Did you know that The Rascals had more #1 hits during the 1960s than everyone except The Beatles, The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and The Four Seasons? On Saturday May 11, Felix Cavaliere's Rascals will close Season 2 of the Bugalou Concert Series in style at St. Francis de Sales in Belle Harbor, with special guests and Rockaway favorite, Squid, beginning the night of music.
After serving in the band Joey Dee and the Starlighters (Peppermint Twist), Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, and Gene Cornish, brought in Dino Danelli on drums to form the Young Rascals in Garfield, NJ in 1965. The band got its big break while playing at the famous music club, The Barge, on Long Island where Sid Bernstein, who was famous for bringing The Beatles to Shea Stadium, was looking for “the next big thing,” signing on as the band's manager and securing a contract with Atlantic Records shortly after. I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore was their first single, but it was the follow up, Good Lovin' that made their reputation, going to #1 in the U.S. and Canada. The band would follow with a string of Top 40 hits, reaching #1 again in 1967 with Groovin' and in 1968 with People Got to Be Free. It's A Beautiful Morning, How Can I Be Sure, and A Girl Like You also went #1 in Canada while reaching the Top 10 in the U.S. The band continued into the early ‘70s with some defections, but never attained the same commercial success as during their peak from 1966-1968.
Steve Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band is a lifelong fan and the band's biggest champion, giving a memorable speech at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, proclaiming them as “the first rock band ever,” and then forging a reunion in 2013, to bring the band and their story to Broadway for “Once Upon a Dream,” with another memorable performance during the Tony Awards show.
Felix Cavaliere wrote most of the Rascals hits with Eddie Brigati, and was lead singer on many, including their three #1 hits, and provided their trademark keyboard sound, particularly on the Hammond B3 organ. He has continued to record and perform throughout the years, including a stint as part of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band. Cavaliere was originally slated to perform the second show of Bugalou's first season but the wait will be worth it as a recent performance at City Winery in NYC demonstrated.