Cab Calloway sings a song called “Minnie the Moocher”. It’s a catchy song and I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite Big Band groups have made their own version of it. Does the story have any meaning? Is Minnie a real person? And what does the word “cokie” mean, as well as the term “kick the gong around”?
Generally you’ll get quicker responses to music questions over in the Cafe Society Forum. I’ll move this over, for you.
[ /Moderator Mode ]
“Cokie” is what you think it is - intoxicated with cocaine. “Kick the gong around” is another drug reference; I think it means to indulge in opium.
Lots of Cab’s tunes have these passing drug references. Sign of times back then.
An earlier version of the song, from the 1920s, was Willie the Weeper:
And the rest of it pretty much follows Minnie’s dope dreams.
CAB CALLOWAY [to the Blues Brothers backup band]: Do you guys know Minnie the Moocher?
MURPH: I once knew a hooker named Minnie Mizzoli!
That’s on at least one video, maybe two or a DVD. I’d have to check which it is that I have.
“Hidden” message? It was pretty well understood was Minnie was:
from A Night at the Opera
A friend of mine has all known Betty Boops on video; many of them can only be described as psychedelic. Awesome stuff! Louis Armstrong was in a Halloween one as a ghost. Another fave of ours featured Nobody for President, since Nobody was going to help the working stiff…
Cokey is indeed just coke. You went down to Chinatown for opiates, more likely heroin (see also “Chinese Rock”) than opium smoking in the early '30s.
I understand the “heidy ho” bit was a “hide the ho(s)” call for when speakeasies were raided, but perhaps this is urban legend.
At my first viewing of ROCKY HORROR (around 1984), the Betty Boop “Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs” cartoon opened it. Freakier than RHPS- believe me. Jazz song of choice was ST. JAMES INFIRMARY.