We Should Have Been Shot!
by Dennis Craswell
published March 2017
The Castaways recorded Liar, Liar as a five piece band,
but by the time they traveled to the West Coast to
promote their hit, bassist Dick Roby was out of the
band, leaving (from left) Roy Hensley, Jim Donna,
Denny Craswell (me) and Bob Folschow.
In the early 1960s I was a teenager in Minnesota
doing all the things teenagers did back
then. One was playing baseball and another
was playing music. One day, on the baseball diamond
I asked another guy, do you play guitar?
He said yes so we began to get together and
jam. This was the beginning of The Castaways.
Now you may or may not remember The
Castaways as a musical group, but you would
probably recognize our one and only hit song
... Liar Liar.
Yes, we were one of the many legendary one-hit-wonders
of that era.
Recorded in 1965, Liar Liar went to number
one on virtually every radio station in the U.S.
and many foreign countries selling millions of
copies. Due to this success, we started touring
to promote the record. Of course we were not
big enough to be headliners, but we did open
for popular groups of the time such as The
Everly Brothers. This was a big change for a
bunch of naive guys who thought it was a big
deal playing frat parties for sixty bucks a night!
So there we were. We had gotten a call to
open for The Everly Brothers at the Prom Center
Ballroom in St. Paul, Minnesota. We knew
we would play our hit, Liar Liar and a few other
unknown originals, but what would we do to
fill out the set?
We all got together to discuss it and decided
that we should play our very best stuff. Well, we
took the stage and performed our originals and
then covered the songs we liked and knew best
like Bird Dog, Temptation, Problems Problems
and Cathy's Clown. We played them perfectly!
We were so proud of ourselves that we did
not think about what we had just done.
Then as if a lightning bolt struck, we all realized
that we had just played the hits of the band
we were opening for! My God, they were our
idols, we worshiped them and we had stabbed
them in the back by playing the same songs that
they were going to play as soon as the stepped
We were sure that we had blown it. We would
never be hired to open for any band ever again.
It was no one's particular fault, we had all
agreed by vote to play the songs we played. We
were sure our musical career was destroyed.
As soon as we stepped off of the stage Don or
Phil Everly, I can't really remember which one
it was, headed our way. We thought, Oh Boy!
Here it comes!
But you know what they said ...
"Boys, that is the best that anyone has ever
played our stuff."
This was the best compliment we had ever, or
will ever receive. I love those guys, The Everly Brothers.
Dad always said, "The bigger they are, the
nicer they are." The Everly Brothers are proof
positive of that.
Like I said, We Should Have Been Shot!
The Everly Brothers
Phil (left) and Don (right) Everly performing on the 1970 Johnny Cash summer replacement show