On a recent Language Log posting Vocal fry: "creeping in" or "still here"?, Mark Liberman discusses an (also) recent article about the phenomenon of 'vocal fry' and shows how it has been around for quite awhile in the US (lots of references in that blog post).
I personally had never heard of this term, have never heard anybody talk about this phenomenon, have never heard anybody talk in the described manner, and frankly can't hear anything special in those utterances even where pointed out.
But my sound-blindness is not the issue. What I'd like to know is where the term 'vocal fry' comes from. Who coined it or where did people start using it? Presumably it is metaphorical (a 'frying' sound?). The blog posting doesn't address that, and wading through the references hasn't turned up anything yet.