Ron Palillo, one of the stars of the popular 1970‘s sitcom, Welcome Back Kotter, passed away suddenly yesterday. I decided to put up the theme song to the series as a tribute. The series was originally titled Kotter, but when John Sebastian was commissioned to write the theme, he couldn’t come up with a suitable rhyme for Kotter, so he wrote a song built around the more general concept of someone returning to their home town after many years, Welcome Back. The producers loved it so much, they retitled the series. Welcome Back Kotter was an immediate hit, and the show’s viewers were equally enamored of Sebastian‘s catchy tune and emotive lyrics. The song was released as a single and hit Number One on both Billboard’s Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, going platinum along the way. In recent years, the track has been sampled by artists including Onyx, T.I. and Mase. The success of Welcome Back relaunched Sebastian‘s career, and he’s still going strong today. Matter of fact, he’s playing a gig in SoHo next month. The video embedded below of Sebastian performing Welcome Back was recorded for… well, I honestly don’t know. Rest In Peace, Ron.
If the embedded video doesn’t load, click to watch
Welcome Back – John Sebastian at YouTube.