Song of the Day: John Sebastian, “Welcome Back”

John Seastian, formerly of The Lovin’ Spoonful, wrote and sang “Welcome Back,” theme song from the TV comedy Welcome Back, Kotter, which ran from 1975 to 1979 and starred Gabe Kaplan, Marcia Strassman, and John Travolta. The show was a hit, as was the song, which spent a week at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1976.

19 thoughts on “Song of the Day: John Sebastian, “Welcome Back”

    1. I was home a lot on Friday nights, too: The Brady Bunch (I was in love with Maureen McCormick), The Partridge Family, Room 222 and Love, American Style. Welcome Back, Kotter was on another night: I’m thinking Thursday?

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  1. My father was a junior high principal in the NYC school system when this show was on the air. Yeah, he heard that “up your nose” phrase a lot.

    I was in high school and had a major crush on Travolta.

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  2. I was in 3rd grade when this came out…the “up your nose with a rubber hose” was everywhere in school. Love the song

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    1. Gabe Kaplan’s first (and for all I know, last) comedy album was “Holes and Mellow Rolls,” so I think the original line was “in your hole with a mellow roll.” I guess he’s playing poker for a living these days…

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      1. I had a vhs of Gabe doing a Groucho Marx show/play…he is really good at doing Groucho as he did it a lot on the tv show and if I had to guess on his album… Yep that is really close!

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  3. Loved “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Interesting that Applebee’s is now using this song in their current ad campaign, inviting patrons to return to dine-in eating.

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    1. Applebee’s have kind of slipped out of favor here. We used to have one near us that we went to all the time, then the next thing you know, it was bank. Buildings around here get repurposed all the time… Anyway, I haven’t seen the commercial; guess I’ll have to see if it’s on YouTube.

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  4. Hi John – as you’d understand I don’t know the show … but I’m sure the song I’ve heard … interesting to hear the original version … take care – Hilary

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  5. Oh wow, I vaguely remember Welcome Back Kotter. I can picture the clothing and hair and definitely remember the theme music. I think I must have watched the last series though, because we didn’t have a tv before then.

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    1. I looked it up, and it looks like the first season ran in Australia as the first season was ending here. I’m assuming that the four seasons of the show followed the same pattern. Don’t know if that helps, but…

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