“The Honeydripper” Has California Spirit

The Honeydripper, Cab Calloway, 2:57, 155 BPM

This song was originally an R&B hit by Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers, and found runaway popularity in mid-1940s California as soliders returned from the Pacific, ready to experience civilian nightlife. The term “honeydripper” originates from a black slang term used to describe a sweet guy.

Jimmie Lunceford and the Delta Rhythm Boys also made a popular cover of this song, but I prefer Cab Calloway’s because I think it has a more swung feel that makes it more suited to dancing. The tempo is a bit slower than Liggins or Lunceford, which makes it a bit more accessible, and the vocals feel more energetic. Lunceford’s cover maintains the bouncy, driving R&B rhythm of the original version, which isn’t bad, but Cab Calloway’s version makes me want to get up and dance, which is my first requirement for any song I’m going to DJ!

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