Jimmy Castor, the leader of Jimmy Castor Bunch, died on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the age of 64-years old of cancer in Henderson, Nevada. He’s known best for fun disco/funk saxophonist. He’s famous for his song “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” from 1972.
A saxophonist and percussionist whose bands played a broad range of R&B and dance music, Jimmy Castor was nicknamed “the Everything Man” because he could play instruments, dance, sing and well, pretty do anything with music.
Born in the Bronx on June 23, 1947 and attended High School of Music and Art, Jimmy Castor was one of the early hip-hop and electronic dance artists.
In the song, “Troglodyte” it had a half-spoken lyric and helped pave the way for rap. He used a character in that song, Bertha Butt, which he would return in future years in more of his songs.
In 1956, Jimmy Castor wrote and recorded his first song, “I Promise to Remember”. Then in 1957 he replaced Frankie Lymon in the The Teenagers. Jimmy Castor started to play saxophone in 1960.
Jimmy Castor’s first chart maker with Smash Records was in 1966 with his song “Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Callin’ You” that told the story of his mama calling. He then formed The Jimmy Castor Bunch in 1970 with the peak of their careers in 1972 with the release of the album, It’s Just Begun. “It’s Just Begun” was featured in the breakdance battle scene in Flashdance in 1983.
Jimmy Castor helped shape hip-hop stars today. Reported by LATimesBlog, “Those who used Castor’s music, to name but a few, include: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Eric B and Rakim, N.W.A., Big Daddy Kane, Jungle Bros. (the piano riff in “J Beez Comin’ Through”), Beastie Boys (“Hold It, Now Hit It” features a sample of Castor screaming, “Yo, Leroy!”). Castor’s “The Bertha Butt Boogie,” a kinda-sorta sequel to “Troglodyte,” makes an appearance in Ice Cube’s track “Friday.” And Kanye West understood Castor’s allure, using the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s version of “I Just Wanna Stop” to build his early track “We Don’t Care.”
Flashdance – It’s just begun by Jimmy Castor Bunch: