Monday, October 27, 2008

487th Post - The First Music Video?

When I was in university in the 1980's, I took some courses that would not be as much work as some of my core courses. I did this, to A) Improve my grade point average; and B) to give me more time to concentrate on my major. One of the courses I chose to take was an Interdisciplinary course in musicology.

(I still have the cassette tapes for the course around the house somewhere; the notes are in another part of the house. Before I die, I want them to say hello to each other again.)

The course was endlessly fascinating. I learned so much about different forms of music. I may not listen to those genres to this day, but I learned to appreciate them and to understand that these seemingly disparate types of music often have common antecedents and explore similar themes.

I also learned that no musical "generation" has ever cornered the market on the grotesque, and that none has ever shied away from pissing off the parents of the day.

I actually wrote a paper that year about blues music; the urban branch of it is really where we get jazz from.

I became interested in the musician Cab Calloway. As a naive young 'un, I had no idea that Calloway existed and was shocked to learn that he had been recording tunes rife with drug references, and ones about loose, wanton women, back in the 1930's. This was 60+ years before hip hop artists did the same thing.

Herewith: a Betty Boop, supposedly banned, cartoon from 1932, featuring the song "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway (I can kinda see how it would be banned, because there are some pretty provocative images in this ancient cartoon).

How many drug references can you pick out?


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