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’ No. 1 record.’ He was right, because it eventually became No. 1 for four straight weeks.”[2]

Lyrically, "Groovin'" is the evocation of a person in love:

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

The phrase "you and me endlessly" was often misheard as the mondegreen "you and me and Leslie".[3]

The single became an instant hit in May 1967, spending four weeks atop the Billboard pop singles chart, but not four consecutive weeks. The sequence was interrupted by Aretha Franklin's "Respect" which spent a week at No. 1 in the middle of "Groovin'"'s run. The song was RIAA-certified a gold record on June 13, 1967.

"Groovin'" dropped so quickly from the charts that Casey Kasem remarked about it in his radio show American Top 40 five years later.[4]

Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, the song also reached No. 3 on the Billboard Black Songs chart chart.[5] "Groovin'" was the only hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 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 alternate harmonica solo.

"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,[6] French[7] and Italian[8] in 1968.

Cover versions[edit]

Within weeks of the Young Rascals release, Booker T. and the M.G.'s recorded an instrumental cover of "Groovin'". Issued as a single, the track reached No. 21 on the pop charts and No. 10 on the R&B charts in the summer of 1967.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 52 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 8]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.  Track 5.
  2. ^ Cohen, Elliot Stephen. "Felix Cavaliere traces the tumultuous history of The Rascals > Review". Goldmine. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ Marc Myers (2013-04-04). "The Day They Grooved to ' Groovin' '". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  4. ^ American Top 40, 18 November 1972.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 482. 
  6. ^ Groovin' (Spanish Version) - The Young Rascals - YouTube
  7. ^ Young Rascals Groovin' French Version (Rare) - YouTube
  8. ^ Groovin' (Italian Version) The Young Rascals - YouTube
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