Okeh; New York, April 1, 1927: Eddie Lang-g/Arthur Schutt-p.
Eddie Lang; (b. October 25, 1902; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – d. March 26, 1933 ; New York City). Photo source.
In 1924, at age 22, Eddie Lang put eleven years of playing violin, often professionally, behind him and picked up the guitar. Here’s Lang, three years into his jazz career, playing a self-composed number, at age 25.
Lang was a childhood friend of violinist Joe Venuti and later became close friends with singer and actor Bing Crosby. Lang briefly appears with Crosby in the 1932 film, The Big Broadcast. I’ll have to watch the film.
In 1933, at the age of 31, Lang died prematurely from complications of what would have normally been a routine tonsillectomy procedure. The story goes that Lang’s voice was quite hoarse and gruff sounding. Bing Crosby advised Lang to get his voiced “fixed” so that he could appear in films, alongside of Crosby, and that they could sing accompaniment to his guitar playing and expose Lang’s music through, in addition to records, the new medium of film and make Lang, and his guitar playing, a household name.
Because of his advice, it’s been said that, Crosby never got over the guilt of Lang’s death.
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