Cazenovia In the late-1960s, when rock-n-roll ruled the airwaves on AM radio, Felix Cavaliere played keyboards for the Young Rascals. It was his voice — a soulful tenor — which sang the lyrics to major Top 40 hits such as “It’s a Beautiful Morning” and “Lonely Too Long.” Cavaliere captured the zeitgeist of the 60s with other hits like “Groovin” and “People Got to be Free.”
Those well-remembered classic rock tunes will be heard again when Cavaliere plays a solo show at 8 p.m. Friday, June 29, at the Catherine Cummings Theatre, 16 Lincklaen St., in Cazenovia. Admission costs $30; (800) 838-3006.
Cavaliere logged his first professional gigs with groups such as The Stereos and The Escorts and enjoyed his first march up the Hit Parade in 1961 with “The Peppermint Twist” as a member of Joey Dee & The Starliters. Four years later in northern New Jersey he formed the Young Rascals with Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli.
The band’s first No. 1 hit, “Good Lovin,” was a cover of a song by The Olympics. Subsequent chart-toppers, such as 1968’s “People Got to Be Free,” were penned by Cavaliere and Brigati.
The Young Rascals were inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Cavaliere and Brigati were inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2009. Having attended Syracuse University in the late-1950s, Cavaliere was inducted into the Syracuse Music Awards Hall of Fame in 1994 when he played the awards show at the Landmark Theatre.
All four members of the Rascals reunited for a benefit concert in April 2010 at New York City’s Tribeca Grill.
Raised on Long Island’s north shore, Cavaliere is now in his late-60s, and he resides in Nashville, Tenn.
Friday’s concert is part of the Cummings Theatre’s SongStage series hosted by Live Space Entertainment, the brainchild of local concert promoter Tom Honan; livespaceentertainment.com.
Honan is partnering with Caz Cares, a food pantry, and he encourages concertgoers to bring non-perishable foods to the shows.
“The SongStage series allows the Catherine Cummings Theatre to be a major venue for national, regional and local artists,” said Colleen Prossner, theater director. “We see great benefits for Cazenovia College and for Central New York.”
Russ Tarby is a contributing writer at Eagle Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.