Growing up in the New York suburbs, Felix Cavaliere studied piano from six to 14 years old. Influenced by R&B music, especially Ray Charles, he formed his first band and discovered the Hammond organ that would become his "trademark sound" along with his soulful vocals.
In 1965, he formed the Young Rascals (later shortened to The Rascals) along with Dino Danelli, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish. Their high-energy club set attracted the attention of manager Sid Bernstein, and they were signed with Atlantic Records. Before they knew it, they began releasing records.
From 1965 through 1969, the Rascals were one of the biggest groups in the country, with most of their hits co-written by Felix and Eddie including Groovin', How Can I Be Sure, A Girl Like You, A Beautiful Morning and People Got To Be Free.
They evolved from blue-eyed soul (a term coined to describe them) to pop psychedelia and jazz fusion. Their biggest hit, People Got to Be Free, was written as an impassioned response to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. It topped the charts for five weeks and inspired a follow-up single, A Ray of Hope, written for and about Teddy Kennedy.
At this juncture, the Rascals began focusing on albums instead of singles. Their more experimental, elongated approach resulted in records like Freedom Suite, a double album from 1969. By the early Seventies, the Rascals had mutated into an impressionistic jazz-rock outfit eventually disbanding in 1972.
Felix embarked on a solo career releasing albums over the next two decades. In 1997, Felix and the other original Rascals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the highest recognition a band/musician can receive.
Today Felix lives in Nashville, TN and still travels the country, performing most every weekend.