Jimmy Castor

James Walter Castor (January 23, 1940[n1] – January 16, 2012) was an American funk, R&B, and soul musician. A multi-instrumentalist, he is credited with vocals, saxophone and composition. He is best known for songs such as "It's Just Begun", "Bertha Butt Boogie", and the biggest hit single, million-seller "Troglodyte (Cave Man)."[1]

Jimmy Castor
Castor in 1972.
Castor in 1972.
Background information
Birth nameJames Walter Castor
Born(1940-01-23)January 23, 1940[n1]
Manhattan, New York
DiedJanuary 16, 2012(2012-01-16) (aged 71)
Henderson, Nevada
GenresSoul, R&B, funk
InstrumentsSaxophone, Percussion
Associated actsThe Teenagers
The Jimmy Castor Bunch


Early life and careerEdit

Castor was born on January 23, 1940, Early in his career he was a member of the famous doo-wop group The Teenagers. Later he created Jimmy and the Juniors.[2] In late 1966 he released "Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You". As solo artist and leader of The Jimmy Castor Bunch (TJCB) in the 1970s, Castor released several successful albums and singles. TJCB peaked their commercial success in 1972 upon the release of their album, It's Just Begun, which featured two hit singles: the title track and "Troglodyte (Cave Man)", the latter of which became quite popular in the US, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track stayed on the chart for 14 weeks and on June 30, 1972, received a gold disc award from the RIAA for sales of a million copies.[1] Castor released "It's Just Begun" in 1972. In 1973, he recorded a soprano saxophone instrumental cover of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" written by Gary Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher (from Procol Harum), on a tune inspired by J.S.Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 BWV1068 in his "Air on the G string”. Africa Bambaataa said that "It's Just Begun" was very popular at South Bronx block parties in the 1970s. Later popular songs included "Bertha Butt Boogie", "Potential", "King Kong" and "A Groove Will Make You Move" in 1975 and 1976.

The Jimmy Castor Bunch included keyboardist/trumpeter Gerry Thomas, bassist Doug Gibson, guitarist Harry Jensen, conga player Lenny Fridle, Jr., and drummer Bobby Manigault.[1] Thomas also recorded with the Fatback Band, leaving TJCB in the 1980s to exclusively record with them.


He died from heart failure on January 16, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada, only a week short of his 72nd birthday.[3]


Many of the group's tunes have been heavily sampled in films and in hip-hop. In particular, the saxophone hook and groove from the title track of It's Just Begun. For example Ice-T sampled the track for the title track of his 1988 album Power.[4] Also, heavy sampled is the spoken word intro and groove from Troglodyte (Cave Man) (namely, "What we're gonna do right here is go back..." and "Gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman"). Industrial hip hop group Tackhead covered the song "Just Begun" for the digital release of their album For the Love of Money.[5]



  • Hey Leroy (1967) (Smash)
  • It's Just Begun (1972) (RCA)
  • Phase 2 (1972) (RCA)
  • Dimension 3 (1973) (RCA)
  • The Jimmy Castor Bunch featuring The Everything Man (1974) (Atlantic)
  • Butt of Course... (1975) (Atlantic)
  • Supersound (1975) (Atlantic)
  • E-Man Groovin' (1976) (Atlantic)
  • Maximum Stimulation (1977) (Atlantic)
  • Let It Out (1978) (Drive/TK Records)
  • The Jimmy Castor Bunch (1979) (Cotillion/Atlantic)
  • I Love Monsters (1979)
  • C (1980) (Long Distance)
  • The Return of Leroy (1983) (Dream)
  • The Everything Man-The Best of The Jimmy Castor Bunch (1995) (Rhino)

Chart singlesEdit

Note: All credited to The Jimmy Castor Bunch unless otherwise stated.

Year Single Chart Positions
US Pop[6] US
1966 "Hey, Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You"
Jimmy Castor
31 16
1972 "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" 6 4 13
"Luther the Anthropoid (Ape Man)" 105
1973 "A whiter shade of pale"
1975 "Soul Serenade" 72
"The Bertha Butt Boogie (pt.1)" 16 22
"Potential" 25
"King Kong – Part 1" 69 23
1976 "Supersound" 42
"Bom Bom" 97
"Everything Is Beautiful To Me" 67
1977 "Space Age" 101 28
"I Love a Mellow Groove" 108
1978 "Maximum Stimulation" 82
1979 "Don't Do That!" 50
1980 "Can't Help Falling in Love With You"
Jimmy Castor
1984 "Amazon"
Jimmy Castor
1985 "It Gets To Me"
Jimmy Castor
1988 "Love Makes A Woman"
Joyce Sims feat. Jimmy Castor


  • ^[n1] Note: Some other sources give different years of birth, between 1943 and 1947, though an obituary from The New York Times states: "James Walter Castor was born on January 23, 1940, in Manhattan. (His son said that for years he had let others assume he was far younger than he was, by as much as seven years.)"[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 309. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Tim Cashmere. "Music News – Funk Icon Jimmy Castor Dies at 64 | News | Music News". Noise11. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "Ice-T's 'Power' - Discover the Sample Source". WhoSampled. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "Discography: For the Love of Money". tackhead.com. 2004. Archived from the original on September 19, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 115. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–1995. Record Research. p. 69.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 58. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ Martin, Douglas (January 12, 2012). "Jimmy Castor, musician who mastered many genres dies at 71". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  10. ^ McArdle, Terence (January 19, 2012). "Jimmy Castor dead at 71; '70s songs became popular among sampling hip-hop artists". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2012.

External linksEdit