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.