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American Singer/Songwriter Icon
- Friday, Apr 7, 2017
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About John Sebastian
Over four decades the contributions of John Sebastian have become a permanent part of our American musical fabric. His group The Lovin’ Spoonful played a major role in the mid-’60s rock revolution, incorporating traditional American folk practices into the rock paradigm. John and the Spoonful put their first seven singles into the Top 10, an unprecedented achievement for an American band at the height of Beatlemania.
At first they’d taken older material from blues, country, folk and jug band sources – what we now term “roots music” – and made it sound modern. Then, in a series of original songs composed and sung by John Sebastian, they did the reverse, creating thoroughly modern music that sounded like it contained the entire history of American music. Which it did.
You know the songs by heart: “Do You Believe In Magic?” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice.” “Daydream.” “Younger Girl.” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?” “Summer In The City.” “Rain On The Roof.” “Nashville Cats.” “Six O’Clock.” “Darling Be Home Soon.” “Younger Generation.” These songs did more than simply answer the British invasion, they carried the musical tradition into the future.
After leaving the Lovin’ Spoonful, Sebastian made solo appearances at the Woodstock and Isle of Wight festivals, and got involved in making music for film and TV. He scored another hit in 1976 with “Welcome Back,” the theme song to Welcome Back Kotter.
Sebastian has spent recent decades continuing to write, record and constantly tour. In 2000 John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. John Sebastian is not only a master musician, writer and performer, he remains one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“John is one of the very select group of songwriters- including also John Lennon, Ray Davies and Brian Wilson- for which the term ‘genius’ doesn’t seem just a publicist’s wild notion.” -Percy Keegan