Area Man Shocked By Insignificant Cartoon Factoid
Michigan J. Frog bellows many a musical classic during his debut turn in 1955’s One Froggy Evening, but the fickle amphibian’s repertoire includes one song exclusive to his two-dimensional realm. “The Michigan Rag,” a catchy regional anthem that sounds indisputably authentic, was in fact written specifically for the cartoon by director Chuck Jones, writer Michael Maltese, and Warner Bros composer Milt Franklyn. This explains why I can never find that song on any of those massively popular Tin Pan Alley compilation albums—it’s not real.
Well, okay, yes, “The Michigan Rag” is real in the sense that I didn’t imagine or hallucinate it during a massive drug trip, but it’s not real in the same sense “Hello! Ma Baby” is real. You know what I mean. Regardless, the damn thing fits seamlessly into Froggy Evening, suggesting Jones et al could have had a side career churning out pop music (in 1930, at least).
P.S. – I purposely chose this lousy audio/visual presentation to replicate how “The Michigan Rag” would have sounded had it ever been pressed on wax cylinder.