Mario Ramos Sr. passes

MARIO RAMOS SR., 50, passed away Thursday, April 10, 2008. Mario was born in El Paso, Texas on November 30, 1957 to Jose and Inez Ramos. He retired from El Paso Community College as Studio Coordinator and Master Control Center for Instructional Telecommunications for EPCC TV Channel 14. Mario is survived by his wife Silvia M. Ramos; sons Mario Ramos Jr. and Daniel Mario Ramos; daughters Gloria Ramos Silva, Graciela Ramos and Joanna Ramos and 17 grandchildren. Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 12:30pm at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. ARRANGEMENTS BY HILLCREST FUNERAL HOME,, 1060 N. Carolina Dr. 598-3332

Mario was one of Steve’s great friends from the early 70s. Mario really loved the music Steve played especially an R & B song called “Potato Salad”.

Sincere condolences to his family.

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This is interesting.

I found that West Tex at Lonestarstomp Blog remixed some of the pictures from this blog and added s0me interesting observations.

It’s 1960-something in El Paso, Texas. If you’re a fan of music you’re probably digging tastemaker Steve Crosno on radio station KELP. And chances are on Saturdays you’re either watching or attending his TV show, “Crosno’s Hop”, and digging out to Sunny & the Sunliners, James Brown or locals like Danny and the Counts. On the weekends you were attending one of Crosno’s band battles at the El Paso Coliseum or showing off your fancy footwork at one of his discotecos. The man had his hand in everything it would seem, including creating the “oldies” or “lowriders” sound in El Paso before anyone knew what it was. Dude had a DAY set aside in his honor… Steve Crosno Day! In 1967!!!

And then there was the Frogdeath.

In Crosno’s line of work he was constantly in contact with local combos looking for the big time and the Frogdeath which he ran out of his home town of Las Cruces was a way for the local sounds to be heard. There weren’t that many Frogdeath releases, but what’s there is mainly gold. There was a local hit by Bobby Rosales’s El Paso Premiers, who also recorded for C.L. Milburn’s Souled-Out of Texas label and B. Rosales Records out of Odessa. The Night Dreamers of El Paso were featured on two releases and made it to #1 on KELP with “Mr. Pitiful”. The surfing craze that swept El Paso was taken care of with “Wipe In” by the Imposters. For the garage fiends there were releases by Danny & the Counts (of “You Need Love” fame), Mike Reynolds & the Infants of Soul, and…

Whoever the Four Frogs may have been is as mysterious as the moody sleeve that housed some copies of their Frogdeath single. Not so mysterious is the MP3-like quality of their single. The songwritin’ skills of a Mr. Colin Flannigan aren’t that mysterious either as he seems to have had a knack for crafting a decent hook. “Losin’ You” is a nice rocker in ’64 mode that utilizes dual/dueling vocals to decent effect. As I listen I’m not sure the Beatles have really hit yet. “Mr. Big” is a steady movin’ instro with a nice dancefloor beat. A highlight on both sides of the record is the drummer who, well, picture that damned bunny.

Frogdeath creator Steve Crosno passed away in September 2006. FEW DJs anywhere had the kind of personal impact Crosno did. This man, this voice, really made people feel that they were a part of something and were of worth. The photos of Crosno above and the wonderful tribute below came from Manuel Rivera’s wonderful Crosnoblog.

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In my home city of El Paso, there is a genre of music that was defined by one Steve Crosno, a longtime AM radio disc jockey who was at his pinnacle when I first learned of the pleasures of popular music.
FM radio was just catching on, and most cars were manufactured with only an AM radio.

These were glory days of super “clear channel” AM radio stations that blasted across the USA with 50,000 watts of power. This was the official FCC limit.

However, Crosno, whose radio studio was in El Paso, was actually broadcasting from XEROK-80 (simply known as X-ROK), which, because its signal was originating from across the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was much more powerful. It was rumored that Crosno’s show could be heard as far north as Canada and to the Caribbean islands.

The year was 1970, and my older brother, Victor, had received a handheld AM transistor radio for Christmas. I was instantly curious about it. On most nights, I managed to take it to bed with me, where I would tune it to X-ROK, and, placing it under my pillow, would fall asleep while listening to Crosno. His show was as much about himself, his humor and senstitivity, as it was about the music.

Some of the hits at the time included The Delfonics’ “La La Means I Love You,” Sylvia’s “Pillow Talk,” and War’s “All Day Music.”

But my favorite, and I would never admit to this at the time, was a sappy song of teen angst called “I Wanted to Tell You” by Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family. I still happily play it in my head almost every day.

Between songs, Crosno would carry running dialogues with a myriad of sound clips from movies and television programs at a dizzying pace. He was a radio genius.

Crosno would end his radio show, to the best of my recollection, at 10 p.m. He would always say “I love you,” as he signed off, and I believed him. I would imagine his voice reverberating through the entire hemisphere, propelled by those untold thousands of watts of power of Mexican radio.

His last song of the night would play, to be replaced by Spanish-language music, which would eventually give rise to my appreciation of a different musical form.

Steve Crosno died last year.

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