It was the Summer of Love and this mellow song held # 1 as we got down just Groovin’
From May 20 to June 30, 1967, ‘Groovin’ by the Young Rascals was the US top song, except for two weeks. The Young Rascals were what they called back then blue-eyed soul since they sounded more black that white.
Aretha Franklin and ‘Respect’ broke the spell in the middle between June 3 to 16th.
The harmonica part added that easy touch.
Cavaliere was experimenting with Afro-Cuban music so there are congas, harmonica, organ and bass.
Session bassist Chuck Rainey laid down the bass track and that’s all there was to ‘Groovin.’
Groovin’ . . . on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon
I can’t imagine anything that’s better
The world is ours whenever we’re together
There ain’t a place I’d like to be instead of . . .(Words and music by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati)
The song was so sparse that famous Atlantic Records producer Gerry Wexler didn’t want to release it. DJ Murray the K is said to have pushed the release.
To tell you the truth, they didn’t originally like the record because it had no drum on it,” admits Cavaliere. “We had just cut it, and he came in the studio to say hello. After he heard the song, he said, ‘Man, this is a smash.’ So, when he heard that Atlantic didn’t want to put it out, he went to see (Atlantic executive) Jerry Wexler and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is a friggin’ #1 record.’ He was right, because it eventually became #1 for five straight weeks.”
Groovin was the biggest The Young Rascals ever had but what a song.
They are also know for ‘Good Lovin’ which only reached # 81 but has endured for decades.
Groovin” was covered by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Petula Clark, Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network