September 4, 2015

DMP x John Sebastian

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Downtown has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Rock n' Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee John Sebastian. The agreement covers selected works from John’s catalog, including his 1976 Billboard No. 1 hit single “Welcome Back”, the theme to the television show Welcome Back, Kotter.

A New York City native and the son of a renowned harmonica player, John found his roots in the Greenwich Village folk scene he grew up surrounded by, later taking up the harmonica himself and shifting his focus more toward blues/rock. In 1965 he founded the feel-good folk / rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful as singer / guitarist, joined by guitarist Zal Yanovsky (from bohemian folk group The Mugwumps), bassist Steve Boone, and drummer-vocalist Joe Butler. The band went on to attain mainstream success with a slew of Sebastian-penned hits, including songs like “Do You Believe In Magic”, "Summer In the City", and "Daydream," before John left the band in 1968.

In 1969, John Sebastian took the stage at Woodstock as part of an unscheduled solo performance, one that has gone down in history as one of the festival’s most memorable and served to launch his successful solo career. In 1970 he released his first eponymous solo album, which debuted at #20 on the Billboard albums chart. A live album and three studio albums followed in subsequent years. The last album of the three, Welcome Back (1976), featured the title track which peaked at No. 1 and famously served as the theme song to the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.  

In 2000 John Sebastian was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame along with his bandmates from The Lovin’ Spoonful. In 2008 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Today, John lives in Woodstock, NY and continues to write, record and perform around the world.