Deep Dive: The Young Rascals, GROOVIN'

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021
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GROOVIN

Simply put, the song "Groovin'" is the sound of a couple heartsick musicians pining for their girlfriends. The tune was penned by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of The Rascals when they realized that because of their schedule as successfully working musicians, they could only see their significant others on Sunday afternoons.

"I met this young girl and I just fell head over heels in love. I was so gone that this joyous, wonderful emotion came into the music,"  Cavaliere told Seth Swirsky, who was working on his award-winning documentary, Beatles Stories, at the time. "'Groovin' was part of that experience. If you look at the story line, it's very simple: we're groovin' on a Sunday afternoon because Friday and Saturdays are when musicians work. The simplicity of it is that Sundays you could be with your loved one. And the beauty of is this joyous bliss that at that time I equated with a person, but that's the beauty of music - when it's an example of what you do it lasts forever. You're in love forever because of that moment in time that you captured, and that's what was happening with 'Groovin'."

The rock and roll legend behind "Groovin'" is classic: Atlantic label execs were less than enthused about the tune, or its chances on the charts. Fortunately, influential DJ Murray the K was hanging out in the studio, and heard the song.

"To tell you the truth, they didn't originally like the record because it had no drum on it," Cavaliere told Goldmine in 2011. "We had just cut it, and [Murray the K] came in the studio to say hello. After he heard the song, he said, 'Man, this is a smash.' So, when he later heard that Atlantic didn't want to put it out, he went to see (Atlantic president) Jerry Wexler and said, 'Are you crazy? This is a friggin' No. 1 record.' He was right, because it eventually became No. 1 for four straight weeks."

Released as a single on April 10, 1967, the laid-back love song with the Afro-Cuban influence sailed up the charts to peak at #1 on May 20, 1967, where it stayed for two weeks straight. Aretha Franklin's "Respect" snatched the top spot for two weeks, with the Young Rascals jumping back to #1 for the week of June 17, 1967, and June 24, 1967.