Up until I was about 12, I didn’t listen to the radio. One Christmas our mom and dad got us a little transistor radio. We listened to KHEY, which was the biggest country/western station around. this mostly because it was what Mom listened to when she was working around the house, which was pretty much all the time. Shortly, though, the kids at school (this was still Putnam) turned us on to KELP.

KELP was a bonafide top forty radio station, and the disc jockey head and shoulders above all others was Steve Crosno. Crosno was completely wired into the music biz and the area music scene, and had a really whacked radio personality.
he was (and still is!) unique and one-of-a-kind.
Crosno also had “Crosno’s Hop” on Saturday afternoons, featuring the dancing couples a la Dick Clark, and regional bands like Sonny & the Sunliners. his show had a decidedly Chicano twist–he knew who his people were.
(“Chicano,” along with “Mexican American” and “Hispanic” weren’t words that were used regularly at this point,
for that matter we had never even heard them used. That came later.)

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  1. From Steve’s sister:

    Steve had always requested that his body be cremated, so my sister Susan and I set up the arrangements the day after Steve died. Several days later, the funeral director called Susan to get some information about Steve, e.g., date of birth, etc. When it came to the question of race, the funeral director said, “Hispanic, right?” Susan had a heck of a time convincing him that Steve was anglo, but she did and they continued with the questions, Father’s name, Mother’s name. Mother’s name (as you-all may or may not know) was Manuela. Her grandparents traveled to New mexico about a hundred years ago, heard the name, and fell in love with it. At any rate, when the funeral director got to Mother’s name, and Susan said: “Manuela,” she then had to convince him all over again that Steve was anglo.

    Steve would have loved this. He was always so flattered when he was mistaken for one of “la Raza.”

    Comment by Linda Crosno — August 8, 2006 @ 4:54 pm |Edit This