Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Minnie the Moocher - Cab Calloway et al

Legbamel Not-Pop

It seems to me that everyone knows Minnie the Moocher, whether they know the name or not. Cab Calloway performed what, for me, was the definitive version in the Blues Brothers movie, that film that warped my fragile little mind (an obsessive Carrie Fischer with a rocket launcher at the height of Star Wars mania, anyone?) and turned me on to blues standards.

But that was by far not the only version of Minnie the Moocher recorded, even by Cab Calloway. For this lovely, fall into autumn sort of day, let’s take a listen to some mooching, including some updated versions that are less swing-inspired than one might like and a lovely version that includes Dr. House himself, Hugh Laurie. You'll also find a version from Danny Kaye, whom I adore, that includes some French goofiness and fantastic giggling and yodeling from the master.

I considered making this a gold-digger version of You Pick the Winner but that seemed too easy. Instead, let’s just enjoy the song itself and let the other tunes about ladies (and gents) who pay their rent in various unsavory ways for another day.

Unless, of course, you have a recommendation, in which case I do wish you’d add it to the comments (except for Roxanne. We all know about her little foibles and Sting’s wish to have her for his own. And she’s now stuck in my head, thank you very much.)

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