The Cascades were born in 1960 aboard the U.S.S. Jason AR-8; a ship home-ported in San Diego and when overseas, in
Sasebo, Japan. This group, then known to many of the servicemen and the local inhabitants as The Silver Strands were
playing at local venues all around town. Their friend, John Gummoe, also aboard the Jason was their biggest fan and
soon began acting as their manager. John had the band playing 5 nights a week before long and had also been working
up some duets with Dave Wilson which the group eventually had David and John do on stage as part of their performance.
This was the beginning of a group which would soon go on to be The Cascades and they would eventually have the third
largest selling record in the world in 1963.
The group soon changed it's name to The Thundernotes and Len Green wrote a song called "Thunder Rhythm" which turned
out to be the groups first record release for Bob Keene's Del-Fi Records. This was an instrumental song and on the
flip side was a song called "Pay Day" which was also penned by Len Green. This first venture was not successful, but
whetted the groups' appetite to do more. At this point, the group was becoming more and more vocally oriented and singing
was taking over the direction of the group. At this point, Art Eastlick left the group and Dave Stevens joined the group
playing bass and another guitarist was added, Mr. Eddy Snyder. So we now had Len and Eddy on guitar, Dave Stevens on bass,
John Gummoe on vocals and percussion and keyboards, Dave Wilson on drums and the dynamic David Szabo on vocals and keyboards.
Just prior to signing with Valiant Records though, Len Green left the group to persue other avenues. Len loved country music
and eventually went on to be a staff writer with Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville and was once nominated for a CMA award, but his
web site speaks well for him so after visiting here, go and learn more about this talented man.
In our pursuit of a recording career, we had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Don Blocker at Liberty Records. Don told us about
a young man in San Diego who taught guitar, but he was looking for a talented group to manage and Don suggested we look him up as
he lived in San Diego. His name was Andy Di Martino and shortly after performing for Andy and playing him an audition tape with
many of our original tunes , Andy found us a home in Hollywood. This turned out to be Valiant Records, a subsidiary of Warner
Bros. run by the very talented Barry De Vorzon and Billy Sherman.
Barry De Vorzon had already had great success in the music business as a composer penning "Dreamin" for the late, great,
Johnny Burnette and on Valiant had had a hit with the lovely Shelby Flint and her great composition, "Angel on My Shoulder".
Valiant also had some great writing talent; among them Body Chandler and Perry Botkin, plus Barry and they were soon to write some
great songs for The Cascades to go along with tunes that the group brought to the label.
came our first single; a song written by John Gummoe called "There's a Reason". Released in the summer of 1962, it was
only a regional hit on the west coast, but served to introduce the radio stations to the sound of The Cascades. This first record
on Valiant paved the way for the release of "Rhythm of the Rain" in November 1962. Early in 1963, the record had a regional
break-out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and quickly began to pick up steam across the nation. It hit the Billboard charts at #80 with a
bullet and jumped 20 points at a time until it rested comfortably in the top ten. It went to #2; kept out of the magic #1 spot by
"Walk Like a Man" by Franki Valli and The Four Seasons. But before too long, "Rhythm of the Rain" was showing up on
charts all across the world and in many of these other countries, we DID go to #1. The group was already working on an LP at Gold
Star Studios in Hollywood with engineer Stan Ross, who was the technical know-how behind the famous Phil Spector "wall of sound" and
engineer to many of the major artists of the time including Sony and Cher and The Rightious Brothers and most of the Spector stable of
Click here to listen to the original "Rhythm of the Rain"
The groups next single was the incredibly lovely song, "The Last Leaf" with "Shy Girl" on the flip side. Both sides of
this record did well for the group, but never came close to measuring up to "Rhythm of the Rain". The group stayed together
until about 1975 and Dave Wilson and Eddy Snyder were still a part of the group when it disbanded. Eddy continues to tour the west
as Eddy Preston doing a "one man band" show in many popular resorts. David Wilson, the original drummer lives in the north-west U.S.
with his lovely wife, Terri. John Gummoe lives in southern California and continues to compose and record in his own home studio. He
has just completed a dance mix of "Rhythm of the Rain" produced by Christian "B" of KISS radio in Los Angeles and in 1999,
Taragon Records released a great compilation CD with many of The Cascades best efforts, including several remixed versions of songs done
for RCA Victor that were never released. This CD is entitled, "The Very Best of The Cascades" with liner notes done by John
Gummoe and it just so happens to be available at this web site.