• The Castells

    Original recording group (Top left, clockwise): Ussery, Hicks, Girard, Kelly.

    The Castells (Santa Rosa, California)


    Personnel :

    Chuck Girard

    Tom Hicks

    Bob Ussery

    Joe Kelly

    Discography :

    1961 - Little Sad Eyes / Romeo (Era 3038)
    1961 - Sacred / I Get Dreamy (Era 3048)
    1961 - My Miracle / Make Believe Wedding (Era 3057)
    1961 - The Vision Of You / Stiki De Boom Boom (Era 3064)
    1962 - So This Is Love / On The Streets Of Tears (Era 3073)
    1962 - Oh, What It Seemed To Be / Stand There, Mountain (Era 3083)
    1962 - Echoes In The Night / The Only One (Era 3089)
    1962 - lown Prince / Eternal Spring, Eternal Love (Era 3098)
    1963 - Little Sad Eyes / Initials (Era 3102)
    1963 - Some Enchanted Evening / What Do Little Girls Dream Of (Era 3107)
    1964 - I do / Teardrops (Warner Bros 5421)
    1964 - Could this be you / Shinny Up your own side (Warner Bros 5445)
    1964 - Love finds a way / Tell her if i could (Warner Bros 5486)
    1965 - An angel cried / just walk away (Decca 31834)
    1966 - Life goes on / I thought you'd like that (Decca 31967)
    1968 - I'd Like To Know / Rocky Ridges (Laurie 3444)
    1968 - Some enchanted evening / jerusalem (UA 50324)
    1968 - Two lovers / jerusalem (UA 50324)
    1967 - In a letter to me / We better slow down (Solomon 1351)

    Lps :
    1962 - The Castells "So This Is Love" (Era ES 109)
    So This is Love / I Get Dreamy / Some Enchanted Evening / The Vision of You / Stiki De Boom Boom / Make Believe Wedding /  Oh! What It Seemed to Be / Sacred / Stand There Mountain / Little Sad Eyes / Clown Prince / Dancing in the Dark


    Biography :

    The Castells (no relation to the Philadelphia CASTELLES) were a white pop trio formed in Santa Rosa, California, during the late fall of 1958 . The threesome members were Chuck Girard, Tom Hicks, and Joe Kelly. In early 1959 Bob Ussery joined and the group played the usual local gigs until they met mentor and disc jockey Dan Dillon, who whisked a demo of theirs to Era Records' Herb Newman in Los Angeles.

    Ed Sullivan Show

    Their first single for this HILLTOPPERS/CREWCUTS- styled quartet was"Romeo," which prompted Billboard's reviewer of January 30, 1961, to comment, " Pleasant teen appeal ditty is wrapped up in melodic vocal by lead singer and group." Local airplay lifted the cut only to number 101 on Billboard's Bubbling Under in February 1961, so the Castells tried again with "Sacred" in April, a beautiful full- harmonied tune with Chuck Girard's soft-as-butter lead vocal and a sticks-on-bamboo rhythm right out of Ernie Kovacs's Nairobi Trio.

                                                                          With Roy Orbison

    The cha- cha rhythmed pop pleaser shot to number 20 nationally by the summer of 1961. A hit is no guarantee of the next single's success, however, and the Castells' next 45, "Make Believe Wedding," reached only number 98; it had a nice semi-ballad arrangement and satisfying vocals, but the song was weak. The group did not write and were dependent on the label for material.  After one more failure, "Vision of You," they came upon a dreamy Steve Howard rhythm ballad right out of the 1955 FOUR COINS- FOUR LADS bag called "So This Is Love." It charted on April 14, 1962, finishing one notch shy (#21) of "Sacred" on the national hit list.

    Their last charter was a remake of the Frank Sinatra number one hit from 1946, "Oh What It Seemed to Be," which floated to number 91 in August and sank soon after. Their next single, "Echoes in the Night," had a chime intro and a musical feel that was possibly borrowed three months later for THE EMOTIONS' hit "Echo." The Castells' B side was a castanets -filled, Spanish- guitar-laden, up-tempo 45 called "Only One," which was arranged by Jack Nitzsche about the same time he became Phil Spector's arranger for "Zippity-Doo-Dah."

    With Jan & Dean

    This new Castells direction didn't impress radio, so in June 1963 Era retreated, reissuing their first single's B side "Little Sad Eyes." A reviewer in Billboard wrote, "The smooth-sounding group with the harmony touch has another neat ballad effort here. It's a fender side and it gets a meaningful performance. Watch it".

    Castells live (Van Krugel,Girard,Kelly,Hicks)

    The Castells did but it went nowhere. By early 1964 the quartet was on Warner Bros. Records with an exciting Brian Wilson arranged, written, and produced single titled "I Do." Its melody was note-for-note the same as THE BEACH BOYS' 1962 "County Fair," but with a "Spectorized" production, Brian created something like a male RONETTES record out of "I Do." With the cut playing in both the East and West, Warner Bros, must have truly dropped the ball to let this one get away.


    When their solid rendering of THE DUBS' 1957 classic "Could This Be Magic" failed in 1964 to get label support the Castells were doomed to travel the desert of record deals, coming upon the occasional oases of Decca, Laurie, and United Artists but with no further success. They disbanded around 1964. Member Chuck Girard later joined the surf rock group The Hondells, and in the 1970s became a popular and pioneering CCM artist

    Jay Warner (The Billboard book of American singing groups: a history, 1940-1990)

    Songs :

    Teardrops                            Stiki De Boom Boom             Could This Be Magic

    So This Is Love                        Sacred                             I Get Dreamy

    Little Sad Eyes                     Echoes In The Night                An Angel Cried

        I Do                Love Finds A Way           What Do Little Girls Dream Of


  • Comments

    No comments yet

    Suivre le flux RSS des commentaires

    Add comment

    Name / User name:

    E-mail (optional):

    Website (optional):