Welcome Back (2:49)

Cover of Welcome Back

From Welcome Back and 35 other releases

“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 topped the Easy Listening chart and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in May 1976 after only five weeks on the chart. The song also reached number 93 on the Country chart.

TV producer Alan Sachs wanted a Lovin’ Spoonful-like theme song for a new ABC sitcom entitled Kotter. Sachs’ 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 just one verse for opening titles of the TV series. Because of the popularity of the show, Sebastian added a second verse to the song, as well as an instrumental section featuring a harmonica solo, before 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 the show.

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