Got The Fever

Friday, August 18, 2006

Jimmy Castor - Singer - Songwriter - Performer

I was known, back in the day, as the one who would bring his own albums to parties. I’d be polite and acknowledge everyone who stood in the path that led from the front door to the stereo system – shaking hands, laughing, kissing on the cheek, catching up and accepting drinks. I’d continually slither towards, and finally block, the front of the phonograph, scan what was playing, make a quick mental decision of what I’d place next, and when a track on the playing album had stared to fade, before the next track could start, I’d replace it with one of my platters without nary a quake in pause.

Obviously, it was all fluid motion – as the song was ending (prematurely, most likely) I’d lift and move the needle over, remove the platter and place it on top of its inner sleeve, slide my platter out of its inner sleeve and onto the turntable, start the turntable and wipe the album at the same time, drop the needle spot-perfect(!) before the cut I chose and turn up the volume simultaneously!

Anyone who is a DJ reading this will know precisely what I mean. They also feel the cluttering jolt of expectancy while scanning the crowd knowing that they think they are about to hear the next cut on the album that was playing just a moment ago. A great rush that always makes you want to top yourself with the next selection.

E-ManSuch was the case with me at endless parties and Jimmy Caster, otherwise known as the ‘E-Man’. Standing for ‘The Everything Man’ because Jimmy was greedy, and when in line for talent, took more than his share of talent than God had originally allotted him.

Good for you E-Man.

Anyone know he replaced Frankie Lymon in the Teenagers? Truth by AllMusic. And that he started as a Doo-Wop singer penning “I Promise To Remember” for Wing With The Juniors? Like I said - more talent than God allotted him.

Evidence One: Troglodyte
Just as the title suggests, this is primordial stew here. Thick with bass, sticky with funk and unforgettable as pride - this is relentless, and has a “slappin’ off-side o’ yo head” beat.

Tell me – which nut, or ovary, would you have given to be there live – your jaw dropping in awe at the E-Man and his minion’s performance? Either or, right?

A “quotational” sampling of some of his undulating, guttural utterings (listen for them, follow along and adapt accordingly):

Dance – dance

Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman

Come ‘ere, come ‘ere

Move – move

Her name was Bertha. Bertha Butt. S’was one of da Butt sisters.

Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me

When she said “I’ll sock it to you daddy!”
He said, ”Right on, right on”

If this hasn’t got you lurching and twitching yourself into an animalistic frothy foam from the intoxicating, palpating effects of this groove I suggest your infected with neurotoxins.

Evidence Two: It’s Just Begun
You’ve got green ooze flowing from your ears, lush moss on your back and footprints on your ass if you haven’t heard “It’s Just Begun“. It’s been sampled by everyone from The Spice Girls to Marky Mark to 2 Live Crew to Salt n” Pepper. Bow your head, proper respects here.

However, I challenge you to laze back and dreamily wonder, “Where would they be if they had to write their own”? No disrespect, just talking directly to the master here.

Dig deeply on the cut though. There’s mucho serious reason to sample. A rushing, coming for your face, undeniable force of funk targeting you right through the speakers. Comfortably replete with cowbell, thundering bass, chant-along's and a sax that sounds like it was inspired by Gabriel himself. Insuring it isn’t a fluke, is the tearing, fuzz-drenched, surgically precise, postulating guitar at 2:17 that assures us solemnly that no, we are no longer in Kansas here. Only deep Funk City spoken here, thank you very much.

album - Its Just Begun
Jimmy had a lot of other tracks that I could have included, other than the spotlighted two of my all-time. They include 'The Bertha Butt Boogie', 'Hey Leroy' and 'King Kong'. All with 'must-have to own' status. You can take a look at his web site and see that he’s still up to the challenge today.

So, at the next party you’re at – slip one of these cuts unexpectedly into the mix and take credit for really getting the crowd juiced.

The Jimmy Castor Bunch:
Troglodyte and It’s Just Begun
From: It’s Just Begun [1970]


  • Hey, another Jimmy Castor Bunch fan! You don't hear much about this group these days, but you could always count on them to come up with some kind of "fun-funky" song. I can't remember which album it was on but I recall JCB doing a "tribute" to Jimmy Hendrix where he combined Foxy Lady and Purple Haze. I always liked that cut. Of course you realize that now I'm gonna go digging through my collection (2500+ pieces of vinyl) to find my JCB albums!

    By Anonymous tgrundy, at 9:25 AM  

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