KICKIN' THE GONG AROUND * CAB CALLOWAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA * BRUNSWICK 1417 * UK
The antithesis of a sentimental love song Kickin' The Gong Around is novelty ditty with a dark underside. It's about a junkie named 'Smoky Joe', who, desperate for a high, visits an opium-den in New York's Chinatown looking for his lady-love: 'Minnie the moocher', also an opium user, possibly to get some money from her to buy his junk; but is thwarted by Minnie who hides behind a curtain until he leaves. There is pathos in the songs raw description of the desperate and abandoned lives some people live who become slaves to their addiction. The Song was featured in the 1932 Paramount film The Big Broadcast Cab Calloway recorded a second version two years later in 1933.
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