booksmusicfilmstv.com: Home Books Music Films TV Folk Music Index
booksmusicfilmstv.com 1960s Music Index
The Lovin' Spoonful
The Lovin' Spoonful came out of The Mugwumps (a group which also fractured into The Mamas & Papas), and comprised of John Sebastian (vocals/electric autoharp) and Zal Yanovsky (electric guitar), both ex-Mugwumps, Steve Boone (bass), and Joe Butler (drums). The Lovin' Spoonful name came from Mississippi John Hurt's 'Coffee Blues'.
The group first really began to create interest, when part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in New York. Their debut album, in 1965, 'Do You Believe In Magic', was an immediate hit, and the title track reached no. 9 in the U.S. Other hits for The Lovin' Spoonful included 'Daydream' and 'Summer In The City' - the latter being a U.S. number one in July, 1966.
As endearing as their music was The Lovin' Spoonful's lack of pretention. Their influence, however, was pretty impressive - even inspiring The Grateful Dead to change from an acoustic group into an electric one. Also, their song 'Nashville Cats' was a crossover hit - it made the American country charts, as well as the 'regular' charts.
The original line-up of The Lovin' Spoonful stayed the same, until Jerry Yester replaced Yanovsky in 1967, and when John Sebastian left the Spoonful, in the Autumn of 1968, the group soon split. Sebastian appeared at Woodstock, and went on to have a solo U.S. number one with 'Welcome Back', from the 'Welcome Back Kotter' TV show (featuring a very young John Travolta) of the mid-1970s. Zal Yanovsky sadly died in 2002, of a heart attack, aged 58.
The Lovin' Spoonful were inducted into the 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame' in 2000, and they deserved to be there. John Sebastian was a genuinely great songwriter, and the Spoonful's music wasn't always light pop. 'Darling Be Home Soon', 'Didn't Want To Have To Do It', 'Younger Girl', and 'Six O'Clock' were deep songs. 'Younger Generation' was another serious Sebastian song, and almost a knee-jerk response to the way the free and easy 1960s may have been heading, with even small children having no innocence. But, The Lovin' Spoonful will primarily be remembered for their upbeat material, and 'She's Still A Mystery To Me' completed a quartet of classic uplifting songs, alongside 'Daydream', 'Summer In The City', and 'Do You Believe In Magic'.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
The Lovin' Spoonful Albums Discography
Do You Believe In Magic (March, 1966)
Daydream (May, 1966)
What's Up, Tiger Lily (September, 1966)
Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful (December, 1966)
You're A Big Boy Now (May, 1967)
Everything Playing (March, 1968)
Revelation: Revolution '69 (June, 1969)