Student Work: Angelo Dundee and Jimmy Castor

Angelo Dundee by Melissa Espinal

Melissa Espinal

Angelo Dundee training Muhammad Ali. Click for source

Angelo Dundee, born Angelo Mirena, was born on August 30th, 1921 in South Philadelphia.

Angelo Dundee was one of the greatest boxing trainer, corner man and motivator in boxing history. Dundee was best known for being Muhammad Ali’s corner man for almost his entire career and for guiding Sugar Ray Leonard to his victory. After returning home from serving in the US Air Force in World War II, Angelo changed his last name from Mirena to Dundee following his older brother’s footsteps to hide their boxing job from their parents.

In 1952, Dundee married his love Helen, who lost her fight to cancer in December 2010 after 58 years of marriage.

It wasn’t until February 25, 1964 that Dundee’s journey with Muhammad Ali began to grow and take off. After a career that expanded over six decades, training 15 world champions and earning the reputation as one of boxing’s greatest ambassador, Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992. Angelo Dundee trained professional champion boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jimmy Ellis, Luis Rodriguez, Sugar Ramos, Ralph Dupas, Willie Pastrano, Oscar De La Hoya and George Foreman but he will always be remembered and linked to Muhammad Ali as one of the most successful fighter- trainer relationships in boxing history.

After celebrating Ali’s 70th birthday in Louisville, Kentucky on January 27,2012, Dundee was hospitalized for a blood clot that developed during a flight back home to Tampa, Florida. Dundee was then transferred to a rehabilitation center in Clearwater, Florida. Dundee died in his apartment from a heart attack in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday February 1, 2012 at the age of 90. Dundee is survived by his son James, his daughter Terri, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Jimmy Castor by Anthony Alexander

Jimmy Castor - click for source

James Walter “Jimmy” Castor was born in Manhattan on January 23, 1940.  He grew up in Washington Heights where he was friends with Frankie Lymon, who would later become well known as the lead singer of The Teenagers, a doo-wop group.  Because Jimmy had a similar vocal range as Frankie, he would sometimes fill in whenever Frankie could not make gigs, which the group had booked.

In 1956, Jimmy was afforded the luxury of being able to relocate his family into a larger residence after Frankie Lymon’s cover version of a song originally recorded by Jimmy and his band (Jimmy and the Juniors) produced enough royalties to fund the payment.

Although Jimmy was a singer, saxophonist, and percussionist, he achieved his greatest recognition during the 1970s for funky grooves such as “Troglodyte (Cave Man),” “The Bertha Butt Boogie,” and “It’s Just Begun.”  Jimmy had the ability to incorporate humor into the infectious rhythm.  Because of the fact that he also was able to transcend a wide variety of styles over the course of his career, Jimmy earned the nickname “the Everything Man.”

Jimmy Castor’s important accomplishment as an artist was the fact that he was the first artist who felt that artists should be held accountable whenever they decided to reap the benefit of using someone else’s established work without giving proper credit where it was due, or go through the proper channels to obtain clearance and permission for said use.  Towards the end of the 70s as disco was becoming passé, and hip hop artists were beginning to emerge, it was common practice to take small snippets or “samples” of other songs and construct an entirely new song based upon a sample.  As the new decade started and more and more hip hop artists started to come on the scene, many of these artists were notorious for stealing or “lifting” a riff from existing songs and as there was no real enforcement of copyright and intellectual property laws in those days, many of these artists were making out like bandits on the backs of artists like Jimmy Castor.  In fact, because of the fact that many of Jimmy’s songs had been sampled, he enjoyed a resurgence of popularity but he felt that he was entitled to proper recognition and respect.  He sued the Beastie Boys when they used a sample of his song “The Return of Leroy (Part One)” in 1986.

According to Jimmy’s son, Jimmy Jr., “it wasn’t really about the money,” he said, “(my father) just wanted to set some sort of principle.”

Because of his willingness to take a stand to protect his property, Jimmy enjoyed more income from the use of his material by other artists than from his original recordings.

Jimmy Castor died of cardiac arrest on January 16, 2012 in Henderson, Nevada.  He was 71.

In addition to his son Jimmy Jr., Mr. Castor is survived by his wife Sandi; another son, Jason; two daughters, April and Sheli; and eight grandchildren.  No details could be found regarding his last will and testament. (Martin)

Works Cited

Hinckley, David. R&B singer Jimmy Castor dies of cancer. 17 January 2012. <;.

MacArdle, Terrence. Jimmy Castor dead at 71; ’70s songs became popular among sampling hip-hop artists. 19 January 2011. <;.

Martin, Douglas. Jimmy Castor, Musician Who Mastered Many Genres, Dies at 71 . 17 January 2012. <;.


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