A Commando Caddo Request ~ The Last leaf


For Caddo Veil upon her request. The Last Leaf by The Cascades.

For You Caddo~

Please Note that all three songs here are original works by John Gummoe.}

Th song request by Caddo  is The Cascade’s The Last Leaf, with its beautifully written lyrics and harmonies for which this group was known for. There was a question put forth with this request as to whether The Cascades version is the original, It is, Written by lead singer/songwriter John Gummoe it is a song that to many in the U.S. still today represents the era of the USA‘s involvement in the Vietnam war. This group heralds from the ((USA ) San Diego California area where the USA Marine Corps/Naval Base, “Camp Pendleton” is still today. For the area of San Diego California and the west coast of the United States this is an iconic group. This song was listened to over and over by many waiting to ship out to sea, or waiting for a love one to ship back home from the war, it was getting plenty of air time locally. The Last leaf was a follow-up to the groups earlier hits, but not even it matched the success of their big hits.

We do hope you enjoy Caddo~

Bit of Biography:  In 1960, the SilverStrands were a group of musicians of United States Navy personnel serving on the USS Jason (AR-8) based in San Diego, California and overseas  in Sasebo, Japan. This group, then known to many of the servicemen and the local inhabitants as The Silver Strands were playing at local venues all around town. Their friend, John Gummoe, also aboard the Jason was their biggest fan and soon began acting as their manager. Gummoe had the band playing 5 nights a week before long and had also been working up some duets with band mate Dave Wilson.

The SiverSounds then recruited John Gummoe as a full on band member, they all left the Navy to become the new civilian group The Thunder Notes, the Cascades’ original name. The groups members include: John Claude “John” Gummoe ( singer/songwriter, lead vocals), Eddie Snyder (guitar), Von Lynch (keyboards), Ronald Lynch (keyboards, saxophone), Dave Stevens (bass) and Jim Owens ( AKA Dave Szabo) (drums). Their first single was an instrumental, “Thunder Rhythm” on the Del-Fi label,
The group then began to be more interested in vocal harmonies and were said to be influenced by the California Beach Boys. Their recorded demos tapes ended up with  producer Barry De Vorzon at Valiant Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. who signed them and also changed their name to The Cascades – inspired  by a nearby box of dish-washing detergent. (I did not make this up!)

The Cascades  “There’s A Reason” became a regional hit in summer 1962. The Cascades went to Gold Star Studios in Los Angles and recorded the song which Gummoe had written in his Navy days while on watch. The back-up musicians on the recording included studio session musicians ”  The Wrecking Crew” consisting of Jim Owens (Dave ] on drums, Carol Kaye, on bass, and now legend country-pop singer/songwriter Glen Campbell on guitar. Arrangement by Perry Botkin.

In  November 1962  “Rhythm of the Rain” was released and became the groups most well-known song. It rose to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart  March 9, 1963. This still popular song  became a major hit in over 80 countries. It peaked at #5 in the UK Singles Chart. “Rhythm of the Rain” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The song spent two weeks at number one on the US Easy Listening charts,  It also made a top 5 hit in the United Kingdom, and a number-one single in Ireland. In 1999, BMI (Broadcast Music Inc) listed the song as the ninth most performed song on radio/TV in the 20th century, also an extremely popular cover tune. This Cascades’ recording was used in the soundtrack of the 1979 film Quadrophenia and included in its soundtrack album.

The Cascades perform in a 2006 concert

The group continued recording, producing an album, and several further singles. The Cascades did continue to receive major radio airplay in their hometown, San Diego. The Cascades  song “Maybe The Rain Will Fall” did fairly well on San Diego radio charts in the summer of 1969.
The group stayed  together and performed for some years, playing in local San Diego clubs like The Cinnamon Cinder, and at other times, touring widely. John Gummoe left the group in 1967 to pursue a solo career and later formed the band Kentucky Express.  A reunion of The Cascades with John Gummoe, Jim  Owen, and  Eddy Snyder as the remaining original members were held a few times over the ensuing years. They split up again in 1975. Snyder later recorded country music under the name Eddie Preston, John Gummoe recorded a dance mix of “Rhythm of the Rain” in 1990. The group reformed in 1995, 2004, and again in 2006. The three original members are often doing charity gigs as reunion shows in the San Diego area.


Resource: Wikipedia
The Cascades
Origin    San Diego, USA
Genres    Pop music
Years active    1960 to 1975
Reunions in 1995, 2006 and 2012
Labels    Valiant (US), Warner (Canada)
Past members
John Gummoe
Eddie Snyder
David Szabo
Dave Stevens
Dave Wilson
Chart singles
Year    Title    U.S. Hot 100[9]    UK Singles Chart[12
1963    “Rhythm of the Rain”    3    5
“The Last Leaf”    60    –
“Shy Girl”    91    –
“For Your Sweet Love”    86    –
1969    “Maybe The Rain Will Fall”    61    –

Rhythm of The Rain (1963)
What Goes On Inside (1968)

Caddo we hope this gave you what it is you are looking for and then some, Thank you for the support to Cyklopps, Rides Again. Come on back with another request any time. We’d love to do it again for you.

For an interview with John Gummoe just click on link.



9 responses »

    • Now we are talking your music are we? Yes Ricky Nelson as well as gentleman named Johnny Tilloston ( re:Talk back Tremblin Lips, know him?) both did a cover of this, as well as other artists have.. John Gummoe songwriter actually has made the most money on other artists doing this song.

      Thanks much Lou for coming by and especially for your comment. Please feel welcome to leave your own request for anything within the 50’s, 60’s & 70;s era. .

  1. Thanks, Tj and CyKlopps–this was really really FUN!! I confess the “Last Leaf” didn’t strike me as familiarly as “Rhythm of the Rain”–oh my gosh, that one got me in the heart, took me back so far, and brought tears to my eyes. You gals really worked hard on this, so much research–wow!!! Thank you so much, and if you’re serious about me making more requests (if it’s not too time-consuming for y’all), I’d really like to. The next time I think of a song that might touch others as well, I’ll be back. Thanks again–what wonderful, sweet friends you are!! love, sis Caddo (in full Commando regalia)

    • You are so welcome Commando! I agree with you about Rhythm of the Rain. Their most popular song. The Last Leaf just did not get the radio play time except for a short time that summer/Fall.
      It was also surprising to me that there was only one other artists who did the Last Leaf as a cover, John Gummoe’s Last Leaf anyway. Tom Waits, but it was not a compliment to the song in my mind so I vetoed using it. I have the link if you are interested.

      Please do not hesitate if you have another request. Please feel free to come here to Cyklopps and let us know anytime. Between Gerry or I we will put another together for you.. Or many. There is not a limit,. we will be challenged by the requests as they come in..
      This is something I enjoy and having a platform like this wonderful, but it does not work unless we have people like you caddo who come forward and support this blog. This has been our original idea here and its nice to have devoted friends. God Bless you sis.

      Thank you, Great request!

    • Mine too! If I had more room & not focused solely the band and their music I would have went there, but there was no tie to the both except title. so glad you mentioned the story & listed the link Thank you!! Great American short story.

      The music that we heard as young ladies is music that still touches that same chord within us today and says an awful lot about the songwriters ability to make a composition work
      J, Gummoe has obvious great ability.

      My other favorite O Henry short story is The furnished Room.
      Thanks Ruth for the visit and especially your comment.

    • Hello Mac,
      Were pleased to welcome you to Cyklopps Rides Again. This blog that is all about the music and times of the 50’s 60’s & 70’s, as well as today’s people.
      It is the people, our followers like [Commando Caddo] who influence a lot of the posts we do. We respond to the requests from followers, people like you. Our follower and friend caddo requested this tune,The Last Leaf. The rest was inspired by her, the tune, and this blog’s concept. Pretty simple really. What a nice thing for you to ask!

      We hope you do come back you are most welcome. ~ BB

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