Airdate – Jan 16, 2022
Arguably the greatest blue-eyed soul band to come out of New Jersey was the Rascals.
From late 1965 through 1971, the band made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 eighteen times and was at its peak between 1966 – 1968, charting 10 times in that period, including three #1 singles.
The Rascals first #1 hit surfaced in March of 1966 and was actually a remake of a record that had previously charted in May of 1965.
Originally known as the Young Rascals, the original four members of the band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. They had come a long way given that three out of four of them first teamed up together as member of Joey Dee’s backup band, the Starliters. Future Rascals, organist Felix Cavaliere and percussionist Eddie Brigati, joined in 1964 and Canadian guitarist Gene Cornish joined in 1965.
They soon left the Starliters, forming their own band with the addition of an old acquaintance of Cavaliere’s, jazz drummer Dino Danelli.
On Christmas Day in 1965, the Young Rascals, as they were originally introduced to the public, made their debut on the charts with “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” a soulful ballad that many today feel should have faired better than the #52 position that it reached.
Their second Billboard entry was the remake that went to #1. Story has it that it initially became part of the Young Rascals’ repertoire after Felix Cavaliere had heard it being played on a New York soul station in 1965 by the Olympics of “Western Movies” fame (1958). The Olympics recorded the song in April of 1965 but stalled at the 81st position on the pop charts. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes also released a version in England prior to the Young Rascals’ release.
According to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, this song is one of the 500 greatest songs that shaped Rock & Roll. Referencing the Young Rascals’ cover of the Olympics’ version, writer Dave Marsh may have said it best when he stated that it was “the greatest example ever of a remake surpassing the quality of an original without changing a thing about the arrangement.”
The song has definitely passed the test of time and has ridden the wave of one of Rock & Roll’s greatest themes – a theme beautifully presented by the Olympics in their rendition of “Good Lovin’,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
PS One month prior to the Olympics, in March 1965, R&B artist, Lemme B. Good, originally recorded “Good Lovin’.” Check out this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXdlIA-bpAA