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The Young Rascals

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The Young Rascals aka The Rascals (the group dropped the “Young” from their name in early 1968 while continuing their streak of hits) were an American soul and rock group of the 1960s.

Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar), Dino Danelli (drums) and Eddie Brigati (vocals) formed the band in New York City. Three-quarters of the group - Felix, Gene, and Eddie - had previously been members of Joey Dee and the Starliters. Eddie’s brother, David Brigati, another former Starliter, arranged the vocal harmonies and sang backgrounds on many of the group’s recordings (informally earning the designation as the Fifth Rascal). When Atlantic Records signed them, they discovered that they already had another obscure group named the Rascals on the payroll. They decided to rename the group the Young Rascals.

Their first minor hit was “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” (1965), followed by the #1 single “Good Lovin’” (1966, originally by the Olympics). Soon the band began to mature as songwriters and released other hit songs written themselves, including the hit “Groovin’” (1967), “It’s Wonderful”, “How Can I Be Sure” (which got to #1 in the UK when covered by David Cassidy), and “A Beautiful Morning” (1968).

Their best-remembered song was “People Got to Be Free” (1968), a passionate plea for racial tolerance. Unusual for their time, the Rascals refused to tour on segregrated bills. After “People Got to Be Free”, the Rascals never regained their former fame or had as large a hit.

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