Lot 344: Classic 1939 Black Jazz ‘Dictionary’ and quiz book

PBA Galleries

2016-01-13 11:46:58


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Lot 344: Author: Calloway, Cab; Title: Cab Calloway's famous 1939 Jazz 'Jive Dictionary'; Place Published: New York; Publisher: N/A; Date Published: 1939; Description: Cab Calloway, "The New Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue / a Hepster's Dictionary (Revised Edition, NY, 1939) Original pictorial wrappers. Approx. 2.75 x 4.5", 14pp.; and Mickey Goldsen, editor. Prof. Cab Calloway's Swingformation Bureau, (NY, c.1939) Original pictorial wrappers, with some drawings in the text. Approx. 2.75 x 4.5", 14pp.. Both rare imprints. WorldCat locates only one copy of the first imprint, and no holding of the second in any American institution.(See other Calloway item's offered in this sale, including California tributes to him in later life)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. Complete description available. Please contact pba@pbagalleries.com for more information. Condition: Very good. PBA Galleries' Sale 578: Americana, Travel/Exploration, Cartography, African/Asian Americana and Directories Thursday, 28th January 2016 Estimate: $600-900
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