The Rascals Are Coming

All the world over, so easy to see People everywhere just wanna be free
Listen, please listen, that’s the way it should be
Peace in the valley, people got to be free
You should see, what a lovely, lovely world this would be
If everyone learned to live together
It seems to me such an easy, easy thing this would be
Why can’t you and me learn to love one another
All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
I can’t understand it, so simple to me
People everywhere just got to be free

The Rascals (initially known as The Young Rascals) are an American blue-eyed soul group initially active during the years 1965–72.

Felix Cavaliere – vocals, keyboards – Eddie Brigati – vocals, percussion – Gene Cornish – vocals, guitar – Dino Danelli – drums

Georgie Woods, a Philadelphia radio DJ, came up with the term blue-eyed soul in the 1960s to describe white artists who received airplay on rhythm and blues radio stations In the early 1960s:

One of the rare female blue-eyed soul singers was Timi Yuro, whose vocal delivery and repertoire were influenced by African American singers such as Dinah Washington.

Perhaps one of the most famous duos to be associated with the term were The Righteous Brothers, due to their emotive vocal style; their 1964 LP Some Blue-Eyed Soul was named after the term.

Groups such as The Rascals (originally The Young Rascals) had soul-tinged songs, but it was the soulful vocals of Felix Cavaliere that gave them the blue-eyed soul sound.

The Rascals  released numerous top ten singles in North America during the mid- and late-1960s, including the #1 hits “Good Lovin'” (1966), “Groovin'” (1967), and “People Got to Be Free” (1968), as well as “A Beautiful Morning” (#3 1968) and the lesser-known “A Girl Like You”.

When Atlantic Records signed them, they discovered that another group, Borrah Minnevitch’s Harmonica Rascals’, objected to their release of records under the name ‘The Rascals’.

To avoid conflict, manager Sid Bernstein decided to rename the group ‘The Young Rascals’.

Groovin’ –   July 31, 1967

The Rascals move into the era of psychedelia with a vengeance on this album — their best of their entire history — which also retains a soulful core and adds a bit of a Latin beat. The original album on Atlantic was a monster seller thanks to the title track, practically the group’s signature tune (number one on the pop charts, number three on R&B)

“Find Somebody” marked a return to the group’s garage band sound with a psychedelic twist, including phased fuzztone guitars and some catchy lyrics and choruses.

The band turns in one superb Motown cover, “A Place in the Sun,” done in a surprisingly subdued fashion.

Cavaliere and Brigati turn in an exultant period piece, “It’s Love,” whose soaring lyrics are matched by guest artist Hubert Laws’ flute — alas, his presence would point the way toward less effective, more disjointed work in the group’s future, as they moved more deeply into psychedelia.

Once Upon a Dream –  February 19, 1968

It’s an under-celebrated masterpiece of the psychedelic era and belongs next to Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper’s on the shelf because it is easily as sophisticated, and once heard in its entirety, can never be forgotten.

Freedom Suite – March 17, 1969

The band wrote a single LP’s worth of solid tunes including a quartet of fine singles. First, there is “People Got to Be Free,” which spent five weeks at Number One on the pop (and hit number 14 on the R&B chart as well).

Then there’s easy summer soul and gospel groove on “A Ray of Hope,” which may have only gotten to number 39, but it’s among the most enduring cuts in the Rascals legacy.

The track “Heaven,” which closed the first disc of Freedom Suite, was also wrapped tightly in urban gospel.

1969 – See

1971 – Search and Nearness

1971 – Peaceful World

1972 – The Island of Real

They had never been an album-oriented group, but unlike other some other great mid-’60s bands, they were unable to satisfactorily expand their talents into full-length formats.

A more serious problem was the departure of Brigati, the band’s primary lyricist, in 1970. Cornish was also gone a year later, although Cavaliere and Danelli kept The Rascals going a little longer with other musicians. The band broke up in 1972.

Felix Cavaliere meets Brian Epstein & The Beatles:

Did you meet Brian Epstein?

A – Yeah. We met him at a number of places. I don’t remember seeing him there. This was much later.

Q – What kind of guy did you find him to be?

A – Just a regular manager type of guy. Very serious about what he was doing. At that time he was a little angry at us.

Q – Why would that be?

A – We were at Shea Stadium at that time and basically they were doing their concert. We had on the sign “The Rascals Are Coming”. He took exception to the fact that that was on the billboard the same time his band was onstage. So, it had to come off immediately. So, it’s kind of tough to have a real friendly conversation with somebody that’s really ticked off at you like that.

Over the course of the years, I got to know Paul a little bit, George a little bit and I toured with Ringo. John, I used to see him from time to time on the streets of New York. It’s tough to get to know a Beatle. You know what I’m saying? The guys that I knew the best were George and Ringo of course ‘cause I did the tour. They’re so isolated from everything and everyone. They’re super, giant, monster stars you know. They really don’t get any peace and quiet. I always felt happy to be invited to their homes and took advantage of the time I had there to talk about what I was interested in. In the case of George, I was talking to him about yoga because I was getting involved and of course they were involved. It was a great, great thing and they’re very important people.

Time Peace: The Rascals’ Greatest Hits is a greatest hits album from The Rascals, released in June 1968. It reached number one on the Billboard Pop Albums chart by September 1968. It also topped the Cash Box albums chart with a run in the Top 10 for 20 consecutive weeks

Original copies of Time Peace were released with the Atlantic graphics erronesously pressed on purple, white and gold labels which were used for stereo Atco albums.

Packaging consisted of a gatefold album cover with front and back consisting of dot-based newspaper cartoon-style drawing of the four group members, with song titles in speech balloons; the interior gave complete song credits on one side, and an ensemble photograph on the other side whose artsy nature and 1968-style dress, together with the album’s punning title, foretold the thematic and artistic direction the group was about to undertake.

 Other Rascals

The Little Rascals refers primarily to the television package of producer Hal Roach’s Our Gang theatrical short film comedies, specifically those made between 1929 and 1938.

Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach’s Rascals) are a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way, as Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children rather than have them imitate adult acting styles.

In addition, Our Gang notably put boys, girls, whites and blacks together in a group as equals, something that “broke new ground,” according to film historian Leonard Maltin. Such a thing had never been done before in cinema but has since been repeated after the success of Our Gang.

If there’s a man who is down and needs a helping hand, All it takes is you to understand and to see him through

Seems to me, we got to solve it individually, And I’ll do unto you what you do to me

There’ll be shoutin’ from the mountains on out to sea, (out to the sea)

No two ways about it, people have to be free, (they got to be free)

Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be, (ah-ha)

It’s a natural situation for a man to be free, Oh, what a feelin’s just come over me

Enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see, Everybody’s dancin’, come on, let’s go see

Peace in the valley, now they want to be free, 

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