The Lovin’ Spoonful

This band was huge in the mid-60s. They were famous for jug band music but would have pop/rock success. The members were John Sebastion, Zal Yanovsky, Joe Butler, and Steve Boone. They started in the folk scene in the early sixties. They were signed in 1965 to Kama Sutra Records and released “Do You Believe in Magic” which reached #9 in the charts.

After that, the hits kept coming…You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice (#10), Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind (#2), Daydream (#2), Summer in the City (#1), Rain on the Roof (#10), Nashville Cats (#8), Darling Be Home Soon (#15), Six O’ Clock (#18) and She Is Still a Mystery (#27). They had all of these hits between 1965-1968

In the 1980s I really got into this group. I purchased one of the many greatest hits of this band. I first heard of John Sebastion in the 70s when he wrote and sang the theme song of  TV show Welcome Back Cotter called “Welcome Back” that went to #1.

The Lovin’ Spoonful were considered by producers to be in a television show but they were dropped over a conflict of song publishing rights. It’s probably a good thing that happened or they would not have been taken seriously. The producers were the ones that a short time late started the Monkees.

Their songs are grounded in folk, jug music,  and blues. I don’t know if it is possible to be in a bad mood while listening to them. Their songs are now staples on oldies radio stations.

Zal Yanovsky left in 1967 after being dissatisfied with John’s more personal songwriting and a pot conviction. John Sebastion left the group on 1968 and with him gone the hits dried up.

A fun band to listen to. You won’t hear rock operas or rocking solos but you will hear a band that sounds like they are having a good time.

They reunited in once in 1979 and for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

9 thoughts on “The Lovin’ Spoonful”

  1. I wouldn’t say the Lovin’ Spoonful are a forgotten band- they aren’t but you don’t hear as much about them as you do a lot of other bands from the 60’s- they certainly had a great run of hits. I don’t know why that is- maybe it is because as you wrote- they were a fun band to listen to- no major statements- no rock operas- etc. Maybe it is because they were more of a singles band than an album band- while I can name most of their hit singles for the life of me I can’t think of the name of a single album of theirs. You won’t see any of their albums on a ‘best of 1966, 1967 list. They made great sounding singles. I have one of their greatest hits packages. I don’t think I’ve even SEEN one of their albums before even back in the days of vinyl. You don’t hear of any Lovin’ Spoonful album re-masterings. I think that is it- they were a singles band…. boy am i rambling on this morning..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about that. The only album I remember is the one that the members are in clay…Nope…as soon as I wrote that I looked it up and that is just another greatest hits. They were definitely just a singles band… I like the stuff that isn’t wore out like Darling Be Home Soon and Nashville Cats…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Off topic but my son just saw Yellow Submarine at a theater today…he just texted me “That was the best movie I’ve seen in a theater”… It’s showing somewhere and I had to work and we missed the window together. I’ve seen it before but he really liked it. He has seen it several times but he said at the theater it was special.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the review- from your son. It is coming to Pittsburgh the week of the 20th- a must see! Looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

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