In tandem with organist/singer Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati was the voice of the Rascals, as well as -- often in collaboration with Cavaliere -- one of the group's two resident composers. Born Edward Brigati, Jr. in Garfield, NJ, in 1945, he reached his teens amid the tail-end of the first wave of American rock & roll, though his real first love was R&B and, later, soul music. He worked in various groups in northern New Jersey and New York, and actually succeeded his older brother David Brigati as a member of Joey Dee & the Starliters. After a year, he, Cavaliere, and guitarist Gene Cornish decided that they should try to form their own band, which they did with drummer Dino Danelli rounding out the quartet. That group became the Rascals (originally put before the public as the Young Rascals), with Brigati and Cavaliere sharing the lead vocals. Although they were initially a cover band, doing as many as 25 songs in their own style, which was enough to delight audiences and attract the management of Sid Bernstein -- and get them their first major hit with "Good Lovin'" -- eventually they turned to writing their own songs. That task fell to Brigati and Cavaliere, and ultimately the group became known as much for their original compositions as for their collective sound. Brigati's credits included such classics as "Groovin'," "I've Been Lonely Too Long," "How Can I Be Sure," "You Better Run," and "People Got to Be Free"." He remained with the group until 1970, leaving at the same time that they switched from Atlantic to Columbia Records. Since then, he has pursued various solo and group endeavors, including the album Lost in the Wilderness, recorded with his brother in 1976 under the name Brigati. He has proved to be the most resistant to reuniting with the other members, especially Cavaliere (Cornish and Danelli have worked together at various times since the original group's breakup). The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and a dozen years later, in 2009, both Brigati and Cavaliere were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Share this page