The Doobie Brothers Say: Listen to the Music

Formed in 1970 THE DOOBIE BROTHERS were one of the top bands of the 70s and continue touring until this day with some original members and others who have come and gone along the way. The original members were: Tom Johnston – guitars, vocals keyboards and harmonica, Patrick Simmons – guitars, banjo, flute, vocals, Dave Shogren – bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals and John Hartman – drums, percussion, backing vocals.

As you can see the group was made up of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, which enabled them to play everything from Hard Rock to Jazz. The second year they added a second drummer, Michael Hossack that lent a driving beat to their songs. In the beginning they were the band of choice for the Hell's Angels, and would play many gigs at the Chateau Liberté in the Santa Cruz mountains, with a parking lot full of Harley's outside.

The Doobie bro's first album didn't perform well, but with the release of their second disc, TOULOUSE STREET, they broke through with two Top 40 Hits: "Listen to the Music" and "Jesus Is Just Alright." There were numerous personnel changes over the years including Lead Vocalist Tom Johnson leaving in 1975, and being replaced by Michael McDonald who brought a more soulful feeling to their music.

The Doobie Brothers broke up in 1982, and regrouping in 1987 Johnston returned as lead singer with McDonald beginning a successful solo career. (Note: Michael McDonald still sits in on some Doobie gigs each year.) The one thing that every incarnation of the group had in common was great vocal harmonies which got them inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.

Other single hits from the group have included: Long Train Runnin, China Grove, and Patrick Simmons' Black Water which hit #1. Not So Fun Fact: At this writing the Doobie Brothers have not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, even though they've been nominated many times.

Meanwhile acts which many of us don't consider to even be Rock and Roll, and have no where near as many hit albums and singles, have been ushered in. It's a political thing, and many of those who select the nominee's have their own faves and axes to grind.

One informed person said that The Doobie Bros will probably get in after 2020, but one must wonder how many of the group will be left to accept. Enough of that, let's take a look at the Brothers in 1973 on the Midnight Special, playing their signature song: "Listen To The Music." Their hair and outfits take me back to Northern California then, it was a time like no other. @therealdonrocks

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