Legendary Musician Jimmy Castor has died
We’re sad to say that Jimmy Castor, saxophonist, singer, and the band leader of the Jimmy Castor Bunch, passed away on Monday January 16th in Las Vegas at age 71. Raised in Harlem NYC, Castor started writing songs in the 1950s when he sang doo-wop songs like “I Promise to Remember” which became a hit when it was covered by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Jimmy Castor went on to create songs with the Jimmy Castor Bunch in the ’60s and ’70s with hits like “Troglodyte (Cave Man),” “The Bertha Butt Boogie” and “It’s Just Begun.”
Jimmy Castor has been sampled multiple times by popular Hip-Hop artists. The influence of the song “It’s Just Begun” on Hip Hop culture can not be overstated, and for me and many others out there this song played an essential role in the birth of Hip-Hop culture.
Let me set the scene. It’s the 1970s on a hot summer day, and I’m calling the fellas in my crew to see who’s jammin’ in a park somewhere tonight. You know it’s going down somewhere, usually in a park or the b-ball courts, or in a community center anywhere from 96th street on up. Maybe a spot in El Barrio or upper Harlem, or in the boogie down Bronx, NYC. This is before Rap was on record, it was raw, it came from the street and you felt it when you arrived at the jam and saw the DJ spinnin’, the MC rappin’, the b-boys breakin’, and the Graffiti artists creating a masterpiece on the paddle ball court walls. Out of nowhere Jimmy Castor‘s sax would bring everyone to attention with that one-of-a-kind intro to “It’s Just Begun” that lead into one of the baddest breakdowns in recording history.
This is when Hip-Hop first began, the real Hip-hop, before we saw corporate media trying to jack the term “Hip-Hop”, and now have you watching crap like VH1’s “Love & Hip-hop.” Please!
Watch this video for the living proof!