Lot 44 of 382:
Classic 1939 Black Jazz ‘Dictionary’ and quiz book  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$660
Estimate:
$800 - $1,200

Title:
Cab Calloway's famous 1939 Jazz 'Jive Dictionary' [with] two related imprints
Author:
Calloway, Cab
Place:
New York
Publisher:
Ned E. Williams; Cab Calloway, Inc.
Date:
1939; 1944
Description:

Comprises:

  • The New Cab Calloway’s Cat-ologue / a Hepster’s Dictionary. 14pp. 11.5x7.1 cm  (4.5x2¾"), original pictorial wrappers. Revised Edition, 1939.
  • Prof. Cab Calloway’s Swing formation Bureau. Mickey Goldsen, editor. 14pp. 11.5x7.1 cm  (4.5x2¾"), original pictorial wrappers, with some drawings in the text. 
  • The New Cab Calloway's Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive, 1944 Edition. 14 pp. 11.5x7.1 cm  (4.5x2¾"), original pictorial wrappers. 

Rare imprints. OCLC/WorldCat locates only one copy of the first imprint, and no holding of the second in any American institution. The New Cab Calloway's Hepsters Dictionary is represented in two institutions, The University of Chicago and Indiana State Library.

Written by (or at least attributed to) one of the best-known Black entertainers of the 1930s, orchestra leader at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club, the “Cat-ologue” is a legendary imprint which has called “the first dictionary published by a Black person”, though it is more accurately the first short lexicon of Black Jazz jargon, 100+ “quaint expressions” which would work their way into the general American vernacular, including  Boogie-Woogie (a new dance), corny (old fashioned, stale), freeby (no charge, gratis), gravy (profits), jitter bug (a swing fan), kopasetic (absolutely okay, the tops), mellow (all right, fine), ofay (white person), pad (bed), reefer (marijuana cigarette) skin (drums), yeah man (an exclamation of assent). This is the second of three printings (the last appeared in 1944 as the “language of jive”), all of which are highly collectible and increasingly difficult to find.
 
The accompanying “Swingformation” booklet is equally scarce, opening with Calloway’s tribute to the “jive” talk which had already been “absorbed” by “everyday” American language. The text is essentially a quiz, with questions testing the reader’s knowledge about “hep tags”, instruments, etiquette and “events in the world of jive”. There are also lists of American foreign Jazz magazines and the names of the musicians in Calloways own band, and a “Final Examination” (“Who originated ‘scat’ singing?”, “Give you definition of swing music in not more than 25 words’, etc.)
 
Lot Amendments
Condition:
Staples oxidized, some creasing and bumps; very good.
 
Item number:
294809
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.

 

Terms and conditions

CONTRACTS

All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.

BUYER'S PREMIUM

A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.

ONLINE BIDDING

The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.