I was listening to one of my two favorite podcasters this week – yes, Arthur, you’re the other one – and he was giving the rock birthdays for August 11. He said, “1949, Eric Carmen, singer for The Young Rascals, The Raspberries, and a solo career.”
I’m not a big Eric Carmen fan, and I own none of his music. It’s not that I object to his songs such as the Raspberries’ Go All The Way or his All By Myself, where he nicks Rachmaninoff; it just didn’t reach the level of purchasing them.
Conversely, I own a LOT of the Young Rascals, who later became the Rascals. They had Top 10 hits such as Good Lovin’, Groovin’, A Girl Like You, How Can I Be Sure, A Beautiful Morning, and People Got To Be Free. At the moment the Beatles broke up, the Rascals were arguably my favorite active band. I have (present tense) at least eight of their albums on vinyl. And as an inveterate reader of liner notes, I had NO recollection of Eric Carmen with the Rascals.
So I checked with the podcaster, who pointed to the This Day In Music website that he always checks. The same info shows up in other sites, citing TDIM. But there is no evidence that this is actually true on any site dedicated to either artist or in any of my music reference books. So how did this mistake get made?
My theories abound:
1) The groups are alphabetically close. Perhaps the information about Carmen and the Raspberries got duplicated in the Rascals info in some database.
2) The stories about the namings of the groups are remarkably similar. According to this site, and confirmed elsewhere, the character Froggy in the Our Gang/Little Rascals comedies of the early 1920s, which later appeared on television, would often say, “Oh, raspberries!” Eric Carmen said it as a joke in a discussion about picking the band’s name, but the others thought it was the right selection. The Young Rascals also were named for the Little Rascals.
3) There IS a Raspberries/Rascals link. “The band Fotomaker was formed in 1978 by bassist Gene Cornish and drummer Dino Danelli, former members of the seminal 1960s power-pop group The Rascals (a/k/a “The Young Rascals”). Rounding out the group was guitarist Wally Bryson, formerly of power-pop hitmakers The Raspberries (which featured singer Eric Carmen)…”
Goodness knows one cannot “correct the Internet”, but in this narrow case, I’m compelled to try. Or if I’ve gotten it wrong, I’d like some proof.