John Sebastian • Live at the Hall, 2021
John Sebastian—best known from his work with the Lovin’ Spoonful—joins the Museum to discuss his career in folk, country, pop, and rock music and to perform two Lovin’ Spoonful songs with guitarist Arlen Roth.
Sebastian was the Lovin’ Spoonful’s founder, frontman, and principal songwriter. In the band’s 1966 song “Nashville Cats,” he praised the talent of the city’s musicians. In 2015, the Museum incorporated the song title into the name of its major exhibition “Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City,” which is adapted for and available to online audiences here: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/exhibit/dylan-cash-and-the-nashville-cats-a-new-music-city/
During the interview, Sebastian discusses the inspiration for writing “Nashville Cats”; his memory of recording the song; and what it was like to later work with Nashville-affiliated session musicians such as Buddy Emmons and Paul Franklin. Sebastian also talks about his upbringing in Greenwich Village, explaining that his father was a pioneering classical harmonica player who brought folk musicians such as Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie into their home. Later in the conversation, Sebastian talks about touring with Supremes and how the Motown sound influenced Lovin’ Spoonful songs such as “Daydream.”
This program was taped on September 9, 2021, as part of the Museum’s “Live at the Hall” series. The duo performed “Nashville Cats” and “Lovin’ You,” a Lovin’ Spoonful original that was covered by Dolly Parton and others.
Watch Bonus Tracks from “Live at the Hall” with John Sebastian here: https://watch.countrymusichalloffame.org/videos/john-sebastian-bonus-tracks-live-at-the-hall-2021
Explore the Museum’s public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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