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The Lovin' Spoonful is an American pop rock band of the 1960s, named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. When asked about his band, leader John Sebastian said it sounded like a combination of "Mississippi John Hurt and Chuck Berry."
Formation and early years (1964-1965)
The band had its roots in the folk music scene based in the Greenwich Village section of lower Manhattan during the early 1960s. Sebastian, who grew up in contact with music and musicians, was the son of a much-recorded and highly technically accomplished classical harmonica player. He had reached maturity toward the end of the American folk music revival that spanned from the 1950s to the early '60s. Sebastian was joined in the Spoonful by guitarist Zal Yanovsky from a bohemian folk group called The Mugwumps, playing local coffee houses and small clubs (two other members, Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, would later form half of the Mamas & the Papas.) Drummer-vocalist Joe Butler and bassist Steve Boone rounded out the group.
The group first recorded four tracks for Elektra Records in early 1965, but elected to sign with Kama Sutra Records that same year. The Elektra tracks were released on the 1966 various artists compilation LP What's Shakin' after the band's success on Kama Sutra.