I’ve heard Cab Calloway’s original take on “SJI” a thousand times, largely because it’s the main event in the sound track of that Betty Boop cartoon I’m always mentioning. But here, via YouTube, is a clip of a different take, apparently in 1950.
The arrangement is a little different — if possibly, even more of a ham-it-up fest than his original. (Example: Check the way he blows out the”let her go line” with an extra several seconds of ohhh-oohhh-OHH-ohhhh-OHHHH-ing.) [NOTE: The video below has apparently been removed from YouTube, but someone else has uploaded the same performance, here.]
This clip is tacked to another that follows immediately, of Calloway doing the tune with the suspiciously “SJI”-ish melody that is I assume his beggest hit: “Minnie the Moocher.” That performance is from 1988 (according to the YouTube uploader) and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than I generally enjoy Calloway. Usually I find his theatrics a little tiring, but it’s kind of cool to see him at such an advanced age still hitting all the important marks. Sign of a true showbiz pro, right?