Blue Eyed Soul Music
The song was written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati . It was released in 1967 as a single, backed with “Sueño.” Cavaliere had become interested in Afro-Cuban music, and the song does, indeed, get into a nice groove — Conga drums et al. It’s a nice tune from Sixties rock music. Part of the inspiration for the song, the story goes, is that the group had plenty of work (a good thing), especially on Friday and Saturday nights, and could see their girlfriends only on Sunday afternoons. Their record company (Atlantic) wasn’t crazy about the song, but DJ Murray the K believed that it was a #1 hit and helped to get it released (not to mention airplay). And, sure enough, “Groovin'” went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and on Cash Box. It went to #1 in Canada, #3 in Australia, and #8 in the U.K . The record sold more than one million copies, and it earned an RIAA gold record. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has “Groovin'” among the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and it received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
The song became a signature for The Young Rascals (who soon thereafter became The Rascals) . They recorded it in Spanish, French, and Italian. They also released it on their 1967 album Groovin’. Booker T. and the M.G.’s did a cover as an instrumental, which also charted in 1967.
The Young Rascals formed in Garfield New Jersey in 1965. They were Eddie Brigati (vocals), Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar), and Dino Danelli (drums). Eddie and his brother David had been with Joey Dee and the Starliters, as had Cavaliere and Cornish. The group had plenty of commercial success, including the songs “A Beautiful Morning, “Good Lovin,'” “A Girl Like You,” and “People Got to be Free.” They had seven U.S. Top 30 hits before they became The Rascals in 1968. They then had five more Top 30 hits before they disbanded in 1972.