Then Now & Forever
The Casuals were born accidently one spring evening in 1965. Ejected from a house party in Northwest, DC, Skip and his fellow over imbibers sought solace under the proverbial street lamp. A passing car, blasting Billy Stewart's 'I Do Love You' prompted then 15-year old Mahoney to pipe the tune a cappella. Stunned by their hood mate's's sudden burst of raw talent, the fellas (George Norris, James Morse, Franklin Radcliff and Morris Moore ) quickly chimed backing vocals. The birth was quick and painless. Several sessions later, swelling with confidence, the group adopted the The Casuals as their moniker. The original Casuals included George Norris (from the original a cappella group on the street corner), Roger Chapman and Billy Jones (Skip's cousin). Players stepped forward offering to audition for membership in the backing band. The dream was taking shape. What followed was many years of toil, triumph, sweat and tears. Casuals keyboardist, James Purdie began constructing chords to match lyrics written by Skip. But it was group roadie, Sonny Jones who unwittingly provided fodder for the first record by Skip Mahoney and the Casuals (the name was changed because of another group by the name The Casuals). Jones complained of a girlfriend and her 'funny moods'. In 1973, finally recording for D.C. International Records, a local indie in search of the Next Big Thing, 'Your Funny Moods' b/w 'I Need Your Love' was released. Local radio programmers familiar with the group, provided air play for both sides of the 45. It was the B-side 'I Need Your Love' which lit up the radio request lines and gave the group a Washington/Baltimore hit. An album, also titled Your Funny Moods, sold over 100,000 copies in it's hometown but did not find a substantial national audience. Land of Love is a trademark LP for connoisseurs of falsetto based sweet soul music of the mid-'70's. It stands the test of time and represents the best the period offered. Dazzling vocals, unexpected hooks and a solid false tenor propelled the drop-dead gorgeous 'Bless My Soul' into the R&B Top 40 for 15 weeks in September '76. 'Wherever You Go' has it's own tale to tell. The song would become a Boston/Cambridge classic of a 10 year period as DJ Arthur Kempton played it weekly as a sign off song for his Sunday radio show. In 1995, Skip Mahoney and the Casuals released a Greatest Hits Cassette Tape and then selected hits from the Your Funny Moods and Land of Love albums were combined into a CD and in 1977 was released as 'Skip Mahoney and The Casusals Then and Now'. The CD was retracked and was re-released June, 1999 as 'Then, Now and Forever. The group is currently working on a live CD and DVD.