encyclopedias she inherited from her grandfather. The project, titled “100 Days of Lyrical Natural Sciences,” is a gorgeous and hilarious exercise in taking metaphor too literally…

Try your hand at identifying the songs in question at “Classic Pop Songs, Reimagined as Infographics.”

* Brian Wilson

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As we tap our toes, we might spare a thought for Cabell “Cab” Calloway III; he died on this date in 1994.  A master of scat singing and led one of the United States’ most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s, regularly performing at the Cotton Club in Harlem.  His 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.  His “Minnie the Moocher” was the first jazz record to sell 1 million copies.

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Written by LW

November 18, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see”*…

 source

When pilgrims were landing on Plymouth Rock, you could already visit what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay at a hotel, eat at a restaurant and buy Native American silver.

1912 saw the maiden voyage of the Titanic– as well as the birth of vitamins, x-ray crystallography, and MDMA.

More curious coincidence at Reddit’s “What are two events that took place in the same time in history but don’t seem like they would have?

[via Kottke]

* Carl Jung

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As we peer closely for patterns, we might recall that it was on this date in 1930 that Cab Calloway and His Orchestra recorded their scat-jazz classic, “Minnie the Moocher,” the first jazz record to sell 1 million copies.

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Written by LW

March 3, 2014 at 1:01 am

A(nother) good reason to take a Cab on Monday morning…

If Ellington was the Beethoven of the jazz band era, its avatar of majesty, then surely Cab Calloway was its Mozart– its imp of pure joy:

…Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing “Jumpin Jive,” in the 1943 film Stormy Weather.  Special Monday Morning Bonus:  they are joined by the incomparable Nicholas Brothers.

(A tip o’ the hat and a tap of the toe to Jesse Dylan!)

As we give ourselves over to smiles, we might recover the serious tone appropriate to the start of the work week by recalling that it was on this date in 1927 that Isadora Duncan exclaimed “Goodbye my friends, I go to glory!”– then hopped into a sports car for a brisk drive near Nice… on which she died, strangled when her scarf became tangled in one of the car’s wheels…  662 years to the day after Dante Alighieri died.

(It’s been suggested– in the diary of an eyewitness to Isadora’s departure– that her actual last words were “Goodbye my friends, I’m off to love”– an allusion, its suggested to her likely “destination” with the handsome young Italian mechanic driving the car…  In any event, as Gertrude Stein observed of Duncan’s death, “affectations can be dangerous.”)

Isadora Duncan

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Written by LW

September 14, 2009 at 12:01 am

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