Felix Cavaliere


While neither of Felix’s parents were musicians, his mother insisted he become a classical pianist, and arranged for Felix to take classical piano lessons. HE took 3 lessons a week for 8 years, and developed great chops, and an appreciation for strong melodies. He cites Chopin, Schubert, Debussy, and Ravel as big influences on his songwriting.

In The 1950’s, he became enamored with the Rock n’ Roll piano stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Little Richard. Because of his extensive technique study in classical piano, he found learning the keyboard parts “a piece of cake”

At age 16, Felix heard a man playing a Hammond B3 organ in a club in New Rochelle, NY for the first time, and he was immediately hooked.
After seeing how the man played the bass parts on the floor pedals, he knew he had to learn to play the organ. He would travel to the Macy’s showroom in NYC, where a salesman friend let him play the demo models.

His early Hammond artist influeneces included Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, and Shirley Scott. He bought their albums, and absorbed their styles

Joined NY band, Joey Dee and The Starlighters who had a national hit with “Peppermint Twist”

Felix formed The Young Rascals in February of 1965. Atlantic Records producer Ahmet Erteun heard the band playing in a club in The Hamptons, signed them,, and by November of that year, they were celebrating with their first hit (with many hits to come), “I ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore”
At 1:45, there is some close-up KB (poorly synced)