Boomkat Product Review:
One of the most enduring releases on the Folkways label, 'Sounds of North American Frogs' was originally released in 1958, and collects sounds from 57 species of frogs and toads, each couched by Charles M. Bogert's soothing narrative. Remastered from the original tapes, it's an absolute delight that's finally been reissues for the first time in almost 7 decades.
On 'Sounds of North American Frogs', herpetologist Charles M. Bogert demystifies his particular frog chorus by introducing each species and presenting its mating calls and warning croaks. Recorded in the 1950s, it's a flashback to another era (particularly Bogert's clipped accent), but the sounds themselves are expertly captured, showcasing the diverse and uniquer sonic universe these tiny creatures conure.
The Barking Treefrog on its own sounds like an alarm or sonar, but in chorus is more like a conversation between stray dogs under moonlight, and the Green Treefrog is more like a homemade oscillator, retching from a squeak to a ratcheting rasp. When the Red-Spotted Toad mates, it makes a chirp we'd swear was produced by crickets if we didn't know better, while the Fowler's Toad sounds closer to an exotic bird. We can work out just how the Pig Frog might have gotten its name when Bogert presents the sound it bleats out; a pained, sad-eyed squeal. And when the Southern Leopard Frog screams out a warning signal, it's eerily primal and almost monkey-like.
Where else will you hear Florida's Little Grass Frog (an acidic ASMR whirr), the bubbling mating chorus of Mexico's Pátzcuaro Frog and hoarse, sharply-toned rhythm of the Pine Barrens Treefrog? It's a collection of natural expressions that's so eclectic we'd put it against any set of experimental music that passes over our desks each week. Just tune out of the chaos for a moment and slake yr thirst for abstraction with amphibian banter.
"The amphibian song revival begins here! This classic of both biological fieldwork and natural sound recordings, compiled and narrated by renowned herpetologist Charles M. Bogert, was originally released by Folkways in 1958, and presents sounds of 57 species of frogs and toads (remastered from the original tapes) that were recorded in swamps, lakes, woods, creeks, and roadside ditches all over North America. Listen to the bewitching tones of the Pig Frog, Dwarf Mexican Treefrog, Little Green Toad, Southwestern Woodhouse's Toad, Great Basin Spadefoot, and other unsung heroes of the bog creek. In a time when frog and toad populations are in rapid decline, this recording reminds us of the remarkable diversity and beautiful sounds we are in danger of losing."