The DeCastro Sisters: Peggie DeCastro, Cherie DeCastro, Babette DeCastro.
The De Castro Sisters could be mistaken for one-hit wonders since they are remembered primarily for their sexy, solicitous 1954 hit, "Teach Me Tonight." The group actually charted seven singles, but "Boom Boom Boomerang" -- featuring the basso profundo vocals of voice actor and cult favorite Thurl Ravenscroft -- was the only other one to crack the Top 20. Teach Me Tonight compiles 31 Abbott and RCA Victor recordings from 1954-1958 in what would appear to be a nearly complete summary of the group's recorded output during that period, if not for the omission of a charting Christmas single on Abbott. Also omitted are two minor hits the group waxed for ABC-Paramount. Stylistically, the De Castro Sisters were a husky-voiced vocal trio patterned after the Andrews Sisters, with a similar variety of romantic ballads and novelties in their songbook. Toward the late '50s, the group experimented with that era's equivalent of bubblegum music -- bouncy, fluffy pop/rock loaded with nonsense words. Some of these songs are good harmless fun, such as "Biddle-Dee Bop" and "What a Relief (Hoop Ah Hoop Ah, Bah Dah Dah)," but may not be to the liking of listeners hoping for romantic harmonies along the lines of "Teach Me Tonight." The repertoire is uneven, but little surprises await collectors, from a very early Rod McKuen composition ("Flowers on the Hillside") to a pair of previously unreleased recordings. For those whose interest in the De Castro Sisters extends beyond their one big hit, Teach Me Tonight is an excellent-sounding and comprehensive anthology that shows the full range of their abilities. ~ Greg Adams