Let’s go back in time to a different era and take a look at old Harlem with the sounds of Jazz vocalist Cab Calloway. Born on December 25, 1907, in Rochester, New York, after a short period in Chicago he moved back to New York and landed a gig performing regularly at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club during the swing era. In 1931 his song “Minnie the Moocher” became a hit and was considered to be one of the first recordings to ever feature scat singing.
Besides Calloway’s musical act, he also appeared on stage and in films. During the 1930s and 1940s, he worked in such films as The Big Broadcast (1932), The Singing Kid (1936), and Stormy Weather(1943). Calloway spent two years in the cast of a revival of the musical Porgy and Bess, beginning in 1952. He also performed in other stage productions over the years and made more film appearances, most notably in the 1979 movie The Blues Brothers. During the film, Calloway put on his trademark white tie and tails and performed “Minnie the Moocher”. Cab Calloway died on November 18, 1994.
He took pride in his part of the Harlem Renaissance and also mentions Sriver’s Row in his songs ”Hard Times (Topsy Turvy)” and “The Ghost of Smokey Joe.”
Click on the photo below for a link to iTunes to hear all of his music.
Below is a video of Cab Calloway performing his hit “Minnie the Moocher” Live at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Also, a video clip from the movie “Stormy Weather” (1943) featuring Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing “Jumpin Jive” which ends with the Nicholas Brothers dancing and struttin’ their stuff.
Posted in Apollo Theater, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Dance, East Harlem, Education, Entertainment, Harlem, History, Music, New York City, North Harlem, South Harlem (SOHA), Sunday Jazz Corner, TV & Video, West Harlem
Tagged @HarlemHCL, Apollo Theater, Cab Calloway, Cotton Club, Harlem, Harlem History, Harlem Jazz, Harlem Renaissance, HarlemBlogger, HarlemBlogs, HarlemCondoLife.com, iTunes, jazz, Jumpin Jive, Live Jazz, Minnie The Moocher, Nicholas Brothers, Srivers' Row, Stormy Weather, Sunday Jazz Corner, Swing, YouTube
Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, Piri Piri Sauce.
The highly anticipated Cecil opens today with a frenzy of social media flying in as fast as they possibly can just to experience what all the buzz is about. We here at Harlem Condo Life are among the enthusiastic media, and look forward to our first time experience with Cecil. We have high hopes for this old meets new establishment and newest addition to Harlem Restaurant Row. They have our attention with small plates such as “Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns, Yam Flapjack, with Piri Piri Sauce” (above ) and “Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid with Okra and Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce.” Or a shared bowl for two of Afro / Asian / American Gumbo (Smoked Turkey, Chinese Chicken Sausage, Gulf Shrimp, and Crabmeat)
Take a peek at Cecil’s menu (below) with a scrumptious assortment by – Chefs Alexander Smalls – Restauranteur, and Joseph “JJ” Johnson – Chef de Cuisine.
The Cecil MENU. Here is a photo they sent us of their sticky buns. I don’t know about dinner, but I am ready for these sticky buns right now! They also were recently written up in the Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal. Both The Cecil and Minton’s were mentioned in Huff Post BLACK VOICES and one dish in particular that stood out to us was the “Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna.” Looks delicious.
photo by Lucy Schaeffer for Huff Post
So let’s get our forks and knives ready, and go experience the new CECIL together. I’m up for the adventure and ready to dig in. See you all there!
210 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
Tel (212) 866-1262
The Cecil New Restaurant in Harlem
Posted in Announcements about HCL, business, Central Harlem, Community, Cooking, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, South Harlem (SOHA), West Harlem
Tagged 118th Street, @HarlemHCL, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Alexander Smalls, Cecil, Chef Smalls, Destination Harlem TV, Harlem, Harlem Blogger, Harlem Blogs, Harlem Business, Harlem Community, Harlem History, Harlem Jazz Clubs, harlem restaurant row, Harlem Trends, HarlemCondoLife.com, HCL, Hot in Harlem, huffington post, jazz, jazz clubs, Joseph "JJ" Johnson, New York Businessman, NY Magazine, NYC Eats, NYC Foodies, Richard Parsons, St. Nicholas, The Cecil
A Song For You, was written by Leon Russell in 1970 and is considered an American classic. Many performers have sang this song, from jazz icons to pop superstar Elton John. But nobody has sang it quite like Donny Hathaway. This song is a great example of how a really powerful ballad can transcend all genres and styles of singers from rock to soul, blues to jazz, pop to country. Donny’s version brings out the soulful core of this heartfelt classic with his distinct vocal timing and texture and emotion bringing it to a level that few performers can reach with such conviction and truth. You really believe those lyrics that he is singing. There is no doubt in our minds that he has lived this song and he commands our complete attention with that touch of church added to it from his early gospel roots where he sang in the church choir with his Grandmother, who was a professional gospel singer herself. It definitely ranks in the top 10 songs written of all time, if not in the top five.
Donny Edward Hathaway was an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Known for his own songs and solo career he also had many hits with vocalist and friend Roberta Flack, including “Where Is The Love” and “The Closer I Get To You”. His friendship with Roberta Flack goes back to college days where they attended Howard University together and remained friends until Donny’s death in 1979. It is reported Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York’s Essex House hotel. He had jumped from his balcony. His life ended way too soon as it is written he had battled with psychological issues throughout the best part of his career. He began to suffer from severe bouts of depression and it was found that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Over the course of the 1970s, Hathaway’s mental instability wreaked havoc on his life and required several hospitalizations. The effects of his melancholia also drove a wedge in Flack and Hathaway’s friendship; they did not reconcile for several years, and did not release additional music until the successful release of “The Closer I Get To You” in 1978. Flack and Hathaway then resumed studio recording to compose a second album of duets.
Hathaway and his wife, Eulaulah, had two daughters, Eulaulah Donyll (Lalah Hathaway) and Kenya. Lalah has enjoyed a successful solo career, while Kenya is one of the three backing vocalists on the hit TV program American Idol. He also had another daughter, Donnita Hathaway. If you do not have any music by Donny Hathaway here is a great starter album for you to buy A Donny Hathaway Collection. He remains one of the finest singers of our time.
Here is Donny Hathaway singing 1) A Song For You and below it is the original version, 2) A Song For You by Leon Russell. Not just anyone can write a song like this. When you listen to Leon’s version, you can almost hear the song “visually” through his humble conviction and the sincerity in which he sings it. A timeless song transcends through all musical styles. The final video is a duet with Roberta Flack, 3) You Are My Heaven, which was co-written by Stevie Wonder for Donny Hathaway. He had a lot of angels in his corner. A very sad ending for an incredible talent. As one of the commenters writes in the comments section below, “this is music at its best.”
Posted in Celebrity, Culture, Entertainment, Harlem, History, Music, New York City, Sunday Jazz Corner
Tagged @HarlemHCL, A Song For You, American Jazz, Blues, Donny Hathaway, Gospel, Harlem Blogger, Harlem Blogs, Harlem House, HarlemCondoLife.com, HCL, jazz, Jazz musician, Lalah Hathaway, Leon Russell, Roberta Flack, Soul, Sunday Jazz Corner