Supriya Ghosh

Groovin'

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B-side  "Sueño"
Format  7" single
Genre  R&B, blue-eyed soul
Released  April 10, 1967
Recorded  March 27, 1967
Length  2:30
Groovin'

"Groovin" is a single released in 1967 by the Young Rascals that became a number-one hit and one of the group's signature songs.

Contents

Written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and with a lead vocal from Cavaliere, it is indeed a slow, relaxed groove, based on Cavaliere's newfound interest in Afro-Cuban music. Instrumentation included a conga, a Cuban-influenced bass guitar line from ace session musician Chuck Rainey, and a harmonica part, performed first for the single version by New York session musician, Michael Weinstein, and later for the album version by Gene Cornish.

The result was fairly different from the Rascals' white soul origins, enough so that Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler did not want to release "Groovin'". Cavaliere credits disc jockey Murray the K with intervening to encourage Atlantic to release the song. "To tell you the truth, they didn't originally like the record because it had no drum on it," admits Cavaliere. "We had just cut it, and he [Murray the K] came in the studio to say hello. After he heard the song, he said, 'Man, this is a smash.' So, when he later heard that Atlantic didn't want to put it out, he went to see Jerry Wexler and said, 'Are you crazy? This is a friggin' No. 1 record.' He was right, because it eventually became No. 1 for four straight weeks."

Lyrically, "Groovin'" is the evocation of a person in love:

Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly ... Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon Really couldn't get away too soon —

"Groovin" was inspired by Cavaliere's then-girlfriend, Adrienne Buccheri. He said of her, "I believe she was divinely sent for the purpose of inspiring my creativity."

The single became an instant hit in May 1967, spending four weeks atop the Billboard pop singles chart, but not four consecutive weeks. The sequence was interrupted by Aretha Franklin's "Respect" which spent a week at No. 1 in the middle of "Groovin'"'s run. The song was RIAA-certified a gold record on June 13, 1967.

"Groovin'" dropped so quickly from the charts, that Casey Kasem remarked about it in his radio show American Top 40 five years later.

Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, the song also reached No. 3 on the Billboard Black Songs chart. "Groovin'" was the only hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.

"Groovin'" was subsequently included on the Young Rascals' late July 1967 album Groovin', but with the alternate harmonica solo.

"Groovin'" is one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and is also the recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

The phrase "you and me endlessly" was often misheard as the mondegreen "you and me and Leslie".

In other languages

The Young Rascals recorded "Groovin" in Spanish, French and Italian in 1968.

Cover versions

  • Within weeks of the Young Rascals release, Booker T. and the M.G.'s recorded an instrumental cover of "Groovin'". Issued as a single, the track reached No. 21 on the pop charts and No. 10 on the R&B charts in the summer of 1967.
  • The Esquires released a version of the song on their 1967 album, Get on Up and Get Away.
  • Johnny Nash gave a reggae rhythm to his cover version released on CBS.
  • Leif Garrett released a version of the song on his 1978 album, Feel the Need.
  • Motown singer Marvin Gaye recorded the song for his 1970 album That's The Way Love Is.
  • John Paul Young covered the song on his 1981 album, The Singer and again on his 1996 album, Now
  • References

    Groovin' Wikipedia


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