A live performance of one of the defining hits of the Summer of Love features in a new clip from the archives of The Ed Sullivan Show, featuring the Young Rascals singing their 1967 US No.1 smash “Groovin’.”
The blue-eyed soul group from New Jersey already had one American chart-topper under their belt, 1966’s “Good Lovin,” during their long run of success on Atlantic Records. After some more modest hits, they released “Groovin,” written by vocalist-organist Felix Cavaliere and singer-percussionist Eddie Brigati, in the spring of 1967. The track’s suitably relaxed vibe was created by the group, as producers, and master engineer Tom Dowd.
The song immediately entered both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart, also becoming a substantial Top 10 hit in the UK and Australia, and a bestseller in Canada. It hit No.1 on the Billboard pop chart in May, spending four non-consecutive weeks at the summit. It reigned for two weeks before giving way to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and then, remarkably, climbing back for two further weeks at the peak.
The Young Rascals are seen performing the song on the September 10 edition of Sullivan, on which their fellow guests were pop star and actress Petula Clark and entertainer Red Skelton. Having first appeared on the show around the time that “Good Lovin’” was breaking in 1966, such was their popularity that this was the group’s third time as guests in the space of about seven months in 1967.
After three further hits that year, the group shortened their name to the Rascals, scoring two more big hits in 1968 with “A Beautiful Morning” and the chart-topping “People Got To Be Free.” They continued to record together until 1972’s The Island of Real album. Both “Good Lovin’” and “Groovin’” were subsequently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the latter also into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Watch all the latest archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.