Welcome Back (John Sebastian song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Mase song, see Welcome Back (Mase song). For other uses, see Welcome Back (disambiguation).
"Welcome Back"
German cover
Single by John Sebastian
from the album Welcome Back
B-side "Warm Baby"
Released March 1976
Format 7" single
Recorded 1976
Genre folk rock, blues rock
Length 2:51
Label Reprise
Writer(s) John Sebastian
Producer(s) Steve Barri, John Sebastian
Certification Gold (RIAA)
John Sebastian singles chronology
"She's A Lady"
"Welcome Back"

"Welcome Back" is a popular record that was the theme song of the 1970s American television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Written and recorded by former Lovin' Spoonful frontman John Sebastian, it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in May 1976 after only five weeks on the chart, and also topped the adult contemporary chart.[1] (The show itself had become an instant ratings success upon its premiere the previous fall.) It also reached #93 on the country chart.


TV producer Alan Sachs wanted a Lovin' Spoonful-like theme song for a new ABC sitcom entitled Kotter. Sachs's agent, Dave Bendet, also represented Sebastian and arranged for a meeting between the two. The producers liked the song so much that they changed the name of the series to Welcome Back, Kotter. Co-produced by Steve Barri and Sebastian, the song eventually sold over one million copies.

The song originally had one verse, meant for the TV series. Because of the popularity of the show, Sebastian, in the single version, added a second verse to the song, as well as an instrumental section featuring a harmonica solo, before he resumed finishing up the verse, as well as the repeated chorus and coda to finish the song. The single version would eventually be used during the closing credits of Welcome Back, Kotter.

Chart performance[edit]


Preceded by
"Let Your Love Flow" by The Bellamy Brothers
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 8, 1976 (one weeks)
Succeeded by
"Boogie Fever" by The Sylvers

Other versions[edit]

  • Northern California experimental band Mr. Bungle covered the song on January 13, 1992, in back-to-back English and Spanish versions, at The Berkeley Square in Berkeley, California.
  • Canadian country music artist Chris Cummings covered the song in 2009 and released his version as a single. The version was later included on his 2010 album Give Me Tonight.
  • The song was sampled by rapper Lupe Fiasco for his song "Welcome Back Chilly", rapper Mase for his song "Welcome Back", hip hop group Onyx in their song "Slam Harder", and by rapper AZ for his song "Once Again".[citation needed]
  • Swedish dream pop group jj recorded a version of the song in 2009. This version of the song is used in the trailer for the second season of MTV's Scream.[13]
  • The song is often used by Atlanta Braves organist Matthew Kaminski for former Braves players when they are at bat for their current team.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]