Folk Rock Music
The song was written by John Sebastian, formerly a member of The Lovin’ Spoonful, as the theme song to the TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. In the show, a teacher, played by Gabe Kaplan goes back to his old High School to teach a class of students known as “the sweathogs.” The popular program aired from 1975 to 1979. The cast, besides Kaplan, also included John Travolta, Marcia Strassman, John Sylvester White, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, and Ron Palillo. The theme song was also popular, so John Sebastian added to it and released it as a single, backed with “Warm Baby,” and featured it on his 1976 album titled, not surprisingly, Welcome Back.
The song went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary Tracks, and Cashbox Top 100. It was also #1 in Canada and #24 in Australia. The album rose to #79 on the Billboard 200 chart. On the album are John Sebastian (vocals, guitar, harmonica, autoharp, piano), David Hungate (bass), Richard Bell (piano, clavinet), Jeff Porcaro (drums) and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (pedal steel guitar).