45 RPM Records

Clarence “Frogman” Henry – Troubles, Troubles (1956)

Clarence "Frogman" Henry – Troubles, Troubles

So, you think you’ve got troubles? Just listen to the “Frogman” go on about “da rent man” and his wife and such and you will quickly shut yer mouth and start shakin’ yer rump. It was the A-side that quickly became the B-side after Ain’t Got A Home stole the spotlight via that darn, career-defining, novelty frog voice. Just as Gary Anderson forever carried his moniker after those early “U.S. Bonds” releases (a scheme cooked up by Legend Records label owner Frank Guida) Clarence Henry was never able–nor do I think he ever tried–to shake the “Frogman” nickname after the success of that single. I’ve got a small stack of 45s by Henry–all pre-Frogman era–that certainly demonstrate his capabilities and personality. But, a hit is a hit and, in the pre-web/iTunes/MySpace world of 1956, any way to make it onto the radio was a good bet. Well, that story has already been written a number of times, so let’s get back to the featured track, Troubles, Troubles.

I love a song that starts with a solo vocal line and Henry’s first two words here set the burning tempo that doesn’t quit until the finish a mere two minutes later. I couldn’t find any info on which session players were backing him up on this recording, but one can only imagine by the thumping kick drum and bouncing horns that it may have been laid down in New Orleans rather than Chicago (home of Chess/Argo).