January 23, 1947 – January 16, 2012
Jimmy Castor was one of the greats of funk. Period. Born in New York City, Castor began his career as a doo wop singer during the mid ’50s. He made his first record in 1956 – the self-penned “I Promise To Remember.” The following year, he replaced Frankie Lymon in the Teenagers. By the mid ’60s, he was playing saxophone on others’ records while making his few of his own that were starting to find an audience on the dance floors of New York City. His first hit came in 1966 with “Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Callin’ You.” In 1972, he formed the Jimmy Castor Bunch who were quickly signed to RCA Records. Later that year, they released It’s Just Begun, which contained the part novelty, but all funk classic, “Troglodyte (Cave Man).” The song quickly lit up radio request lines across the US and is now a must-have for any respectable funk collection. The song hit #6 on the Billboard pop charts and sold over a million copies within weeks. It has since become one of the most heavily sampled songs of the era. The list of those who have borrowed from it include Kool Moe Dee, N.W.A., Neneh Cherry, Lil’ Kim, Ginuwine, the Beastie Boys, Ice Cube, and Christina Aguilera. Castor followed with other hits like “The Bertha Butt Boogie (Part 1)” and “King Kong (Part 1).” During the ’80s, Castor made several more records and ran his own record label. Jimmy Castor was 64 when he passed away in a Nevada hospital on January 16, 2011. Cause of death was not immediately released.