The Young Rascals – Groovin

If I had to pick out favorite cruising songs…this would be in the top 5. A great song by an underappreciated band. This song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #9 in the UK.

This was the second of three #1 hits for The Rascals, after “Good Lovin'” and before “People Got to Be Free.”

The song was off of the album of the same name in 1967 and it peaked at #5 in the Billboard Chart.

From Songfacts

Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of The Rascals wrote this song after they realized that because of their work schedule, they could see their girlfriends only on Sunday afternoons. It’s implied that these Sunday afternoons are spent with a nice romp. Cavaliere told Seth Swirsky, who was shooting footage for his documentary Beatles Stories, “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. Groovin’ was part of that experience. If you look at the story line, 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 record company executives who worked on “Groovin'” didn’t particularly like the song, but as they listened to the playback, influential New York DJ Murray the K overheard it and pronounced it a #1 record. Unbeknownst to the group, Murray went to Atlantic Records president Jerry Wexler and demanded it be released. As the program manager and top DJ on the first FM rock station (WOR-FM), Murray the K had this kind of clout, and also the rare ability to connect with listeners and recognize what songs would become hits. The Rascals, who started out as The Young Rascals, were playing at The Gordion Knot club on York Avenue when Murray picked them as his “house band” – the group that backed him up at personal appearances. It was that relationship (based on Murray’s gut sense that the band had genuine potential) that drove his partisan support.

In the US, this spent two weeks at #1, then two weeks at #2 (as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” took over to top spot), then returned to the top for two more weeks.

The term “Groovy” was becoming popular around this time, and the title of this song is a variation on the term. The first popular “Groovy” song was “A Groovy Kind Of Love,” and the first popular use in lyrics was in “59th Street Bridge Song.”

Smokey Robinson got the idea for his song “Cruisin'” from this one – his original hook was “I love it when we’re groovin’ together,” but he thought “cruisin'” was more intimate.


Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon

I can’t imagine anything that’s better
The world is ours whenever we’re together
There ain’t a place I’d like to be instead of

Groovin’, down a crowded avenue
Doin’ anything we like to do

There’s always lots of things that we can see
We can be anyone we want to be
And all those happy people we could meet just

Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon


We’ll keep on spending sunny days this way
We’re gonna talk and laugh our time away
I feel it comin’ closer day by day
Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly

Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

14 thoughts on “The Young Rascals – Groovin”

    1. I’m so accusomed to the lingo now that I dont pay attention lol… its like when I watch The Bob Newhart Show….the one based in Chicago…some people look at the seventies kitchen and go bananas…I’m like…what?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I just had my right speaker on, and I was thinking geez I don’t remember it being this sparse! Quite liked it. Just the lead, a few harmonies and the harp. Piano, bass and drums are all hard left. What a trip


    1. He really is a great one. This band gets overlooked a lot. I first found out about them in the eighties on an oldies channel back then…96.3 in Nashville. I miss that channel…or the format of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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