Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everything Man

You know that James Walter Castor died Jan 16 in Henderson, Nevada, a few days short of his 72 birthday. As Jimmy Castor, he made some deliriously fun disco-fried funk and soul during his 1970s heyday as the leader of The Jimmy Castor Bunch.

The New York Times obit tells his story well.

We'll share this story from our publisher, S.L. Kreighton:

"When I was just three, one of my sisters was a teen and super-hip to whatever the cool sounds were. She and her friend Suzy would spin 45s in her room and those of us smart enough to hang around or press an ear to the door got an early childhood education in '70s dance music.

"One of the singles they played that caught my ear was "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch. I was three, but this man with his funny voices and groovy music spoke to me. He said the word "butt" in a song!

"Somehow, that single made it into the family collection -- otherwise populated by Mancini, Beatles, Monkees and a few other choice mid-century cuts. For years to come I played that single and delighted in a ribald tale I only half-understood. It shaped my music tastes for the better."

To this day, Kreighton uses the 2002 Castor Bunch hits collection 16 Slabs of Funk to lift his spirits and filter candidates for Typing Monkey internships.

Castor had a successful career prior to his '70s heyday, but those years as the leader of the Bunch are a great way for the man to be remembered. And we have an excuse to post these two album covers:

The cartoon on the left, sure. But dig three (3!) man-purses satchels in that promo pic on 16 Slabs. That's confidence!