Letter: Fog, frog, whatever

Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2001

OK, in my smart-alecky letter the other day I erroneously referred to Mel Torm as the "Golden Fog." That is a term used by some of his friends and colleagues to describe Robert Redford. At least I put my name to the letter, revealing myself to be (as if anyone who knows doubted it) ill-informed and clueless. Torm was, of course, called the "Velvet Fog." But my anonymous sparring partner from WOM, who insists the guy was called the "Velvet Frog," is either a prankster (which I have rather begun to suspect) or the perfect example of the failure of the feature: i.e., someone can phone in and spout any sort of dang bogus nonsense he-she wants to without having to own it. If anyone cares, they can look this particular matter up. There are at least two Torm recordings available ("California Suite/The Velvet Fog" on Jasmine Records and "The Velvet Fog: Early Hits, 1940-1949" on Living Era Records) and countless articles in various jazz publications about the singer clearly stating his nickname. But what about more serious and damaging anonymous and false allegations made and printed that are not so easy to look up?

And for my friend's information, the "Velvet Frog" was in fact a green stuffed toy my little sister kept on her pillow throughout most of the early 1960s.

Dave Hunsaker


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