The Cascades were an American vocal group best known for their single "Rhythm of the Rain", recorded in 1962 and an international hit the following year.
In 1960, the Silver Strands were a group of United States Navy personnel serving on the USS Jason (AR-8) based in San Diego, California. They recruited John Gummoe, who had originally acted as their manager, and left the Navy to become The Thundernotes. After the departure of original guitarist Len Green, the group's membership consolidated as John Claude "John" Gummoe (born August 2, 1938, Cleveland, Ohio) (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 started to get more interested in vocal harmony, influenced by the Beach Boys. They recorded demos which ended up with Barry De Vorzon at Valiant Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., who signed them up and also changed their name to The Cascades -- inspired by a nearby box of dishwashing detergent. Their first release, "There's A Reason", became a small regional hit, and, in summer 1962, they went to Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles and recorded a song which Gummoe had written in his Navy days while on watch during a thunderstorm. The musicians on the recording included the "Wrecking Crew" - Jim Owens on drums, Carol Kaye on bass and Glen Campbell on guitar - and it was arranged by Perry Botkin. "Rhythm of the Rain" was issued in November 1962. It rose to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1963, and 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 Cascades continued to record, producing an album and several further singles, including the follow-up "The Last Leaf", but none matched the charm or success of their big hit. The group did continue to receive major radio airplay in their hometown, San Diego. The Cascades' cover version of Bob Lind's "Truly Julie's Blues" received spins on KCBQ and KGB in 1966, and their song "Maybe The Rain Will Fall" did fairly well on San Diego radio charts in the summer of 1969.
The group stayed active for some years, playing local San Diego clubs like The Cinnamon Cinder, and at other times, touring widely. In 1967, The Cascades appeared onscreen in the Crown International Pictures teen comedy adventure film, Catalina Caper, which included their version of a song written by Ray Davies of the Kinks, "There's A New World."
Gummoe left the group in 1967 to pursue a solo career and later formed the band Kentucky Express. Keyboardist/vocalist Gabe Lapano took over the lead chores, the group also adding Tony Grasso, with Owens and Snyder the remaining original members. Finally, they split up in 1975. Snyder later recorded country music under the name Eddie Preston. Gummoe recorded a dance mix of "Rhythm of the Rain" in 1990. The group reformed in 1995 and again in 2004, touring the US and the Philippines, where they retained a fan following. Jim Owens left the group in 1968.
A compilation CD of the Cascades' best moments was issued in 1999. That same year, performing rights organization BMI announced the "Top 100 Songs of the Century." to receive airplay on radio or television in the U.S., with "Rhythm of the Rain" at #9.
In April 2012, with the initiative of the Filipino religious leader Bro. Eli Soriano, The Cascades participated at a benefit concert held at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines. Aside from reintroducing the music of The Cascades to both old fans and younger generation, the event also supported projects involving Bible expositions.