The Mugwumps (band)
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The Mugwumps Band

The Mugwumps was a 1960s folk rock band, based in New York City. It released one self-titled album in 1967 and two singles.[1] The Mugwumps found little success during their short time together in 1964, and are best known for launching the careers of Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty (who went on to co-found the Mamas & the Papas) and John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky (who co-founded the Lovin' Spoonful).


The origin of the band's name is unclear. One source says that it was taken from the William S. Burroughs novel The Naked Lunch.[2] The liner notes for the 2007 re-release of The Mugwumps reports that Jim Hendricks claimed that the name came from music producer Erik Jacobsen. Denny Doherty claimed that the name came from his Newfoundland grandmother. (Historically, "Mugwumps" were dissident American Republicans of 1884, from Algonquian mugquomp, "important person").

They largely played remakes of other artists' material with some of their own original songs.[3] Their album was released after the band had split up.[4]

Members Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty would become one-half of the Mamas & the Papas (who told the story of The Mugwumps in their hit song "Creeque Alley"), while John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky would form the Lovin' Spoonful.[5]

Jim Hendricks formed the Lamp of Childhood, which recorded three singles for Dunhill Records, and had some success as a performer and songwriter. He wrote the top 15 hit "Summer Rain" for Johnny Rivers, and the theme song "Long Lonesome Highway" for the TV show Then Came Bronson.

A different 1960s group known as The Mugwumps, based in Los Angeles and produced by Mike Curb for his Sidewalk label, had no connection to the New York group but reached #127 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart in 1966 with a cover version of "Jug Band Music", a song John Sebastian wrote for the Lovin' Spoonful's Daydream album.[6][7]



The Mugwumps (Warner Bros. 1967)

Side 1
  1. Searchin'
  2. I Don't Wanna Know
  3. I'll Remember Tonight
  4. Here It Is Another Day
  5. Do You Know What I Mean
Side 2
  1. You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover
  2. Everybody's Been Talkin'
  3. Do What They Don't Say
  4. So Fine

John Sebastian did not appear on this album.[5] Produced by Roy Silver & Bob Cavallo in association with Alan Loeber /A Cavallo & Silver Production. Recorded in August 1964.


  • "I Don't Wanna Know" b/w "I'll Remember Tonight" (1964 Warner Bros. 5471)
  • "Searchin'" b/w "Here It Is Another Day" (1967 Warner Bros. 7018)


  1. ^ "The Mugwumps (3)". Discogs. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Harris, Oliver; Ian MacFadyen (May 18, 2009). Naked Lunch @ 50: Anniversary Essays. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-8093-2916-8.
  3. ^ Greenwald, Matthew (2002-01-01). Go where You Wanna Go: The Oral History of the Mamas & the Papas. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 19-22. ISBN 9780815412045.
  4. ^ "The Mugwumps (3) - The Mugwumps". Discogs. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 36 - The Rubberization of Soul: The great pop music renaissance. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  6. ^ "The Mugwumps (2)". Discogs. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "The Mugwumps Songs ooo Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography ooo Music VF, US & UK hits charts".

External links

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