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Jimmy Castor Live in Las Vegas

Jimmy Castor Live in Las Vegas

Jimmy Castor appeared at an out-of-the-way local bar in west side of Las Vegas this past weekend complete with a horn section and backup singers. For those of you who don’t know who this man is he is a songwriter, singer, saxophonist, percussionist, producer, arranger, etc and is known as The E-Man, “The Everything Man.”

Jimmy Castor, who grew up in Harlem, wrote his first million seller for Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers called, “I Promise To Remember,” while still in junior high school. He later put together his own band and then wrote his second million seller, “Hey Leroy Your Mama’s Calling You,” on the legendary label, Mercury Records in 1966.

“Troglodyte (the cave man)” and “Luther the Anthropoid,” were hits and a title cut from the “It’s Just Begun” album was featured in the movie “Flashdance.” His album “Butt of Course,” featured the infamous “The Bertha Butt Boogie” that everyone sang in jest whenever a woman of substance walked by for many years after. And from the same record, there was also the disco hit “E-Man Boogie.” His song “Space Age” blazed a trail of jazz fusion into the era of disco and will be long remembered. His songs have been sampled by many in contemporary pop music today. Christine Aguilera, Ice Cube, The Beastie Boys, and many others have used his tracks in their music, an outstanding tribute to this man’s writing skills and their subsequent longevity.

The great thing about Las Vegas is the outstandingly talented people that not only live here, but visit and make appearances all over this town, just to have fun and join with old friends. Los Angeles may have a bit of that, and New York’s Harlem days are all but gone, so it is truly a special place at times to be able to hear and see legends of the entertainment business.

He seems ageless while performing his hits and the energy he exudes is carefully paced-but plentiful to carry the load of yesteryear for the audience’s enjoyment as much as his own. His perfectly centered pitch on the saxes is precise and his delivery that of a man many years younger than his age. The entire show was peppered with his yore of goodtimes and his interactions with Sammy Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Frankie Lymon and lesser celebrities along with the origin of Bertha Butt (and the Butt Sisters). He’s funny and charming and the 90 minute show was well worth the jaunt to Sonny’s Tavern, a “mobbishly yesteryear” decorated speakeasy, outside of town. Mariano Longo, a longtime Vegas very fine bandleader, pianist/keyboardist, guitarist, arranger, and all-around musician convinced Mr. Castor to “reinvent himself” and recreate for a new generation the glory days of a time long past but instrumental (pardon the pun) in our pop musical history. To take a line from a television series that debuted in 1966, “Live long and (keep) prospering” Jimmy. You still have what it takes.