Is your surname Calloway?

Research the Calloway family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Cabell Calloway, III

Birthplace: Rochester, Monroe County, New York, United States
Death: November 18, 1994 (86)
Hockessin, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Cabel Calloway, Jr. and Martha Eulalia Reed
Husband of Zulme MacNeal
Ex-husband of Wenonah Conacher
Brother of Blanche Calloway; Elmer Calloway and Bernice D. Calloway

Occupation: Bandleader singer-songwriter
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Cab Calloway

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was a 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 through 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..." "...Early years[edit]
Calloway was born in Rochester, New York, on Christmas Day in 1907. The family relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, his parents' hometown, in 1918. His mother, Martha Eulalia Reed, was a Morgan State College graduate, teacher and church organist. His father, Cabell Calloway, Jr., was a graduate of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania[1] in 1898 [2]and worked as a lawyer and in real estate.

Cab Calloway spent his adolescent years growing up in West Baltimore's Sugar Hill, considered the political, cultural and business hub of black society. There he grew up comfortably in a middle-class household. Early on, his parents recognized their son's musical talent and he began private voice lessons in 1922. He continued to study music and voice throughout his formal schooling. Despite the disapproval of jazz by his parents and teachers, Calloway began frequenting and performing in many of Baltimore's nightclubs. As a result he came in touch with many of the local jazz luminaries of the time. He counted among his early mentors drummer Chick Webb and pianist Johnny Jones.

After his graduation from Frederick Douglass High School, Calloway joined his older sister, Blanche, in a touring production of the popular black musical revue, Plantation Days. (Blanche Calloway became an accomplished bandleader before her brother did, and he would often credit her as his inspiration for entering show business.) His parents had hopes of their son becoming an attorney following after his father, so Calloway enrolled in Crane College. His main interest, however, was in singing and entertaining, and he spent most of his nights at the Dreamland Ballroom, the Sunset Cafe, and the Club Berlin, performing as a drummer, singer, and MC. At the Sunset Café, Cab cut his teeth as an understudy for singer Adelaide Hall [3] and it was here that he met and performed with Louis Armstrong who taught him to sing in the "scat" style. He eventually left school to sing with a band called the Alabamians..."

"...The Cotton Club was the premier jazz venue in the country, and Calloway and his orchestra (he had taken over a brilliant, but failing band called "The Missourians" in 1930; later on, the band changed its name to Cab Calloway and His Orchestra)[5] were hired as a replacement for the Duke Ellington Orchestra while they were touring (he joined Duke Ellington and Mills Blue Rhythm Band as another of the jazz groups handled by Irving Mills). Calloway quickly proved so popular that his band became the "co-house" band with Ellington's, and his group began touring nationwide when not playing the Cotton Club. Their popularity was greatly enhanced by the twice-weekly live national radio broadcasts on NBC at the Cotton Club. Calloway also appeared on Walter Winchell's radio program and with Bing Crosby in his show at New York's Paramount Theatre. As a result of these appearances, Calloway, together with Ellington, broke the major broadcast network color barrier..."

"...In the 1950s Calloway moved his family from Long Island, New York, in order to raise the three youngest of his five daughters in Greenburgh, New York..."

"...Calloway helped establish the Cab Calloway Museum at Coppin State College (Baltimore, Maryland) in the 1980s, and Bill Cosby helped establish a scholarship in Calloway's name at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan..."

"...On June 12, 1994, Calloway suffered a severe stroke. He died five months later on November 18, 1994. His body was cremated and his ashes were given to his family. Upon the death of his wife Zulme "Nuffie" Calloway on October 13, 2008, his ashes were interred next to her at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York..."


view all

Cab Calloway's Timeline

December 25, 1907
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, United States
November 18, 1994
Age 86
Hockessin, New Castle County, Delaware, United States