Jimmy Castor, a New York-born musician known as “The Everything Man” because of his ability to write, produce, perform and transcend music genres from Doo Wop to Hip Hop, died Jan. 17 of apparent heart failure in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 71 years old.
Castor began his music career as a Doo Wop singer in 1956. The following year he replaced Frankie Lymon in the group the Teenagers and wrote and recorded a song the group sang called “I Promise to Remember.” It would be his first million-selling single.
In 1960, the versatile performer switched to saxophone. He also formed his own band and wrote the million-selling hit “Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Callin’ You” for Smash Records in 1966.
Continuing to make music, he formed the Jimmy Castor Bunch in 1972, signed with RCA Records and hit it big again with the release of the album “It’s Just Begun” the same year he formed the band.
Two singles from the album–the title track and “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” hit the charts.
“Troglodyte” rose to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the boards for 14 weeks. It sold a million copies. Both of these tracks have been heavily sampled in movies and Hip Hop music.
But Castor wasn’t finished. In 1975, his album “Butt of Course” feature the singles “The Bertha Butt Boogie,” and “Potential.” “E-Man Boogie,” from the same disc was a disco tune that was ranked at No. 10 on Billboard’s annual disco poll.
Just before his death in Henderson, Nev., Castor had booked dates for a European tour, according to his son, Redondo Beach filmmaker Jimmy Castor Jr.
He is survived by his wife Sandi and son.