The Lovin Spoonful were formed in 1965, and were one of the first folk-rock outfits formed. With good time happy songs bringing immense success in the flower power-oriented days of the early 60’s. The band consisted of John Sebastian, guitar and lead vocals, Zal Yanovsky, from Toronto, on guitar and vocals, Joe Butler on drums, and Steve Boone on bass.
Sebastian and Yanovsky had been members of the Mugwumps, with future Mammas and Pappas Cass Elliott and Denny Doherty. The Spoonful had a run of seven top 10 singles in a row from 65 till 66, a lot written by Sebastian.
John Sebastian had a good ear for a bright, simple melodies that still sound good today. First hit in the U.S. was “Do You Believe in Magic?” This was followed by “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice “and “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?”, the latter No. 2 in the U.S.
Then, “Daydream” (also No. 2 in the U.S.), which inspired Paul McCartney to write “Good Day sunshine” The classic “Summer in The City” went to No. 1 in the U.S.
“Rain on the Roof” made No. 10 in the U.S., and “Nashville Cats” made No.8 in the U.S. charts, No.26 U.K. in 1966.“Darlin’ Be Home Soon’ the song from the film “You’re a Big Boy Now” scored at No. 15 in 1967.
As is often the case, the the band ran into difficulties
In early 1967, the band broke with their producer, Erik Jacobsen, turning to Joe Wissert to produce the single "Six O'Clock", which reached #18 in the U.S. charts.
Yanovsky left the band after the soundtrack album You're a Big Boy Now was released in May 1967, this was prompted by a drug bust in San Francisco. Arrested for possession of marijuana he was pressured by police to name his supplier. Being a Canadian citizen Yanovsky feared he would be barred from returning the U.S., so he as he was asked. This resulted in a huge backlash from the public against the band, including a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Press encouraging people not to buy Spoonful records and not to attend their concerts. Although Yanovsky later released a solo single and album, his musical career permanently damaged, and he left music entirely going into the restaurant business. Officially, of course his departure was put down as “musical Differences”.
Yanovsky's replacement was Jerry Yester, formerly of the Modern Folk Quartet. Around this time, perhaps coincidentally, the band's sound became more pop-oriented.
John Sebastian went solo in 1968. He put out several albums including John B. Sebastian in 1970, which reached No.20 in the U.S.
The band's last two Hot 100 entries, "Never Goin' Back (to Nashville)" written by John Stewart and "Me About You", were sung by Butler. In addition, "Never Goin' Back" only featured Yester and Butler's playing—the other musical parts were played by session musicians,
John Lennon's personal jukebox was found to contain the Lovin' Spoonful record "Daydream." Interviewed about the find, John Sebastian revealed he had been given a Beatles rehearsal tape that contained Lennon singing "Daydream."
John Sebastián scored a major hit with "Welcome back" the theme from the TV show "Welcome Back Cotter"
Hums of the Lovin Spoonful
"Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful" is the third studio album, coming out in November 1966. I
On this album, the group wanted to record a variety of styles. They composed and played in the pop, country, jug-band, blues and folk styles. It would ultimately be the last full project by the original lineup of the Lovin Spoonfull.
The album released four singles, all hits, including the No. 1 hit "Summer in the City", "Rain on the Roof", "Nashville Cats", and "Full Measure" also appeared on the Pop charts, all but the last making it to the Top 10.
"Voodoo in My Basement"
"Rain on the Roof"
"Summer in the City"
The is a 1967 best of album of most of The Lovin' Spoonful hits featuring great tracks from their first three albums. It charted the highest of the group's career, hitting number three on the Billboard Top LPs chart. 12 tracks with "Do You Beleive in Magic", "Do You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind" "Daydream" and, of course "Summer In The City".
"Do You Believe in Magic"
"Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?"
"Jug Band Music" – 2:49
"Night Owl Blues"
"You Didn't Have to Be So Nice"
"Blues in the Bottle"
"Didn't Want to Have to Do It"
"Wild About My Lovin'"
"Summer in the City"
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"Daydream", live TV Lovin Spoonful Appearance, 1966
The Classic "Summer In The City"