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LIAR, LIAR: From Garage Band to Rockstars, The Story of Minnesota's Castaways in the 1960's

ISBN: 9780578364001
Binding: Paperback
Author: James J. Donna
Pages: 232
Trim: 8 x 8 inches
Published: 4/25/2022

It was the summer of '65. Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, was also the Land of 1,000 Dances and a hotbed of musical talent. Teenagers were filling the local dance halls and ballrooms to hear their favorite bands, which included The Castaways. It was a time of guitars playing at full volume through Fender amplifiers, pounding drums, fast cars on the streets, and drive-ins. It was the Golden Age of Rock and Roll.

LIAR, LIAR explores the true story of The Castaways as they rise from a Minnesota garage band to chart-topping national rock stars in the 1960's. It's a story that could not, and would not, happen today.

The book is fully illustrated and includes quotes and stories from The Beach Boys, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Gentrys, The Beau Brummels, and other legendary bands who shared the big stage with The Castaways.

"We played the same dance halls and ballrooms with The Castaways and partied with them all the way to Vancouver, Canada-- we had a wonderful time together. I remember their song "Liar, Liar" was a big hit in 1965 and they were our opening act that year-- The Castaways were great!"  AL JARDINEoriginal founding member of THE BEACH BOYS


James J. Donna is the author of  LIAR, LIAR.  Back in 1965, James was the leader of The Castaways, keyboard player, and co-author of their national hit record "Liar, Liar." He feels honored to be inducted with The Castaways into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame, the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

James lives near Jordan, Minnesota, with his wife, Jane. They have two married sons and two grandchildren. He's still rocking today with The Castaways at concerts, festivals, and car shows around the Midwest! Visit www.TheCastawaysRock.com

Tom Tourville has always had a deep interest in the music of the '60s in Minnesota and the Midwest. He has written over twenty-eight books on record collecting, ballrooms, and rock history


"We met The Castaways in the fall of '65 in Minnesota. We drove up from Memphis to open two shows for The Beach Boys. The Castaways and The Strangeloves were also opening acts. All those artists were easy to work with. They were humble, generous, fun loving, and excited to be on the show with all of us. We all did our best and we all had that little bit of competition to shine for our part of the show. The Castaways rocked!" - Larry Raspberry -- original founding member of The Gentrys

"The Castaways found a musical gem in the writing and recording of 'Liar, Liar.' They made musical history—'Liar, Liar,' with its one-of-a-kind sound, topped the charts all over the world. It has stood the test of time—a rock 'n' roll masterpiece." - Tony Andreason -- original founding member of The Trashmen

I loved reading this book because it’s so my era!  It brings back so many memories of the days we were lucky enough to travel to local ballrooms and listen to and dance to the music we heard on the radio.  This book lets me relive that era and get a backstage look for what it was like to be the band!  I love the song “Liar, Liar” performed by the Castaways and have been fortunate to hear it performed by Jim Donna and the Castaways at the wedding dances of his sons and at the Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota Rock and Roll Halls of Fame!  Rock on Jim and the Castaways!!!  -- Terry Carson