The Big Broadcast (1932)

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The Big Broadcast is a 1932 American musical comedy film directed by Frank Tuttle and starring Bing Crosby, Stuart Erwin, and Leila Hyams. Based on the play Wild Waves by William Ford Manley, the film is about a radio-singer who becomes a popular hit with audiences, but takes a casual approach to his career. A casual affair leads to his dismissal, but his career is saved by the station manager who buys the station and gives him his job back. The film co-stars George Burns and Gracie Allen in supporting roles. The Big Broadcast was produced by Paramount Pictures and was the first picture in a series of four Big Broadcast movies.
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Archivist: The Big Broadcast features Cab Calloway's orchestra playing Minnie the Moocher, a song about an opium addict. The phrase "kicking the gong around" was a slang reference to smoking opium.

"Minnie the Moocher" is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, selling over 1 million copies.[1] "Minnie the Moocher" is most famous for its nonsensical ad libbed ("scat") lyrics (for example, "Hi De Hi De Hi De Hi"). In performances, Calloway would have the audience participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response. Eventually Calloway's phrases would become so long and complex that the audience would laugh at their own failed attempts to repeat them.

"Minnie the Moocher" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

The song is based both musically and lyrically on Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon's 1927 "Willie the Weeper"[1][2] (Bette Davis sings this version in The Cabin in the Cotton). The lyrics are heavily laden with drug references. The character "Smokey" is described as "cokey", meaning a user of cocaine; the phrase "kicking the gong around" was a slang reference to smoking opium.[2]

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