Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang needed another side.
In 1929, the standard format for the commercial release of recordings was a flat disc made of shellac resin and measuring 10 inches in diameter. The 78 RPM playback speed of these discs allowed for only about three minutes worth of music on a side. (The record industry was nineteen years away from “microgroove” technology.) The discs had music – one song or instrumental piece – on each side.
Lonnie and Eddie had cut three exceptional new guitar duets during their recording sessions on May 7 & 8, 1929: “Guitar Blues,” “A Handful Of Riffs” and “Blue Guitars.”
So, for OKeh Records to produce two more records by the increasingly popular Lonnie Johnson & Blind Willie Dunn, they needed a fourth recording. [The first OKeh record by Lonnie Johnson & Blind Willie Dunn/Eddie Lang contained the duets “Two Tone Stomp” and “Have To Change Keys (To Play These Blues).” Those sides were recorded on November 17, 1928.]
Lonnie and Eddie reconvened at OKeh’s New York City studio on May 15, 1929.
“Bull Frog Moan” was the result.
The piece starts with a repeated croaking low-note riff played by Eddie Lang. Lonnie Johnson enters with a responding melodic lick and the two are soon off at a swinging, mid-tempo pace for another delightful excursion through the Blues in the key of D.
Listen for yourself!
“Bull Frog Moan” was released with “A Handful Of Riffs” on OKeh Record #8695.
You can learn more about Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang , how their first recording session came about, the guitars they played and even listen to those first two duets in my This Historic Day In Music post of November 17, 2017!
Scroll down to my This Historic Day In Music posts of May 8, 2018 and May 7, 2018.
Good music doesn’t get old.
I love these old recordings. Considering how delicate the media was then, it’s amazing that they survived long enough, and that people were interested enough to preserve them!
I’m glad that you’re still keeping up the blog. I’ve been absent for some time but I’ll do my best to log in more frequently.
Hope to see you soon.