#1030: Cheryl’s Goin’ Home by The Cascades

Peak Month: May 1966
7 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #131

John Gummoe was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was drafted to join the U.S. Navy. On the USS Jason, a group of sailors in the U.S. Navy formed a band in 1960 called the Silver Strands. Among the San Diego based crew was John Gummoe who provided lead vocals. The group left the Navy and renamed themselves the Thundernotes. Among Gummoe’s bandmates were Eddy Snyder (guitar), G, David Szabo (keyboards) Dave Stevens (bass guitar) and Dave Wilson (drums). They became The Cascades and recorded “There’s A Reason“, making #10 in San Francisco and #15 in San Diego in July ’62. Their second release with Valliant Records was “Rhythm of the Rain.” The song went to #1 in the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland. The song peaked at #3 on CFUN and spent 15 weeks on the chart in 1963. It tied for the second longest chart run for a single in Vancouver that year behind “She Loves You” by The Beatles.

“Rhythm of the Rain” was the only single to reach the Top 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA between 1962 and 1968. The Cascades had help in the studio with that hit from members of the Wrecking Crew ~ Jim Owens on drums, Carol Kaye on bass and Glen Campbell on guitar.

In most radio markets in North America the Cascades were a one-hit wonder. However, in Vancouver the group charted nine singles into the Top 50, including four charted songs that reached the Top Ten. But even in Vancouver, it was only the groups follow up to their international hit inspired by John Gummoe seeing a thundershower, that got them any attention. After their double-sided Top Ten hit “Last Leaf/Shy Girl” in April ’63, the band had trouble getting any record sales traction. Their  next five singles got airplay on CFUN. But the top position they managed was #35 with “For Your Sweet Love” in December 1963.

In January 1966 singer-songwriter Bob Lind had a hit called “Elusive Butterfly” that climbed to #3 on the CFUN chart. The B-side of his hit single was another song Lind wrote called “Cheryl’s Goin’ Home.” As a budding folk-rock composer, Lind was covered by numbers of other recording artists. His B-side was was a Top 50 hit in the UK for Adam Faith. The folk-rock group, Blues Project, covered the song, as did Sonny and Cher. The Cascades added their stamp to the tune with a cover which became their first Top Ten hit in Vancouver since 1963, where it peaked at #7. South of the border the tune bombed where it peaked at #131, “bubbling” beneath the Billboard Hot 100.

Cheryl's Goin' Home by The Cascades

The thunder cracks against the night.
The dark explodes with yellow light.
The railroad sign is flashing bright,
the people stare, but I don’t care.

My flesh is cold against my bones,
and Cheryl’s going home (and Cheryl’s going home).

Come, hear me shouting through the rain.
Is there a way to stop the train?
I’ve got some reasons to explain
about the way I was today.

The whistle moans and I’m alone,
and Cheryl’s going home (and Cheryl’s going home)

Santa Rosa’s special down the line.
I’m running desperately behind.
There’s only one thing on my mind,
the rain and tears are in my eyes.

The things I have to say will not be known,
and Cheryl’s going home….

The song is about a guy who realizes he needs to talk to Cheryl and explain to her about his behavior earlier that day. He has some “reasons” he’d like to tell her about concerning “the way I was today.” However, Cheryl has already boarded a train destined for Santa Rosa, California, in Sonoma County. The song is a warning about timing, and also about being out of touch regarding the impact of your communication with someone else. Clearly, Cheryl wasn’t impressed and decided to bail.

Gummoe left the Cascades in 1967 as eight single releases after 1963 failed to crack America’s Billboard Hot 100. He would later recall of his five years with the band, “we spent most of the time touring across the US and Canada playing small towns when we should have been playing big cities. It was all poorly handled.”

After Gummoe left the band, Gabe Lapano joined the Cascades as lead singer on their final Hot 100 single in 1969 called “Maybe The Rain Will Fall.” The group reformed twice, in 1995 and 2004, touring the USA and the Philippines, where they still had a following.

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) released its “Top 100 Songs of the Century” at the end of 1999, based on its statistics. The songs on the list were the Top 100 to receive airplay on radio or television in the U.S.A. “Rhythm of the Rain” ranked at #9. John Gummoe, who wrote the song, lives in Los Angeles. He has his own studio that he built in his home and continues to record new material.

For other reviews on this website visit the Countdown.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter