Oct 7, 2014

The Jimmy Castor Bunch

As a boy, I saw his name on my close friend’s sister’s Troglodyte 7”. I didn’t know who or what his Bunch was. I knew less of what a Troglodyte was but probably could’ve pronounced it properly, if I dare say so.

If his single It’s Just Begun, or a cover of it, played in either Breakin’ or Beat Street, I heard it but did not know who sang it.

It has taken Jimmy Castor’s death and for me to start writing this post to realize it.

It would take the late 90s/early 2000s for me to put a face to the name Jimmy Castor. Around that time, most of my Montreal crate digging/DJ peers and I were exploring and learning sample sources and I heard the name Jimmy Castor Bunch spoken in many a conversation. It was not until I got my hands on Rhino's The Everything Man CD compilation that I understood the importance of his music and the song It's Just Begun.

Jimmy Castor’s legacy is that he recorded one of hip hop’s most important songs and albums.

He made us dance, laugh and sometimes do both at the same time. From my childhood of not knowing who he was to now blogging about his passing, he was always there where hip hop is concerned.

Jimmy Castor laid the grooves for future generations to groove to and will be missed dearly.

I remember the mythical It’s Just Begun album hanging on the wall of a prominent Montreal record store and metaphorically speaking, I felt it was out of my reach. The price tag was more than I was prepared to pay for any album at the time, especially one that I knew little about other than its legendary status in hip hop history. One day I got the nerve to actually take the record off the shelf and hold it so that I could at least say I got that close to the album and its cuts. Fate was good to me years later when I was able to get my own copy at an inviting price.

For whatever reason, Santana’s early work on his first 3 albums comes to mind when I hear the It’s Just Begun album. I learned from the Rhino records compilation that Castor recorded a great deal of music with Latin rhythms. It would come as no surprise that elements of psychedelic rock, soul, funk and Latin grooves runs deep throughout that album. The album found a home in early 1970s New York at the genesis of the hip hop movement.

The Suite Delight new time slot is Tuesday morning 1-2am EST on www.ckut.ca & 90.3 FM.

If you haven't already, please make yourself familiar with the links below for more of your favorite show and mine.

Below is the 1st Anniversary CKUT episode to bring you up to speed. Click here to download other podcasts.

The Suite Delight 1st Anniversary CKUT Playlist:
1.       The Monkees – Mary, Mary
2.       Harmonica Paul – Motherless Child
3.       Eddie Kendricks – Date With The Rain
4.       Yellow Sunshine – Yellow Sunshine
5.       Magic Disco Machine – Scratchin’
6.       The Incredible Bongo Band – Bongolia
7.       Lack of Afro – P.A.R.T.Y. (Instrumental)
8.       The Jimmy Castor Bunch – Troglodyte
9.       Booker T. & The M.G.s – Lady Madonna
10.   GZA & Ras Kass – Lyrical Swords
11.   RZA & MF Doom – Biochemical Equation
12.   Camp Lo – Luchini
13.   Digable Planets – 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
14.   Danger Mouse & Jemini – Ghetto Pop Life
15.   Hi-Tek – The Sun God
16.   K-os – The Love Song

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