the Casinos / Gene Hughes and the Casinos

Cincinnati, c.1959-c.1973

The Casinos recorded one immortal classic in 1967, a song written by John D. Loudermilk "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" reached the top 10, and has endured as one of the classic oldies.

The Casinos story actually begins in the late 1950s as the group formed as a white vocal group, with J.T. Sears doing much of the lead vocals. The recorded their 1st 45 in 1962, "Do You Recall" / "Teach'er", with backing from a Cincinnati rock-n-roll band, the Vikings. They recut "Do You Recall" in 1963 on the Olimpic label, backed with "The Swim". Eventually founding member Gene Hughes became the primary singer.

In 1966 or thereabouts the group reshuffled personnel and used two different lineups while performing. The vocal Casinos merged with the Vikings band and the lineup became Gene Hughes (lead vocal), Bob Smith (drums), Ray White (bass), Mickey Denton (guitar), Bob Armstrong (keys). Gene's brother Glenn was also a part of the band. Most all could sing the group harmonies. The band could expand with a horn section and female backing singers. This lineup recorded "...Goodbye" at King records studios, while under contract with Fraternity records. The band had already released a couple 45s on Fraternity before "...Goodbye" was released and shot up the charts. An LP and a couple more 45s were released by Fraternity to little success. The band also had a single 45 on United Artists, credited to Gene Hughes and the Casinos.

The band continued to perform and draw large crowds at tri-state nightspots, but we don't have a lot of the details yet. In 1969 the band ‘reorganized’ from a self contained group to a four member vocal group, with Hughes and White the two members from the previous lineup. That group cut another record or two for Fraternity. The group came to an end around 1973 with many of the players ending up in Canon. In retrospect, the Casinos sound was probably a bit out of place for the times, not 'hip' enough for the teen scene and too 'soul' for the lounge - but one brilliant performance insures their place in music legend.