The Castaways

The Castaways are a rock band from Richfield, Minnesota that had one hit, a considerably big hit in the mid-60's.

The original members wee James Donna on keyboards, Bob Folschow on lead guitar, Roy Hensley on rhythm guitar, Dick Roby on bass, and Dennis Craswell on drums. Formed when they were teenagers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburb of Richfield in 1962, the group took off when they recorded a composition by band members Donna and Craswell that was released on the Soma label in 1965, Liar, Liar. With a distinctive opening and a falsetto recitation of the line from an old children's taunt "Liar, Liar, pants on fire, your nose is longer than a telephone wire" by guitarist Folschow, the song is also known for a scream that comes in immediatley before the instrumental break. In the fall of 1965 Liar, Liar was very successful, moving up to number 12 on the chart. The song's popularity landed the Castaways an appearance in the beach movie It's a Bikini World, where they were filmed singing the song at the Haunted House, a popular club on Hollywood Boulevard at the time. Liar, Liar sold a million copies.

The Castaways carried on, recording additional songs. None came near the success of the group's only top forty hit, Liar, Liar. By 1968 they began to fade. Denny Craswell joined local Minneapolis group the Crows, which had a top forty hit in 1969 with Evil Woman Don't Play Your Games With Me. By the early 80's Folschow (using the stage name Bob LaRoy) and Craswell along with some new members were performing as The Castaways in Pismo Beach, California. Debbie Harry of Blondie recorded a version of Liar, Liar in the late 80's for the soundtrack to the movie Married to the Mob. The Castaways' version of the song is included on the soundtrack of the Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam.

Roy Hensley, original member of the Castaways, died in 2005. The group carries on in the present, with only original member James Donna still with the band. They play in the Twin Cities area and the surrounding region, and have a web site at

The Castaways from Richfield, Minnesota left the great rock decade of the 1960's with one very memorable hit, Liar, Liar.

March 1, 2014

Return to Rock-and-Roll Page.

Return to Home Page.

Send email to the author, Tom Simon