The New Cab Calloway's Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive 1944 Edition.
No place: Cab Calloway, 1944.
Small pamphlet (measuring 4.5" x 2.75"). The sixth, and final, and most definitive, edition of this title originally published in 1938. Issued as a promotional item for the movie Sensations of 1945, in which Cab and his band appeared (an ad for the film appears on the back cover). Regarded as the first dictionary by an African-American, and the first glossary of counterculture terms, preceding "Dan Burley's Original Handbook of Harlem Jive" by six years and the Beat dictionaries of the late '50s by two decades. Calloway was among the most popular and flamboyant performers of the swing era, know as a "hep cat," and a man not afraid to popularize songs that were blatant paeans to drug use ("Reefer Man," et al). This booklet is the first documentation of Black street-language and hipster jazz slang of Harlem in the '30s. It had no formal distribution, but rather was handed out to fans that attended Calloway's concerts. Despite its diminutive size, a hugely important book in the lineage of counterculture jargon. The terms collected here were picked up by the hipsters, then passed to the Beats and '60s counterculture---many are still in common use today. The first printing is legendarily rare bordering on unobtainable, the second is very scarce, and this printing is also extremely dificult, especially in nice condition. After the first edition, Calloway's fans and friends suggested new terms for inclusion in subsequent printings---this last printing is the most comprehensive. Near fine.