“Enough To Move A Mountain, Make A Blind Man See”
In 1968, my high school senior trip was to New York. There, I purchased the first album released by The Young Rascals. Subsequently, they changed their name to The Rascals. I bought every album they released. In 1969, I saw them live in concert in Chicago. They were a band ahead of their time.
This week, the words from “People Got To Be Free” played in my head, especially the line, “enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see.” Yes, the desire for all of mankind to be free generates a feeling that makes it just that obvious.
My older sister, who in 1968 was already an adult and blues fan, criticized me for liking a band of Italian guys out of New Jersey who weren’t playing the blues. It was during the wave of British bands who got their start by remaking the songs of Muddy Waters, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, and Rufus Thomas. But, the Rascals were original. They were “flower power” with songs about freedom, hope, equality and brotherhood. More than that, it was their harmony, Felix’s talent playing the organ, and their unmistakable voices.
My sister changed her opinion after the Rascals released Groovin’, which she heard for the first time in a Chicago, Westside hole in the wall. Of course, I had the record months before she heard it. When I played records however, she would close the door to my bedroom, the door that separated the front of the house from the area where her bedroom was, and the door to her bedroom. (Did I play records that loud?)
After getting her attention with Groovin’, I was able to introduce her to other Rascals’ songs; such as “Ray of Hope” that the Rascals wrote about political hope in Ted Kennedy after the assassinations of Martin L. King, John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. My sister forgave me. I knew she did because she took my Rascals’ albums to her room. I forgave her after I took them back and hid them so she would have to ask me for them next time.
As I was looking on Youtube for “People Got To Be Free” showing the band; Felix, Eddie, Dino and Gene, I discovered that this year, they got back together. Not only are they back together, but they are coming to Chicago in November. I’ll be there with my headband, peace symbol necklace, and tambourine.
Here are the Rascals, 1969 and 2013.
The Rascals, 2013