The Young Rascals (the ‘young’ prefix was dropped when the band members left their teens) initially gained a following in New Jersey around 1965, particularly the Choo Choo Club in Garfield, where they made their debut in January of that year.
Next followed a three-month residency on The Barge, off Southampton, Long island – where they were discovered and signed to Atlantic Records (significantly, they were the label’s first rock signing).
I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore was their first single, and their first American hit.
By mid-1965 they were supporting The Beatles at Shea Stadium. but it was Good Lovin’ in 1966 which gave them their first Number 1 success.
The band’s following mushroomed and they became highly influential on the East Coast, inspiring such other contemporary groups as Vanilla Fudge.
Then in 1967 they recorded what was to be their major hit, Groovin’, which also marked a total change of style. It was a record that captured the mood of that spring. The disc signalled the summit of their career and, although they had another Stateside Number 1 the following year with People Got To Be Free, they were on the downward path.
1971 brought big changes, with Brigati and Cornish leaving the band, leaving Cavaliere and Danelli to take on three new members; Ann Sutton, Buzzy Feiton and Robert Popwell. The new line-up issued two albums but, realising they had lost much of their following, called it a day in 1972.
Danelli rejoined Cornish to form the moderately successful band Bulldogs. Cavaliere went solo but later joined Treasure in 1977, and Brigati teamed up with his brother, David, for recordings and sessions.
Ann Sutton also went into sessions – notably with Greg Allman and Ian Hunter – while Popwell joined The Crusaders. Feiton drifted into session work and played with Paul Butterfield.