The Young Rascals, “Mustang Sally”

My first experience of Mustang Sally was this single by the Young Rascals.

The history of white acts covering hits originally performed by black acts is long, deep and full of argument.

I mean, Pat Boone?

The Rascals, as they grew up to be known, were better than exploiters, but where you draw the line concerning cultural appropriation might color your opinion. What I’m sure of is the Rascals loved R&B music, and brought their own shape (my first thought was to say color, but that would be wrong) to it.

If you doubt the Rascals soul, try this:

9 thoughts on “The Young Rascals, “Mustang Sally”

  1. Way back then and to this day The Rascals get played on soul radio. Felix played (with my old landlord Bob Archigian) in the first integrated band in Westchester in the late 50s. I forget their name, I don’t think they ever made a record.

    I have a special thing with Mustang Sally – I once sang it at a jam with real musicians in real bands and they told me I should be in a band. The first time anyone thought I was good enough. Here’s one of their best, covered at least twice in vastly inferior versions:

    • “The Rockers” Chris Cahill, Bob Kippetman, Alan Gramaglia Frank Tolksdorf Bob Archigian….

  2. Cover versions of You Better Run:

    Pat Benatar’s cover was the second video ever played on MTV. It has a hair metal sheen.

    Eddie and the Hot Rods punk it up.

    The first record Robert Plant ever sang on was his band Listen’s cover of You Better Run.

  3. I didn’t want to sully the original by posting the covers. Another thing about the Rascals: unlike most of the big American bands at the time, they played on their records. Considering that the Atlantic house musicians were as good as it gets, that says a lot. Little Steven Van Zandt called Dino Danielli the “best rock drummer ever,” and if he’s not I’d like to hear the guy who is.

  4. Yeah, I didn’t post the Benatar and the Hot Rods versions for that reason, but while the Robert Plant isn’t very good, I had never heard of it before. As they say on YouTube, RARE!!!!!

  5. I saw the Rascals, who along with Vanilla Fudge, opened for Hendrix the first time I saw Jimi. And, they were great. A tight band of very good musicians who were totally in control of their art. I was always a big fan of this (Dino kills):

  6. That’s a great weird clip Lawr. Sounds like live Rascals. Looks like the band miming to the live track. All are a joy to watch and hear, for sure.

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