1967 The Young Rascals – I’ve Been Lonely Too Long
Joey Dee formed the Joey Dee and the Starliters in 1958. The group’s first single featured lead singer Rogers Freeman, but not much happened with the recording. Later that year, Joey recruited David Brigati to replace Rogers, and the two of them began doing the vocals.
The group recorded a few more singles and regularly played in clubs in the New York City area, including the Peppermint Lounge. Joey wrote The Peppermint Twist in 1961 and the record topped the charts and sold over a million copies.
The group charted additional singles through 1963, after which the party was over. The group recruited David’s brother Eddie and his friends Gene Cornish and Felix Cavaliere as part of their touring group in 1964.
After the tour ended, the three recruits and drummer Dino Danelli formed a new group in New Jersey. David worked with the group to arrange their harmonies and help them practice, and he sometimes sang background vocals on their recordings. They named themselves The Rascals. When the group signed with Atlantic Records in 1965, there was a problem: a harmonica group had been using the name The Harmonica Rascals since 1933, and they objected to the name. Perhaps inspired by the short films from the twenties to the forties, their manager suggested they use the name The Young Rascals instead.
The group’s first single was Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore, a song they sang on a television show that featured a short skit with Alan King. While the appearance generated some attention, the record only reached #52 on the Hot 100 in early 1966.
Rudy Clark co-wrote the song Good Lovin’ with Artie Resnick. Lemme B. Good recorded the song in 1965, but it failed to chart. After hearing that version of his song, Rudy immediately began reworking the structure and lyrics of the tune.
The Olympics recorded the new version of the song and performed it on Shindig (with Billy Preston on keyboards!) later that year. Their single reached #81 on the Hot 100, so it still wasn’t a hit yet.
The Young Rascals recorded Good Lovin’ in 1966, using an arrangement that was nearly identical to the one used by the Olympics. Their single reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1966.
Things improved in 1967 with the release of I’ve Been Lonely Too Long. Eddie and Felix wrote the single, and it reached #18 on the Hot 100.
Encouraged by that success, they also wrote their next single, and Groovin’ again took them to the top of the chart.
The group finally changed their name back to The Rascals and continued turning out hits through the end of the sixties. Several members left the group in the early seventies, and after a few more unsuccessful albums, the group simply disbanded. Solo careers ensued, but they drew little attention.
There have been a few reunions of the original group, and from time to time, there have been several competing groups of touring Rascals with varying names that featured at least one original member.
The original group again reunited and performed together for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
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