When the Beach Boys' entire back catalog was being released on CD and "Karate" (aka "Stomp") showed up on a few of them, I couldn't understand why these other three amazing instrumentals were being ignored. Then I found a revealing clue:
I knew "Underwater" must have had some kind of a cult following, since it's heard on the soundtrack to the John Water's film Female Trouble after the Dawn Davenport wedding sequence.
So with the advent of Facebook, I started a Frogmen fan page, hoping that I would connect with some fans of this obscure group and maybe get some more tracks. What I didn't anticipate was that the drummer of the group, Mike Anderson, would contact me and provide me with information and photos of the band.
Later, guitarist Jim Young also joined and gave me more info. Basically they were a high school band that recorded a few singles and then disbanded shortly after. Mystery solved. They were quite popular after "Underwater" became a hit and even appeared on Wink Martindale's Show in 1961:
It really is a shame that the group didn't stay together longer and record a full length album. They were a great surf rock band (especially for high school kids), and had a truly original sound. Jim Young seemed shocked that I even had a copy of "Seahorse Flats" which he claimed was never officially released. Thank God for bootlegs! Later on I came across a mystery 45, "Sea Haunt/Diamond Black" by the Frogmen:
Could it be their long lost single? Both Mike Anderson and Jim Young assured me that this was a different group with the same name. The b-side to "Underwater" contains a song called "The Mad Rush" which is a weird little waltz number credited to the Frogmen, but recorded by another band as well. I also found a 45 at an auction entitled "Hop-Toad" by Don Costa with the Frogmen, and this jazz influenced single released in 1955 also has no relation to the group. So, after two decades of searching for clues, the mystery of the Frogmen comes to an end. Although they only recorded four songs in their short musical career, they're four PERFECT songs...
1961 : Underwater / The Mad Rush
- Candix 314 / Astra 1009 - Simple
1961 : Beware Below / Tioga
- Candix 326 / Astra 1010 - Simple
(Beware Below, Tioga)
1961 : Seahorse Flats / Tioga
- Scott 101 - Simple
(Seahorse Flats, Tioga)
1961 : Underwater / Beware Below
- Scott 102 - Simple
(Underwater, Beware Below)
Unofficial Frogmen 45's:
1955 : Hop-Toad/Prince of Wails
-Essex 387 (Don Costa with the Frogmen)
(Hop-Toad, Prince of Wails)
1964 : Sea Haunt / Diamond Black
- Tee Jay 131 - Simple