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Lovin’ Spoonful: “Darlin’ Be Home Soon” and “Day Dream”

This is yesterday’s Facebook posting by Neil Ratner, who bills himself as the Rock Doctor. His posting are always fascinating. I knew about the Vivian Vance connection (and the somehow disturbing fact that Vance and William Frawley — Fred Mertz — didn’t like each other) but not the relationship between the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Mamas and the Papas.

Happy Birthday John Sebastian musician, singer songwriter best known as a founding member of the Lovin Spoonful. His father was a famous harmonica player, his mother was a radio script writer and his mother’s good friend Vivian Vance (Ethyl Mertz from I Love Lucy) was his Godmother. John grew up around music and was surrounded by musicians like Burl Lives and Woody Gutherie. In the early sixties Sebastian developed an interest in the blues and through his father he met Lightnin Hopkins and Sonny Terry. He lived in Greenwich Village and became part of the folk rock scene. John was in a band called The Mugwumps with Zal Yanovsky, Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty. The band split into the Mamas and The Papas and the Lovin Spoonful. John was asked by Bob Dylan to play in his electric band but Sebastian went with the Lovin Spoonful instead.

Here is more on the Lovin’ Spoonful from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website.

Homepage photo credit: Hugh Shirley Candyside 

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.