Clean Fresh Air

‘A Beautiful Morning’ was the Rascals’ first single after they shortened their name from being the Young Rascals.  The song was written one morning in Honolulu, Hawaii by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati when the band was invited to perform there by promoter Tom Moffatt.  It became a big hit in the United States, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went on to reach #35 in the year-end edition of Billboard charts for 1968.  Beginning with their first visit to Hawaii in 1966, The Rascals enjoyed a mutual love and respect for the people and places of the islands that lingers today.  Their performances at the H.I.C Honolulu International Center Arena in Honolulu from 1966-1969 broke attendance records.  They would often bring their families and make the trip a vacation spot as well.  Cavaliere said The Young Rascals were the biggest stars in Hawaii and he was madly in love with this woman, and was gonna marry her, while ‘Groovin’’ was #1.  Everything was so wonderful and he felt that he had to write a song so that everybody could feel that good forever.  The beauty and magic of all the islands inspired three Rascals songs ‘Island Of Love’, ‘My Hawaii’ and ‘A Beautiful Morning’.

In 1957, concert promoter Tom Moffatt brought Elvis Presley to perform on the islands and later he brought other acts like Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, Elton John and Michael Jackson there.  The Rascals are considered ‘blue-eyed soul’ like The Righteous Brothers, and they had an impressive five-year reign atop the charts which showed in their record sales.  The Rascals started out as a home-made group, once Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish were able to come together.  They came up with the name Rascals while playing at The Choo Choo Club in Garfield, NJ.  They were a bar band working just a few blocks away from Eddie Brigati’s house, when one night someone said, “You ought to call the band The Little Rascals.”  The Little Rascals were very popular back then, so they thought it was a good idea and they decided to dress up like the characters from Spanky and Our Gang.  They purchased these knickers in the Village, this was their gimmick, their theatrical costume attempt and they incorporated this look into their act.  They made short ties to go with their round collars and the knickers, and when they got their first gig for Soupy Sales, he insisted that they wear the knickers when they did ‘The Mouse’ on his show and this became the group’s infamous Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit look.

The band worked a three-month residency on The Barge, a floating nightclub in Westhampton off Southampton, Long Island, where they were discovered by promoter Sid Bernstein.  A lot of record executives had summer homes in Long Island.  Ahmet Ertegun (president of Atlantic Records) came to see them and heard them play the Rudy Clark and Artie Resnick song ‘Good Lovin’’ and he knew that it was a hit.  They signed with Atlantic and Ahmet put them together with Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, who produced them.  Their individual talents as songwriters and performers have largely been overlooked, but while they were together, they made some beautiful music.

It’s a beautiful morning, ah
I think I’ll go outside for a while
And just smile
Just take in some, boy
No sense in staying inside
If the weather’s fine and you’ve got the time
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day
Either way

It’s a beautiful morning, ah
Each bird keeps singing his own song
So long
I’ve got to be on my way now
No fun just hanging around
I got to cover ground
You couldn’t keep me down
It just ain’t no good if the sun shines
When you’re still inside
Shouldn’t hide
Still inside
Shouldn’t hide
Still inside, shouldn’t hide.
Oh, oh, oh


There will be children with robins and flowers
Sunshine caresses each new waking hour

Seems to me that people keep seeing more and more each day
Gotta say, lead the way
It’s okay, brand new day
Gotta say, it’s okay
Brand new day, gotta say, lead the way
Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

Written for Thursday Inspiration #115 People Got to Be Free

4 thoughts on “Clean Fresh Air

  1. I always thought Dino Danelli was one of the great rock drummers. It’s amazing that all of them are still alive…one of the very few bands that old that are still around.

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