Groovin'

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For other uses, see Groovin' (disambiguation).
"Groovin'"
Single by The Young Rascals
from the album Groovin'
B-side "Sueño"
Released April 10, 1967
Format 7" single
Recorded March 27, 1967
Genre R&B, Blue-eyed soul[1]
Length 2:30
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Felix Cavaliere
Eddie Brigati
Producer(s) The Rascals
The Young Rascals singles chronology
"I've Been Lonely Too Long"
(1967)
"Groovin"
(1967)
"A Girl Like You"
(1967)
"Groovin'"
Single by Booker T & the M.G.s
from the album Hip Hug-Her
Released 1967
Genre R&B, Soul
Length 2:40
Label

Stax Records

224

"Groovin" is a single released in 1967 by The Young Rascals that became a number-one hit and one of the group's signature songs.

Written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and with a lead vocal from Cavaliere, it is indeed a slow, relaxed groove, based on Cavaliere's newfound interest in Afro-Cuban music. Instrumentation included a conga, a Cuban-influenced bass guitar line from ace session musician Chuck Rainey, and a harmonica part, performed first for the single version by New York session musician, Michael Weinstein, and later for the album version by Gene Cornish.

The result was fairly different from the Rascals' white soul origins, enough so that Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler did not want to release "Groovin'". Cavaliere credits disc jockey Murray the K with intervening to encourage Atlantic to release the song. “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 (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 Jerry Wexler and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is a friggin’ #1 record.’ He was right, because it eventually became #1 for four straight weeks.”[2]

Lyrically, "Groovin'" is themed around a highly romantic portrayal of a couple in love:

Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly ...
Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn't get away too soon —[1]

The single became an instant hit in May 1967, bounding up the charts and then spending four weeks atop the Billboard pop singles chart. It was RIAA-certified a gold record on June 13, 1967. Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, it also reached number 3 on the Billboard Black Songs chart chart.[3] Finally, "Groovin'" was the only real hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.

The Rascals performing "Groovin'" during their 2013 Once Upon a Dream show, with a peaceful park scene showing on the video screen behind them. Gene Cornish plays the well-known harmonica part.

"Groovin'" was subsequently included on The Young Rascals' late July 1967 album Groovin', but with the aforementioned different harmonica riff.

"Groovin'" is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and is also the recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

In other languages[edit]

The Young Rascals recorded "Groovin" in Spanish,[4] French[5] and Italian[6] in 1968.

Cover versions[edit]

Funk band War recorded a version in 1984, reaching #43 in the UK chart.[citation needed]

References[edit]

Preceded by
"The Happening" by The Supremes
"Respect" by Aretha Franklin
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 20-June 2, 1967 (two weeks)
June 17–30, 1967 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Respect" by Aretha Franklin
"Windy by The Association