Frank TL Frogg
Born in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, Frank TL Frogg (the “T” of course stands for “The” and the “L” stands for “ Lucky”) was born an only tadpole into a musical family. His father, Jeremiah, who fronted a Three Dog Night cover band called “The Bullfrogs,” sadly lost his legs in a freak accident while swimming home from what turned out to be his final gig. Frank vowed that he would carry on his father’s musical “legacy,” and became a Summa Croak Loudly graduate of the School of Rockfish and a Toad Scholar.
Even as a young frog Frank always had a way with words and loved writing songs. He dreamed of becoming a hit songwriter in Nashville and danged if it didn’t happen in a big way– a way he least expected. Trying to find his way to Music Row, Frank was crossing Highway 96 when he was almost run over by a tour bus, but he managed to hop onto the rear axle. Crazy as it was, that bus just happened to belong to Reba McEntire, one of Frank’s idols. It turns out that Reba, instead of heading to Nashville, had a gig that night at the famous Waterhole Bar in Ashland City. Frank found himself watching the show perched on a bar stool where he met the bartender, the Captain, his soon-to-be lifelong friend.
The Waterhole became his regular haunt and he spent many a night there drinking and singing his songs and one night met the love of his life, Sally Mander. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned with Sally, and Frank was lucky to have the Captain to lean on. The Captain cheered him up with jokes, but one particular joke hit a little too close to home,because the punchline punched him in the heart, and Frank couldn’t get those words out of this mind.
The very next morning, Frank was sunning himself on a log on the banks of the Cumberland, with those words still rolling around in his head, when he noticed a guy sittin’ on the other end playin’ a guitar. Bein’ the friendly frog he was he said, “Hi my name’s Frank. I like the music you’re playin’. Are you a songwriter?” The fellow seemed a little startled at first and said “I’ve never had a conversation with a frog before, but yes I am.” Frank said “Well you and me got a lot in common ‘cause I’m a songwriter too and I’ve got a really good idea if you’d like to write it with me.” Well, the rest is history ‘cause they did write that song and that fellow recorded it and put it out on the radio. “The Frog Song,” as it was aptly called, became a #1 hit on the country charts and stayed there for weeks. Frank made a boatload money, bought the Waterhole Bar, and because his friend the Captain had given him the idea for the song, he gave him half of it.
It’s rumored that some of Frank’s lesser-known songs, written well before his Frog Song hit, inspired other famous writers…for instance, some say Frank’s “Upstream Girl” inspired Billy Joel, and his “Hey Newt Get off of My Pad” inspired the Rolling Stones. But who knows for sure..