. . . Frogman

. . .

Since I don't give a flying bleep about electronic noodling, MPEG-3 audio searches have left me alone and palely loitering. And if I can get something on a CD, I'd rather buy the CD. But here's why I love the format:

  1. alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1950s, where it's always worth checking out any post by a German called "spade." Lots of much-too-rare-to-buy vinyl is squeezed over the transom here, including such recent grabs as "I'm in Love with Elvis Presley" and Bob & Earl's R&B dance hit, "The Sissy" ("Put one hand on your face / The other on your hip"). Not to leave out alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1960s's contribution of "See Emily Play" and alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1970s's of my favorite Lou Reed album, Take No Prisoners.
  2. Preservation of cassette-only gems. I've lost so much to tape crises over the decades. The Mumps' 1976 single, "Muscle Men"... Graham Parker live on the radio and actually good... the Lou Reed album mentioned above. Now I can make non-degrading easily-backed-up copies of the absolutely essential and otherwise unavailable.
  3. A larger group of listeners can help out with Name That Tune.
    You see, back in 1980 or so, Philadelphia had an excellent oldies station -- shortlived of course, since oldies stations in those benighted times were unable to play the Eagles and James Taylor nonstop. Among the pearls strewn before me were two songs that I've asked about at every record store I've entered since: "Billy Goat" (artist unknown) and "Everybody Got Trouble" (artist unknown). Whenever I listen to the latter, I picture a line of R. Crumb style big-foot-shufflin' bulbous-finger-twirlin' morons dancing merrily off a cliff. Whenever I listen to the former, I picture pretty much the same thing you'll picture. Who? Where? And how can I buy them?

. . .

Gosh, I like the Internet: Tom Parmenter, famous father of the Parmenter boys, easily identified one of my mystery MP3 files as "Troubles, Troubles" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry; on the same day, one of the alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1950s habitués identified the "holler billy goat" song as "Hide and Go Seek" by Bunker Hill. Amoeba Records, here I come.

. . .

Tom Parmenter noted that the mysterious "Billy Goat" song, now identified as "Hide and Go Seek" by Bunker Hill (nom de secularism for a Mighty Clouds of Joy vocalist), sounds like "a compendium of schoolyard rhymes.... 'Went down the road, the road was muddy,' that has the jump-rope rhythm." In turn, I noted that, like some other of my favorite blues, rock'n'roll, R&B, and hip-hop songs, it blends a bit of dirty dozens into its kids games. Tom again:

"Toasts" are another member of the family. I'm surprised no one has put together an album of Titanic-related toasts and tunes. Supposedly, Jack Johnson was denied passage and the wreck was retribution. I also have a song by the Johnny Otis Show (under the name of Snatch and the Poontangs) on the alleged presence on board of the legendary Shine, who *could* have saved them all, but concluded "there's better pussy on yonder shore".

Strange that Frogman's hits should both be so peppy and so gloomy. Here's a cat so talented he can sing like a girl *and* a frog and he ain't got no home in the one song and he's contemplating suicide in the other, so deep are his troubles.

.... I'm listening to this hip folk balladeer jazz rocker street singer guy Hirth Martinez and two of these songs are so *damn* entertaining, one of them called "Mothman Samba", about said mysterious creature.


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.