By: Joshua Glenn
April 24, 2022

This post is a spinoff from an installment (on the subject of 20th-century pop-culture frogs) that I contributed to the BESTIARY series, here at HILOBROW, earlier this year. That post featured some epic footnotes, which I suspect no one read; below, please find one of them.


Because of their croaking, frogs are associated — jocularly — with music in pop culture, particularly during the first half of the twentieth century. Here are a few examples of this sort of thing.

For lots more, try this eBay search.

1904 postcard

The Musical Frog, bakery card from the Pullman Kids in Wonderland series, issued by the Weber Baking Company

Ragtime sheet music c. 1906

See the 1929 cartoon “Springtime.” Some very musical frogs.

1930’s NESTLE’S FUNNIES Candy Bar Wrapper

c. 1933 bakelite frog pin

The Old Mill Pond is a 1936 American animated short film in MGM’s Happy Harmonies series. Fish and (nattily dressed) frogs gather at the old mill pond to hear a jazz concert. Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, ‘Bill “Bojangles’ Robinson’, Louis Armstrong, Stepin Fetchit, Ethel Waters and The Mills Brothers are caricatured.

A Bully Frog is 1937 Terrytoons cartoon in which a silk-hatted big frog decides he’s too good for life in the little pond. However, when he goes to a jazz club in the big city, things get out of hand. It is considered a middling Terrytoons effort.

Moonshine Sonata (e.g., Frank Sinatra) in a 1951 Pogo strip.

1974 lunchbox

This 1977 frog figurine seems to have tuned in, turned on, dropped out… and lived to regret his youthful decisions.