Founded by singer/songwriter John Sebastian and lead guitarist Zal Yanovsky, the New York-based Lovin’ Spoonful evolved from jug band music to folk rock prior to its first release, the Top Ten hit "Do You Believe In Magic" (Kama Sutra 201; 1965). Due to first-rate musicianship and Sebastian’s extraordinary composing skills, the band’s records—dubbed "good time music" by the music press—were consistent best-sellers between 1965-1968. During that span, the Spoonful released eight hit albums—including the soundtracks to Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (Kama Sutra 8053; 1966) and Francis Ford Coppola’s You’re a Big Boy Now (Kama Sutra 8058; 1967)—and charted thirteen singles, most notably "Daydream" (Kama Sutra 208; 1966), "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" (Kama Sutra 209; 1966), and "Summer In the City" (Kama Sutra 211; 1966).
Bad publicity surrounding the arrest of Yanovsky and bassist Steve Boone for drug possession in 1967 resulted in waning popularity and the dissolution of the group the following year. Drummer Joe Butler formed a new edition of the Spoonful in the late 1960s. The resulting album sold poorly, however, and Butler moved on to Broadway acting and sound editing in Hollywood. Boosted by his Woodstock Festival performance, Sebastian enjoyed a moderately successful solo career. His "Welcome Back" (Reprise 1349; 1976), the theme song for TV’s Welcome Back Kotter, reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.
The original group members reunited to perform "Do You Believe in Magic" in the Paul Simon film, One Trick Pony (1980). Boone, Butler, and sometime member Jerry Yester began touring as the Spoonful in 1991. [Romanowski and George-Warren. 1995]
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