The disco craze was responsible for many, many heinous hits and easily some of the worst (and often most tenuous) novelties imaginable. But if you thought Disco Duck by Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots was about as stupid as it could get, you obviously haven't met Freddy, the Disco Frog.
I first discovered this terrible record at the essential Music for Maniacs blog, courtesy of occasional WWR contributor Windbag. Its utter appallingness aside, what’s really fascinating about this release is the man behind it: Major Bill Smith.
Even if you don’t recognise the name, I’ll guarantee you’ve rubbed musical shoulders with Major Bill Smith. The Fort Worth-based Major enjoyed a fair bit of success as a record producer early in his career, with huge international hits for Bruce Channel and Paul And Paula as well as the early teenage car-crash biggie Last Kiss. He also had dealings with the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, grabbing a producer and publisher credit on Paralyzed and reportedly absconding with the tapes for Ledge’s first full-length album. In the 1980's the cut-price Colonel Parker was also claiming to be the manager of Elvis Presley, releasing records (and even a telephone interview) which, he claimed, were recorded long after the King had apparently left this world for the big burger bar in the sky. He also issued, under his own name, Cry Of An Unborn Child, a sub-Lil’ Markie slice of in utero schmaltz which may well appear here at a later date.
But back to today’s record. Written and performed by Major Bill Smith with Zane and Hogan, the terrible Freddy, the Disco Frog was issued on Smith’s own Le Cam label around 1978, as the B-Side to Elvis tribute Requiem to the King. After a long and colourful career in music Smith passed away, at the age of 72, on September 12, 1994.