The New Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue: A Hepster's Dictionary. Cab CALLOWAY.

The New Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue: A Hepster's Dictionary.

No place: Privately published, 1939.

Item #SKB-16914

Small pamphlet (measuring ca. 4.25" x 2.75"). Second edition of this legendary title, the "revised 1939 edition," published a year after the first (the book went through six printings until 1944). 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 as 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. Despite its diminutive size, a hugely important book in the lineage of counterculture slang. The terms collected here were picked up by the hipsters, then passed to the Beats and '60s counterculture---many are still in use today. Any printing is very scarce---the second is rare---the first is basically unobtainable. We've handled one copy of the first and this is the second copy of the second edition that we've handled in 32 years of active looking. Staples rusted (as usual), small dampstain to bottom corner, else near fine. OCLC shows only one copy of the first edition and one copy of the second (both held by the New York Public Library).

Price: $2,500.00

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