In 1965, a California doo-wop group called the Olympics had a minor hit with an urgent plea of a song titled “Good Lovin’.” The next year, The Young Rascals, formed in Garfield, had their first major hit with it, not by radically reworking it, but just by upping the mood from urgent to practically frantic. Check out the band’s performance of it on the television show “Hullabaloo,” below.
Many more hits were to follow for The Young Rascals (who later changed their name to The Rascals), including “Groovin’,” “People Got to Be Free,” “How Can I Be Sure” and “A Beautiful Morning.” They broke up in 1972, but 40 years later, singer-organist Felix Cavaliere, singer Eddie Brigati, guitarist Gene Cornish and drummer Dino Danelli reunited for a combined concert/theatrical show called “The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream.” Produced by Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen Van Zandt, it toured nationally and also had a limited engagement on Broadway.
I’ve included a video of The Olympics’ performance of “Good Lovin’ ” (with Billy Preston on organ) on the television show “Shindig!,” under the Young Rascals video. As you can see, there’s a subtle but significant difference in the way the two groups perform the song.
I also have a question that I’m hoping someone seeing this can answer. At the beginning of the Young Rascals clip, Cornish turns his back to the audience to reveal the initials “B.S.” on the back of his sweater. Was he mad at something (though he doesn’t really look angry)? Sending a secret message? If anyone knows the answer, please let me know in the comments section below.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.