Category: the lovin’ spoonful

On this day in music history: August 13, 1966 …

On this day in music history: August 13, 1966 – “Summer In The City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone, it is the biggest single for the New York based band. The song originates as a poem written by John Sebastian’s brother Mark, while he’s a student at the Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ. Sebastian and bassist Steve Boone put the words to music. The band hire an sound effects expert who adds the trademark “sounds of the city” effects to the records break from acetates he has in his sound library. The single is engineered by Roy Halee (Simon & Garfunkel) who also plays a vital role in the overall sound of the finished record, particularly its explosive drum sound. Released on July 4, 1966, it is an instant hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #56 on July 16, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart four weeks later. “City” is one of the centerpieces of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s third studio album “Hums Of The Lovin’ Spoonful” released in November of 1966. The album which also includes the follow up singles “Rain On The Roof” (#10 Pop) and “Nashville Cats” (#8 Pop) is widely regarded by fans of the band as one of their best. Over the years, “Summer In The City” is covered by numerous artists including B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Joe Jackson, and Quincy Jones. Jones’ version is sampled as the basis of The Pharcyde’s classic single “Passin’ Me By” in 1992. The Pharcyde’s recording in turn is sampled R&B singer Joe (Thomas) and Mystikal’s #1 Pop & R&B hit “Stutter” in 2001. “Summer In The City” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 20, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 20, 1965 – “Do You Believe In Magic”, the debut single by The Lovin’ Spoonful is released. Written by John Sebastian, it is the first hit single for the New York City based rock/pop band. Taking their name from a lyric in blues musician Mississippi John Hurt’s “Coffee Blues”, The Lovin’ Spoonful are formed in 1964. Sebastian’s initial inspiration for the song comes from Martha & The Vandella’s “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave”, using the same three chords as the intro, but speeding up the tempo. “Magic” is recorded in a small demo studio in New York with producer Erik Jacobsen (Norman Greenbaum, Chris Isaak). The master will be picked up by Kama Sutra Records (distributed by MGM), and becomes the bands’ first hit. The record becomes a 60’s anthem and is covered numerous times over the years, with the original recording used in films and television programs. “Do You Believe In Magic” peaks at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 16, 1965.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: August 13, 1966 …

On this day in music history: August 13, 1966 – “Summer In The City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone, it is the biggest single for the New York based band. The song originates as a poem written by John Sebastian’s brother Mark, while he’s a student at the Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ. Sebastian and bassist Steve Boone put the words to music. The band hire an sound effects expert who adds the trademark “sounds of the city” effects to the records break from acetates he has in his sound library. The single is engineered by Roy Halee (Simon & Garfunkel) who also plays a vital role in the overall sound of the finished record, particularly its explosive drum sound. Released on July 4, 1966, it is an instant hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #56 on July 16, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart four weeks later. “City” is one of the centerpieces of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s third studio album “Hums Of The Lovin’ Spoonful” released in November of 1966. The album which also includes the follow up singles “Rain On The Roof” (#10 Pop) and “Nashville Cats” (#8 Pop) is widely regarded by fans of the band as one of their best. Over the years, “Summer In The City” is covered by numerous artists including B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Joe Jackson, and Quincy Jones. Jones’ version is sampled as the basis of The Pharcyde’s classic single “Passin’ Me By” in 1992. The Pharcyde’s recording in turn is sampled R&B singer Joe (Thomas) and Mystikal’s #1 Pop & R&B hit “Stutter” in 2001. “Summer In The City” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: July 20, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 20, 1965 – “Do You Believe In Magic”, the debut single by The Lovin’ Spoonful is released. Written by John Sebastian, it is the first hit single for the New York City based rock/pop band. Taking their name from a lyric in blues musician Mississippi John Hurt’s “Coffee Blues”, The Lovin’ Spoonful are formed in 1964. Sebastian’s initial inspiration for the song comes from Martha & The Vandella’s “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave”, using the same three chords as the intro, but speeding up the tempo. “Magic” is recorded in a small demo studio in New York with producer Erik Jacobsen (Norman Greenbaum, Chris Isaak). The master will be picked up by Kama Sutra Records (distributed by MGM), and becomes the bands’ first hit. The record becomes a 60’s anthem and is covered numerous times over the years, with the original recording used in films and television programs. “Do You Believe In Magic” peaks at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 16, 1965.

On this day in music history: February 21, 196…

On this day in music history: February 21, 1966 – “Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful is released. Written by John Sebastian, it is the third single release for the pop/folk-rock band from New York City. Right on the heels of their first two singles “Do You Believe In Magic” (#9 Pop), “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” (#10 Pop) and their debut album, The Lovin’ Spoonful quickly follow up those hits with the first taste of their sophomore effort. Guitarist and primary lead vocalist John Sebastian draws inspiration from an unlikely place when writing the bands third single. Sebastian gets the initial idea for “Daydream” from The Supremes’ number one hit “Baby Love”, trying to figure a way to re-write that song. Born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, ground zero of the city’s vibrant folk music scene and blues music revival, John also draws on those influences, combining them with his innate sensibility for writing great pop melodies and hooks. After finishing the song, The Lovin’ Spoonful record “Daydream” at Bell Sound Studios in New York in late 1965. The title track of the Spoonful’s second album, it takes off immediately, becoming their biggest hit to date. Entering the Hot 100 at #76 on February 26, 1966, “Daydream” peaks at #2 on April 9, 1966. The song proves to have long lasting popularity and influence long after its run on the charts. “Daydream” provides Paul McCartney with the inspiration for writing “Good Day Sunshine”, featured on The Beatles’ masterwork “Revolver”. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s hit is widely covered by numerous artists over the years, including versions by Bobby Darin, David Cassidy, Ricky Nelson, Art Garfunkel, The Guess Who, Dino, Desi, & Billy, The Sweet, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Maria Muldaur and Chet Atkins. The Spoonful’s original recording has been featured in movies, television shows and commercials, including a popular advertisement for Jeep Cherokee.