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Profile: The (Young) Rascals

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The (Young) Rascals

The (Young) Rascals

from newsday.com

Formed:

1964 (New York, NY)

Genres:

Pop-soul, Rock and Roll, Pop, Soul, R&B, Jazz-pop, Psychedelic

Members:

Felix Cavaliere (b. November 29, 1944, Pelham, NY): vocals, organ, piano
Eddie Brigati (b. October 22, 1946, Garfield, NJ): vocals
Gene Cornish (b. May 14, 1945, Ottawa, Canada): guitar
Dino Danelli (b. July 23, 1945, New York, New York): drums

Contributions to music:

  • The most consistent hitmakers in what came to be known as "blue-eyed soul"
  • One of the most artistically important American bands in a time dominated by Engliah rock acts
  • A self-contained that could nonetheless transform other artists' material
  • Perhaps the greatest "bar band" to come out of 1960's New York
  • Able to seamlessly integrate jazz into their pop-soul sound, unlike many white acts

Early years:

Most of the Rascals' members got their start in another famous group -- Joey Dee and the Starliters, who scored big in 1962 with "Peppermint Twist." Former pre-med student Cavaliere joined after the group's big hit, and along with Starliters Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish, they formed the Rascals with Dino Danelli, a drummer Cavaliere had met in Las Vegas. Soon, they were New York's best bar band, roaring through R&B classics at a nightclub called The Barge (which was, indeed, on a barge).

Success:

In 1965, they were discovered by Sid Bernstein, the legendary promoter who had brought the Beatles to America; he dubbed them the Young Rascals so as to avoid litigation from the group The Harmonica Rascals. With their effortless interplay, songwriting skills, and schoolboy outfits -- ruffled shirts and knickers, a gimmick thought up by Brigati -- they were soon on the charts, although their first smash, "Good Lovin'," wasn't an original, having already been a R&B hit for the Olympics.

Later years:

The hits rolled on: the decade's idealism found a perfect match in songs like "People Got To Be Free" (a worldwide Number One) while the band progressed into more pop-jazz territory with hits like "How Can I Be Sure." But internal power struggles and an inability to keep up with musical trends scuttled the group by the early '70s. A 1988 reunion tour led to a nasty legal dispute over rights to the group's name; as a result, two different groups of Rascals, both with original members, tour today.

Other facts:

  • Other members have included: Howard "Buzz" Feiten (guitar), Chuck Rainey (bass), Robert Popwell (bass), Annie Sutton (vocals)
  • Though not an official member of the band, Eddie Brigati's brother, David, arranged and sang backup vocals on the Rascals' records
  • Cavaliere worked on Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 Presidential campaign
  • The group refused to play on bills that weren't fully integrated, which was unusual for their time
  • Despite the label "blue-eyed soul," none of the original members have blue eyes

Awards/Honors:

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997)
  • GRAMMY Hall of Fame (1999)

Recorded work:

#1 hits:
Pop:
  • "Good Lovin'" (1966)
  • "Groovin'" (1967)
  • "People Got To Be Free" (1968)[/ul
Top 10 hits:
Pop:
  • "A Girl Like You" (1967)
  • "How Can I Be Sure" (1967)
  • "A Beautiful Morning" (1968)
R&B:
  • "Groovin'" (1967)
#1 albums:
Pop:
  • Time Peace/The Rascals' Greatest Hits (1968)
Top 10 albums:
Pop:
  • Groovin' (1967)
  • Once Upon A Dream (1968)
R&B:
  • Collections (1967)
  • Groovin' (1967)
  • Once Upon A Dream (1968)
  • Time Peace/The Rascals' Greatest Hits (1968)
Other important recordings: "I've Been Lonely Too Long," "You Better Run," "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore," "Come On Up," "Mustang Sally," "In the Midnight Hour," "Love Is A Beautiful Thing," "Easy Rollin'," "It's Wonderful," "Carry Me Back," "Look Around," "Heaven," "See," "A Ray Of Hope," "Glory, Glory,"" Love Me," "Saga of New York," "Brother Tree"
Covered by:
The Who, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Robert Plant, Bobby McFerrin, Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, Gloria Estefan, The Grateful Dead, David Cassidy
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