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Then, Now and Forever

In the mid-1960s, the then-teenage Harrison “Skip” Hoaney and his buddies were kicked out of a Northwest birthday party for being too loud. Standing on a street corner afterward, the group was making their plans for the rest of the evening when Hoaney heard D.C. R&B singer Billy Stewart’s “I Do Love You” blasting from a Thunderbird car at a traffic light. Hoaney began singing along passionately. His friends were suddenly wowed, as they had never heard him sing before, and were unaware of his skill, since Hoaney’s prior vocal experience had just been singing along to the radio. Soon, the soul combo The Casuals were born with the now-renamed Skip Mahoaney (often Mahoney, dropping the A) as lead singer. In 1973, the group’s first single came out, but what should have been an unabashed highlight had its problems. On the 45 release, the label renamed the group Skip Mahoaney & The Casuals and then, in 1974, released their first album without listing the names of the Casuals on the sleeve. Mahoaney’s bandmates weren’t happy and left. Mahoaney, after a second album with new Casuals that had some national success, returned to dayjob work and singing with cover bands. In the ‘90s, the original Casuals reunited and later released a best-of album called Then, Now and Forever. Sadly, Skip Mahoaney passed away on March 20 at age 71. But on that collection, you can still hear that voice—a powerful tenor that climbed the scales to a gorgeous falsetto—accompanied by the lush harmonies of The Casuals. A master of melisma, when he sang the word “love,” it lasted multiple syllables. You can stream Then, Now and Forever on SpotifyYouTube Music, and Amazon. Free–$8.99. —Steve Kiviat

Rare books at Capitol Hill Books

Maybe tonight, you’re not an underpaid wage-slave, exhausted by a long day of teleworking and burnt out by pandemic-paranoia. Maybe you’re a detective, tracking your target through the back alleys of San Francisco, or a hitman on the streets of Detroit. Thanks to free shipping from Capitol Hill Books, you can escape into noir shadows without leaving the safety of your home. Try Daddy Cool, which is practically a ‘70s crime movie (in the vein of Superfly or Shaft) in print, the story of a hitman with domestic troubles. Author Donald Goines started writing crime fiction in prison, after discovering the works of Iceberg Slim. Browse other rare editions of thrillers by Ian Fleming (like a copy of Live and Let Die selling for $150), Raymond Chandler (editions of Farewell, My Lovely and The Long Goodbye are going for $275 each), and Rex Stout (grab a first edition of Death of a Dude for only $35) at their website. Shoot a message to info@capitolhillbooks-dc.com to learn how to get one of the above books mailed to you, or feel free to request something more contemporary—they’re offering free domestic shipping. Capitol Hill Books is selling general stock through email at info@capitolhillbooks-dc.com and rare books online at capitolhillbooks-dc.com. Prices vary. —Will Lennon

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