Liar, Liar

Album: single release only (1965)
Charted: 12


  • "Liar, Liar" is the obscure single hit to end all obscure single hits. The Castaways were a garage band in the 1960s, composed of James Donna on keyboards, Robert Folschow and Dick Roby on guitar, Roy Hensley on bass guitar and Dennis Craswell on drums. "Liar, Liar" was written by Donna and Craswell. Folschow also provided the falsetto vocal. This is definitely their only hit - to anyone's knowledge, it might even be their only surviving original song.

    The Castaways were originally thrown together to play at a fraternity party. They got popular, and their popularity grew, based on just this song. Eventually they signed to Soma Records. Their popularity grew even more to the point where they appeared in the 1967 film It's a Bikini World (we gather it's not an intellectually intimidating piece of cinema).
  • Blondie (as in Debbie Harry) covered the song for her part of the soundtrack to the 1988 film Married to the Mob. That scored her a #14 on the US Modern Rock chart.
  • As of 2010, the Castaways are technically still a surviving group, but James Donna is the only original member still interested, so the Castaways is basically James Donna and whoever he hires. They are exclusively a cover band. Far from aspiring to the studio and Billboard charts, they are available for weddings, birthdays, and special events. For your information, these people are true Minnesotans. People from the Twin Cities don't like to make a big deal of themselves. You will never hear about the Minnesotan who wanted to take over the world and would stop at nothing.

    Oh, and by the way: Knowing about the Castaways officially makes you a hipster.
  • Drummer Dennis Craswell later joined rock-blues band Crow, who are best known for their hit single "Evil Woman Don't Play Your Games With Me," which peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 in 1969.

Comments: 6

  • Jack W from TexasI served with Bob Folschow in Vietnam in 67-68. He had his guitar and when we had down time he pull that guitar out and crank up the classic Liar Liar for the platoon. Picked up the moral as much as it could. It was appropriate considering our geographical location at that time. Never saw or talked to Bob after rotating back to the states. Song has stuck with me all these years. Hope Bob is well and still cranking Liar Liar pants on fire in his high pitch voice!
  • Gary For California from California I met a guy while doing Army basic training at Fort Ord California in early 1970. He was the Company clerk and claimed he was an original member of the Castaways who later got drafted. Said he had met the Beatles on the road but was now just grunt heading for Nam like myself. That was then, this is now.
  • Dennis Craswell from MinnesotaBy the way, what photo are you using, top left..??? ?? That's a fake band, and not an original Castaways photo....Bob Folschow still performs in Soiuox Falls, SD you forgot to mention Dick Roby....and he is still plays in MN
  • Dennis Craswell from MinnesotaYou need to get your facts straight. Dennis Craswell has been playing in Calif. Texas and Minnesota since 1965.. Dennis Craswell is still active and playing as of today.!!! The name of his band in The Original long as you have a link to the "other" band, Please note The Original Castaways links: and Dennis is and was the drummer, still drumming, and plays the keyboard among other instruments
  • Alan from Reno, NvWhen I was in Vietnam, one of the guys claimed to be the back up drummer for the group. I have since learned he was not, but I was young then and believed a lot of things. That is probably why I ended up in Vietnam.
  • Kevin from Lawrence, KsI can't ever get enough of this riff, with the organ intro that just grabs your attention and then holds it throughout the song. Why this song hasn't attained iconic appeal is beyond me. That riff, the hook ("Liar, Liar...pants on fire...), the ability to dance to this song, the intense scream at the bridge. It's all there. Yet, this song retains a sort of seclusive staturs. It is loved by all who hear it, yet it makes no one's top all-time lists. There are few songs as good as this from the mid-sixties, yet the accolades thrown at this tune are non-existant. If you have to shun the song because of its bubble-gum image, you have to at least admit that the riff is as strong as the riff in "Satisfaction", and the organ intro is as iconic as the "Light My Fire" intro....or even the "In A Gadda Da Vida" intro. This song would have to be in my all-time top 50. And it should be in yours, too.
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