The Captain, real name Buster E. Lee, was born on a ranch in eastern Wyoming and became a bull ridin’ star by the time he was sixteen. A direct descendent of Robert E Lee, the military was in his DNA, so he joined the Marines right out of high school. He earned the nickname Captain Crunch while commanding a gun boat during the Vietnam War and surviving over forty firefights. He’d always yell “boys It’s crunch time” before they went into battle. He received a purple heart and the medal of honor for bravery for his service.
When he got back to the states, he found that his wife had left him and he couldn’t find anybody interested in hiring a Vietnam vet. So he decided he’d follow a dream he’d had since he was a kid of writing songs. Few people knew about it ‘cause he was a man of few words except when it came to writing down his thoughts. So with an old guitar and a pocket full of livin’ he moved to Nashville. Nashville was a tough town but he figured somehow he could make it ‘cause nothin’ could be harder than ridin’ bulls, losin’ the woman you love, and gettin’ shot at.
When he got there, it was hard making a living as a songwriter, so he got a job as a bartender at the Waterhole Bar. Needless to say, he was pretty down. But then his whole world changed when he befriended a young songwriting frog who frequented the Waterhole Bar. Frank T. L. Frogg sat at his bar night after night crying in his beer after the love of his life left him for a hornswogglin’ manager named Horny Toad. The Captain listened and commisserated and one night joked “Frank, you used to be a prince…..now you’re just a frog. Ha ha..” Frank felt a punch but had to laugh….and he couldn’t get those words out of his head…
And the rest is history…
Soldiers under his command still insist today that the Captain was the inspiration for the popular Quaker Oats cereal mascot that was introduced in 1963, coincidentally (or not) not long after the Captain had acquired his nickname. Numerous letters of inquiry written to the company by the family remain unreturned.