John Sebastian was born in New York City in 1944, the son of a noted classical harmonica player. He grew up surrounded by music, and in the early 60s became emersed in the Greenwich Village folk scene. He was a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, and also appeared as a guest musician on many records by fellow folk artists. Before long he had joined with guitarist Zal Yanovsky (who had been in The Mugwumps), and then bassist Joe Butler and Steve Boone. They became The Lovin' Spoonful, taking up electric instruments in 1965, the year that the folk-rock movement took off. Sebastian was the lead singer, and played various instruments including guitar, harmonica, autoharp and keyboards.
In May 1965 they released the Sebastian-penned single "Do You Believe In Magic". With this song they appeared to entirely abandon their folk roots for sunshine pop, and it became a huge hit, getting to #9. Their first album followed in its footsteps, and showed that they were still very much folk fans, as many of the songs were traditional numbers. They combined blues and jug band styles with their electric rock/pop instrumentation, leading to something quite unique (not many other folk-rock bands made use of this jug band style). Alongside the traditional songs were some more good original tunes, and a cover of Fred Neil's "Other Side Of This Life". The album got to #32.
|> Daydream (1966)
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