The story of “Groovin'” by The Young Rascals is the sound of a couple of heartsick artists missing their girlfriends. This song was written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of The Rascals when they realized as musicians, their schedules were pretty tight, and they could only see their significant others every Sunday afternoons.
“I met this young girl and I just fell head over heels in love. I was so gone that this joyous, wonderful emotion came into the music,” Cavaliere told Seth Swirsky, from the award-winning documentary, Beatles Stories. “‘Groovin’ was part of that experience. If you look at the storyline, it’s very simple: we’re groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon because Friday and Saturdays are when musicians work. The simplicity of it is that Sundays you could be with your loved one. And the beauty of is this joyous bliss that at that time I equated with a person, but that’s the beauty of music – when it’s an example of what you do it lasts forever. You’re in love forever because of that moment in time that you captured, and that’s what was happening with ‘Groovin’.”
The story behind “Groovin'” is classic: Atlantic label execs were somewhat eager about the tune of it getting chances on the charts. Fortunately, influential DJ Murray the K was at the studio at the time and heard the song.
“To tell you the truth, they didn’t originally like the record because it had no drum on it,” Cavaliere told Goldmine in 2011. “We had just cut it, and [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 (Atlantic president) 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.”
‘Groovin” was released as a single on April 10, 1967, and peaked up the charts at #1 on May 20, 1967, where it stayed for a month.