Album:Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!: Vintage Fiddle Music 1927-1935
Guitarist Lonnie Johnson was one of the pioneers of blues and jazz. And he was also one of the first to use violin in jazz usually by his long time partner Eddie Lang. This 1928 recording of Memphis Stomp is not in Johnson's discography because he is a sideman on this record though he takes the lead on violin. And The Blue Boys weren't even the real name of this group. They were actually called The Johnson Boys led by guitarist Nap Hayes and mandolinist Matthew Prater. In the 20s, the mandolin was used mainly white musicians in the Appalachians and of course the mandolin is a staple of bluegrass music. But Prater was black and that makes him historically interesting. as The Johnson Boys, Hayes and Prater recorded a few songs for Okeh Records. They normally recorded ragtime. Because Johnson was on Memphis Stomp and it was much different from the music they recorded as The Johnson Boys, they decided to call themselves The Blue Boys. Johnson's violin playing is outstanding and you can get Memphis Stomp on this various artists CD of vintage fiddle music. But the record seems to have fallen through the cracks of the Lonnie Johnson discography. That happens sometimes when legendary musicians play on one off oddball recordings. Here's a video for Memphis Stomp by The Blue Boys.