The purpose of this video is to help expand and celebrate appreciation for the art and music of BARBARA MCNAIR & THE RASCALS. To remind the world how tremendous a musical force they were. What uniquely gifted musicians they are. And to bring to light some examples of the magic that made them so absolutely dynamic.
I have created both an archive and preservation society, seeking to salvage, uncover and restore potentially lost performances and career moments so they may be made available for future retrospective projects and for future generations. These short music videos are a work in progress, this one is just one bi-product created from over 50+ years of these preservation efforts.
Over the last 40+ years, precious little information on these amazing performers have not been available to the public outside of their officially released studio recordings, several video clips and some vintage magazine articles just touched their talents. This is largely due to the fact that during these artists tenure as some of the most successful performers of the era.
The major goals of these videos are to utilize surviving materials to inform and enlighten enthusiasts and Fans, and to promote and perpetuate their contribution to music.
In this video, we focus on The Rascals, Regardless, the Rascals have always been revered and respected among fellow musicians and music industry peers, so it is no surprise they were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1997 where they (finally!) reunited onstage together (the first time since 1970) in Cleveland for their televised induction and live performance. An honor they richly deserved, but ultimately have done little to create any notable resurgence.
The Rascals started out very much as a “home-made” group, and in many ways have remained a grass roots-level phenomenon until today. From 1965 to 1970, they scaled the heights of pop music success and achieved all its rewards, but their sterling reputation as a powerhouse live band (one of THE greatest, I’m convinced) and their individual talents as songwriters and performers have largely been overlooked by at least several generations.
This is understandable considering that, aside from their original albums being released on CD, no biographical or visual retrospective of their work has ever been produced. During their entire career there has never been a published biography. No TV special or movie. No documentary or long-form music video to introduce them to new audiences and make them aware how thrilling and uplifting the Rascals were. No definitive source to view vintage performance footage or live recordings and photos. Remarkable, considering how riveting and amusing they are as personalities. And few bands have ever matched the frenetic and visual excitement of The Rascals when they got cooking “live”.
Barbara McNair was also a Lady of many talents. She was able to adapt to changing times, where she was able to appear on stage unrehearsed through the decades in live performances, and able to sing any type of music in several languages around the world.
As for myself, I was raised by Barbara, she was my Aunt. I can tell you that she was magic in the way she spoke and taught me as a child. There are only a few people in the world who have been blessed to have her in their life. I have dedicated a generous portion of time over the last 26+ years organizing, locating, salvaging and archiving the scattered remains of Barbara’s History. Briefly, I’m sure part of it is because of a close personal love that we shared through the years that started when I was quite young.
I was actually in the audience of this performance which was just one act on the show.
The seed for what has now become my work was started sometime in the late 1980’s. As a child I attended most all of the Barbara McNair Shows as she always kept an eye on me even when she was on stage. I must say that Barbara and all her guests on The Barbara McNair Show and all her acquaintances have had a tremendous positive impact on my life.
Barbara’s last wish to me was to keep her legacy alive and preserve her work for generations to come.