Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer In The City

Yesterday over on my humour blog I was telling folks about the heatwave we've been experiencing here in the Ottawa region and that we really couldn't complain as it comes on the heels of the rainiest July on record. In classic rock terms, I guess you could say that lately it's been quite the Summer In The City. How's that for a segue?

Summer In The City by the Lovin' Spoonful hit #1 forty-three years ago last week, August 13, 1966. Little known fact: the song was co-written by Mark Sebastien, brother of the Spoonful's John Sebastien. The other members of the group were bassist Steve Boone, vocalist-drummer Joe Butler and Canadian guitarist Zan Yanovsky. Yanovsky and Sebastien were immortalized in Creeque Alley by the Mama's and Papa's owing to the early 60s circles in which they travelled and the groups in which they performed in New York City:

Zally said, "Denny, you know there aren't many
Who can sing a song the way that you do; let's go south.
"Denny said, "Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
I could play guitar like you.
"Zal, Denny, and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
And after every number they'd pass the hat.

The group had it's foundations in jug band music and came together in 1965. But the Lovin' Spoonful's original line-up had a short life. Yanovsky left in 67 after a drug bust and Sebastien struck out on a solo career in 68. The hit making ceased by 1969. But in 1966 all they were thinking about was Summer In The City...

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