Peter Murphy

Count Basie, Red Bank, NJ

The Rascals were formed in New Jersey during the height of the British Invasion. They stood out as the inventors of good time, blue eyed soul music. With 18 top 40 hits, 5 top 10 hits, and 3 number 1 hits they were the biggest band in the world.  50 years and many trials and tribulations later, Felix Cavaliere brought his Hammond Organ and traveling Rascals show to the Count Basie theater in Red Bank NJ. 

This was a special night for me because growing up in NYC with 4 older siblings, Felix and the Rascals were always a favorite in my house. The Rascals music is one of my earliest musical memories, even more so than the Beatles or Stones. They seemed to me like they were neighborhood guys. They seemed no different than my oldest brothers friends. Except they could play and sing. Oh boy could they play and sing!  

Looking like a neighborhood guy, Felix hit the stage, and the theater lit up with smiles. He was loose and vibrant and his voice was as strong as ever. All the hits, all the good times, all the memories came flooding back. That’s the beauty of the Rascals music, it was feel good, happy, boy meets girl, dance music. Peace, Love and Happiness. 

Its hard to believe 4 guys could have created all this amazing music. “Groovin”, “How Can I Be Sure”, “Beautiful Morning”, “Lonely Too Long”,
and “Mustang Sally”. Felix was delightful and engaging as he relayed the memory of the time Otis Redding stuck his head into the studio as they were recording and exclaimed “You guys really are White” ! 

It was evident why The Rascals and Felix have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Grammy Hall of Fame and the Hammond Organ Hall of Fame.  Felix kept the crowd guessing as he would throw in snippets of classic Motown songs, and current hits like “Happy” and “Billie Jean”.   

They closed the show with the anthems “Good Lovin” and “People Got to be Free” and left the crowd on their feet as Felix shook hands and showed his appreciation to the fans.  I had the pleasure to speak with Felix recently, and he truly appreciates the fans. We all shared this music together and it was the soundtrack to our lives. The soundtrack to a generation.  I left the theater with a big smile on my face and I have been singing “Groovin” and “How Can I Be Sure” for a week straight now. I know I am not the only one. If you are looking for a night of pure joy and happiness, be sure to catch Felix Cavaliere and his Rascals. It will surely be a beautiful Evening.
Dennis Morgillo

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