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Frankie Crocker (1940 - 2000)

Related: New York music - Radio DJ

Frankie Crocker introduced disco to American audiences by plugging the proto-disco "Soul Makossa" (Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa), which he had heard at The Loft.

Radio DJ Frankie Crocker visited both the Loft and Paradise Garage, was friends with David Mancuso and Larry Levan. He broke the music played in these clubs on the air on New York's WBLS-FM, a black station highly attuned to the disco sound.

“We were so close to Frankie Crocker (the programmer at WBLS, a big black station) that we could have had so much publicity out of it,” adds Depino. “But we didn’t. Sure Frankie used to talk about it, but only from a personal viewpoint something fun to do because he actually went himself. And even then Michael Brody used to get so mad about it. He’d be like, ‘Frankie, please don’t talk too much about the club. I don’t want people just coming because they hear about it on the radio.’” --David Depino of Paradise Garage


Frankie Crocker (December 18, 1940, Buffalo, N.Y. - October 21, 2000, North Miami Beach, Fla.) was an famous New York radio DJ. On the air, he sometimes called himself the Chief Rocker, and he was as well known for his boastful on-air patter as for his off-air flamboyance. When Studio 54 was at the height of its popularity, Crocker rode in through the front entrance on a white stallion. In the studio, before he left for the day, Crocker would light a candle and invite female listeners to enjoy a candlelight bath with him. Crocker, a native of Buffalo, coined the phrase "urban contemporary" in the 1970s, a label for the eclectic mix of songs that he played. He was the master of ceremonies of shows at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and was one of the first V.J.'s on VH-1, the video cable channel. He also played host of the TV show "Solid Gold." As an actor, Crocker appeared in five films, including "Cleopatra Jones" and "Darktown Strutters."

He is credited with introducing Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa" to American audiences.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Crocker [Jul 2005]

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