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Gene Cornish, April 24, 2010
|Born||May 14, 1944|
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Rock, soul, blue-eyed soul|
|Instruments||Guitar, harmonica, vocals, bass guitar|
|Associated acts||The Rascals, Fotomaker, Unbeatables, Bulldog, New Rascals|
Gene Cornish (born May 14, 1944)is a Canadian/American guitarist and harmonica player. He is an original member of the popular 1960s blue-eyed soul band The Rascals. From 1965–70, the band recorded eight albums and had thirteen singles that reached Billboard's Top 40 chart. In 1997, as a founding member of The Rascals, Cornish was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Blue-eyed soul is rhythm and blues and soul music performed by white artists. The term was coined in the mid-1960s, to describe white artists who performed soul and R&B that was similar to the music of the Motown and Stax record labels. Though many rhythm and blues radio stations in the United States in that period would play music only by black musicians, some began to play music by white acts considered to have "soul feeling" and their music was then described as "blue-eyed soul".
The Rascals were an American rock band, formed in Garfield, New Jersey in 1965. Between 1966 and 1968 the New Jersey act reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 with nine singles, including the #1s "Good Lovin'" (1966), "Groovin'" (1967), and "People Got to Be Free" (1968), as well as big radio hits such as the much-covered "How Can I Be Sure?" and "A Beautiful Morning", plus another critical favorite "A Girl Like You". The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Early in his life, Cornish and his mother moved from Ontario to Rochester, New York. He became a talented guitar and harmonica player at a young age. In his later teen years (early 1960s) he made the rounds of the local clubs and bars in his area and worked with a number of bands (even performing as a single artist on occasion).
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.
Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.
In 1962, Gene Cornish with The Gene Cornish Nobles released "Winner Take All" backed with "Since I Lost You" on Vassar 319. As the composers of the latter, "R. Cornish – G. Cornish" is printed on B side label. It was well-made in the manner of white doo-wop (arranged by Lew Douglas).
Cornish became a member of Joey Dee and the Starliters in 1964. During that period, he met vocalist Eddie Brigati and keyboardist Felix Cavaliere (also members of the Starliters). Gene fronted his own group (The Unbeatables) during this period and they had a sound that was tied to the influence of early 1960s pop/rock. The group's name was a play on The Beatles' and made a small bit of noise in 1964 with their release of the single "I Wanna Be a Beatle".
Joey Dee and the Starliters is an American popular music group formed by Joey Dee. The group is best known for their million-selling recording "Peppermint Twist" (1961).
Edward Brigati Jr. is an American singer and songwriter. Brigati shared vocal duties with other group members, and played tambourine, in the pop group The Young Rascals from 1964 to 1970. Prior to his stint with The Young Rascals, Brigati had been a member of Joey Dee and the Starliters. With the help of group founder Billy (Smith) Amato and manager Sid Bernstein. The Rascals were the first all-white group signed to Atlantic Records. They, were practitioners of a genre of music coined 'blue-eyed soul'.
Felix Cavaliere is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and musician.
By late 1964, Brigati, Cavaliere, and Cornish had teamed with drummer Dino Danelli to form a group that became known as The Rascals. They officially began performing in February 1965 and before the year was out, released their first chart single. They rapidly became one of rock-n-roll's top groups. Brigati left the band in 1970 and Cornish followed in 1971. He went on to form the band Bulldog and when that group disbanded, he joined with Rascals' drummer Danelli to form the group Fotomaker. After the group disbanded, Cornish joined the group G.C. Dangerous. Cornish also delved into production when he (along with Danelli) produced the group April Wine's first live album in 1974,and "Stand Back" album in 1975.
Dino Danelli to an Italian American family, Danelli is best known as an original member and the drummer in the rock group, The Rascals. He has been called "one of the great unappreciated rock drummers in history."
Fotomaker was a power pop group from Long Island, NY which released three albums between 1978 and 1979. They were somewhat of a supergroup of power-pop musicians from previous groups, featuring what would become some future members of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, albeit for their work with previous bands. They made three albums within the span of a little over a year, the third of which is considered the weaker of the three. They failed to achieve any measure of success, mostly due to lack of record company promotion.
April Wine is a Canadian rock band formed in 1969 and based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The band enjoyed international success in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing more than 20 albums since 1971.
In 1988, he reunited with Danelli and Cavaliere on a reunion tour of The Rascals (Brigati did not participate). The tour was cancelled after a few appearances and Cornish then joined Danelli to form 'The New Rascals' featuring Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli and in 2005 with Bill Pascali of the Vanilla Fudge and Charlie Souza formerly with Tom Petty's Mudcrutch.
Vanilla Fudge is an American rock band known predominantly for their extended rock arrangements of contemporary hit songs, most notably "You Keep Me Hangin' On".
Charlie Souza is a bass player, vocalist, musician, writer and producer. He is best known for playing bass in Mudcrutch. He is married to Barbara Benischek Souza.
Mudcrutch was an American southern and country rock band from Gainesville, Florida. They are best known for being the band that began Tom Petty's rise to fame.
In 1997, the members of the Rascals were inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Later that year, Cornish released an album entitled "Live at Palisades Amusement Park". It presented his pre-Rascals recordings, including "I Wanna Be a Beatle," "Rockin' Robin," "Peanuts," "What'd I Say," "You're Gonna Cry Someday," and even Cole Porter's "I Love Paris." Cornish (along with Danelli) continue to tour with "The New Rascals."
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn to musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs.
"I Love Paris" is a popular song written by Cole Porter and published in 1953. The song was introduced by Lilo in the musical Can-Can. A line in the song's lyrics inspired the title of the 1964 movie Paris When It Sizzles.
On April 24, 2010, all four members of The Rascals reunited for the Kristen Ann Carr benefit, which was held at New York's Tribeca Grill. They played a set that ran over one hour and featured several of their top hits from the 1960s.
He reunited with his band-mates when The Rascals appeared at the Capital Theater in Port Chester, New York, for six shows in December 2012 and for fifteen dates at the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway (April 15 – May 5, 2013). Their production, entitled 'Once Upon A Dream', toured North America (Toronto, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit, Rochester, and New York City). It was produced by long-time Rascals' fans, Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen.
Currently Cornish is touring in a group called Felix Cavaliere & Gene Cornish's Rascals, which also features drummer Carmine Appice.
On Friday, September 7, 2018, Cornish collapsed onstage at the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, MT as the band began performing their first song of the evening.
Cornish has been a resident of North Bergen, New Jersey.
Freedom Suite is the fifth studio album by rock band The Rascals, released in March 1969. It peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and also reached number 40 on the Billboard Black Albums chart, the last Rascals album to appear there.
Peaceful World is the eighth studio album by rock band The Rascals, released in May 1971. It peaked at number 122 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single "Love Me" reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"How Can I Be Sure" is a popular song written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, and originally recorded by The Young Rascals for their 1967 album Groovin' with a single release in August 1967 affording the group their fourth Top 10 hit peaking at No. 4.
Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits is a greatest hits album from the Rascals, released in June 1968. It reached number one on the Billboard Pop Albums chart by September 1968. It also topped the Cash Box albums chart with a run in the Top 10 for 20 consecutive weeks
Once Upon a Dream is the fourth studio album by rock band The Rascals, released in February 1968. The album rose to number 9 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and number 7 on the R&B chart.
David Brigati is an American singer. He is sometimes known as "the fifth Rascal."
The Young Rascals is the debut album by rock band The Young Rascals. The album was released on March 28, 1966, and rose to #15 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and #10 in Cashbox.
Collections is the second album by rock band The Young Rascals. The album was released on January 9, 1967 and rose to #15 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.
Groovin' is the third album by rock band The Young Rascals. The album was released on July 31, 1967 and rose to #5 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and number 7 on the R&B chart. Eight of the songs were released on singles with the title track reaching number 1 on the Pop chart in the U.S.
See is the sixth studio album by rock band The Rascals, released in December 1969. It peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200. Three singles were released from the album although the third one was "I Believe" b/w "Hold On".
Search and Nearness is the seventh studio album by rock band The Rascals, released in 1971. It was the last album featuring Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish as well as the group's last album released on Atlantic Records.
The New Rascals are an American musical group featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish from the original band The Rascals, with Bill Pascali of Vanilla Fudge 2001 and Charlie Souza formerly with Tom Petty's Mudcrutch and White Witch.
The Very Best of The Rascals is a compilation album from The Rascals released in July 1993 by Rhino/Atlantic. This compilation contains nearly all of their Atlantic singles, in chronological order, released from 1965 through 1970. The first nine singles are performed by The Young Rascals, while the last seven tracks are credited to The Rascals.