Craig Allen says: ‘Meet the Doobie Brothers’
Keep listening for your chance to win tickets to see the Doobie Brothers, with New Jersey 101.5, on our "Endless Summer Party Hits Weekend!"
In 1969, drummer John Hartman arrived in California, determined to meet Skip Spence of the band "Moby Grape." Hartman wanted to join a Moby Grape reunion...but that never happened.
Instead, Spence introduced Hartman to singer, guitarist and songwriter Tom Johnston. Together, they would form the basis of what would become the Doobie Brothers.
At the dawn of the new decade, singer-guitarist-songwriter Patrick Simmons and bass guitarist Dave Shogren joined the band.
The Doobies played all over Northern California in 1970, and attracted a following among the "Hells Angels!" The band's image was a reflection of their biggest fans: leather jackets and motorcycles...
The following year, their demos earned the band a recording deal with Warner Brothers Records.
Their self-titled debut album failed to chart...as it was a bit of a departure from their live, hard-rock sound...emphasizing acoustic guitars, and a country-influenced approach.
Late in 1971, the band started recording songs for their second album, "Toulouse Street."
At this point, Shogren would leave the band, over disagreements with new producer Ted Templeman. This would signal the start of numerous lineup changes over the years...
One of "Jersey's Favorite Hits," "Listen To The Music" (#11/1972)...
...check out "Listen To The Music" LIVE! Plus...
"Jesus Is Just Alright" (#35/1973) would be another breakthrough HIT for the Doobies!
And, although it would not appear on the Hot Hits chart, "Rockin' Down The Highway" would become a staple of "Album Rock Radio." ROCK on!!
The 1973 album "The Captain and Me" would spawn the next two Doobie Brothers hits!
"Long Train Runnin'" (#8/1973)
"China Grove" (#15/1973).
The Doobie Brothers were guests on the debut of "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" in 1973.
They were also "on the road," touring a great deal at this time...
"Black Water" was the band's first #1 hit, in early 1975.
Above: performing "Black Water" LIVE (in 1996).
Back to the timeline: .
The followup hit to "Black Water" would be a cover version of a Kim Weston/Motown song from the 1960's:
"Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)" would just miss the top-10... (#11/1975).
By early 1975, Tom Johnston's health was suffering from the constant touring. He was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer...and his absence in the midst of the tour (for the album "Stampede") brought the arrival of Michael McDonald...and a new era for the band.
With McDonald joining the writing team, the "Takin' It To The Streets" album marked a change in sound and tone...emphasizing more of a soft rock sound, keyboards and rhythm.
"Takin' It To The Streets (#13/1976)
"It Keeps You Runnin'" (#37/1977)
"Echoes Of Love" would only reach #66 on the Hot 100 charts in 1977...but I have always liked it. It further cements the softer sound of the band...it is adult radio-friendly.
With improved health, Tom Johnston returned to the Doobies (briefly), but the new sound of the band reflected Johnston's diminished role.
With 7 albums to their name, and years on the road, the band's fortunes soared with the 1978 release of the "Minute By Minute" album. It spent 5 weeks as the #1 album, and the songs (below), dominated music radio (across formats) for almost 2 years.
"What A Fool Believes" would become the band's second #1 hit, in early 1979.
McDonald co-wrote the song with Kenny Loggins. The duo would take home the Grammy for "Record Of The Year." "Fool" would also win a Grammy for "Song Of The Year."
The album won the Grammy Award for "Pop Vocal Performance By A Group."
"Minute By Minute" (#14/1979) was the second single off the award-winning album...
Followed by "Dependin' On You" (#25/1979).
There would be more (major) lineup changes at this time...
1980 would mark the release of the Doobie Brothers' 9th album, "One Step Closer."
"Real Love," the first single was a smash hit...landing at #5 in 1980.
"One Step Closer" (#24/1981) would feature new member Cornelius Bumpass sharing vocals with Michael McDonald.
At this point, the "Michael McDonald sound" was being copied by other artists...
Robbie Dupree's "Steal Away" (#6/1980) is a good example...plus, McDonald was singing on other's hits...including Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross...
...and Nicolette Larson. "Let Me Go, Love" (#35/1980).
By the end of 1981, the last, original Doobie Brother, Patrick Simmons decided to leave the band. With Simmons' departure, McDonald considering a solo career, and a sound that was very different from the early days...the Doobie Brothers decided to call it quits.
Reluctantly, Simmons rejoined the band for the 1982 "Farewell Tour."
At the "Greek Theater" in Berkeley California, the touring members were joined onstage by founding member Tom Johnston for what was thought to be the final rendition of "China Grove." Former members: Tiran Porter, Michael Hossack and John Hartman subsequently took the stage for an extended version of "Listen to the Music." Keith Knudsen sang lead vocals while Johnston, Simmons and John McFee jammed on guitar.
A live album, "Farewell Tour" followed, in 1983.
Michael McDonald would embark on a successful solo career...his first solo single:
"I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" would be a #4 hit, late in 1982.
Outside of various members getting together on various solo and special projects...the Doobie Brothers remained quiet for the next 5 years.
A 'reformed' Doobie Brothers was not something that had the guys had planned...
Looking for a worthy cause to help, upon kicking his drug addiction, Keith Knudson joined forces with the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation.
In early 1987, he persuaded eleven of the Doobies alumni to join him for a concert to benefit veterans' causes: Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, Jeff Baxter, John McFee, John Hartman, Michael Hossack, Chet McCracken, Michael McDonald, Cornelius Bumpus, Bobby LaKind and Tiran Porter all answered the call for help!
Tickets were a hot commodity...so that initial benefit show would morph into a 12 city tour! The first night at the Hollywood Bowl was reported to be the fastest sell-out at the Bowl, since the Beatles appeared there in the 1960's!
The success of the 1987 reunion/mini-tour brought on talks about bringing the Doobie Brothers back permanently. It was soon decided to bring back the band in a version reminiscent of the early years, with a lineup featuring Johnston, Simmons, Hartman, Porter and Hossack, plus the more recent addition, Bobby LaKind.
"Cycles" was released on Capitol Records in 1989. It went gold (certified 500,000 sales). I helped, by buying the CD the moment that it hit record store shelves! It was so cool to hear NEW Doobies music as we approached the '90s...
"The Doctor," featuring Tom Johnston's vocals, landed in the top-10! (#9/1989).
They also released a cover version of the Isley Brothers song "Need A Little Taste Of Love" (#45/1989).
The Doobie Brothers would tour throughout the 1990's...and continue to do so to this day...although the lineup would fluctuate over the years (Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee would remain as the core, through today).
Michael McDonald even reunited briefly with the Doobie Bothers in 1995, as they toured with The Steve Miller Band!
The "Brotherhood" album would be released in 1991. It did not sell as well as "Cycles."
In 1999, Rhino Records released the first Doobie Brothers Box Set, called "Long Train Runnin': 1970-2000.
There have been numerous "Best Of" CDs issued ...
The "Live Millennium" and "Sibling Rivalry" albums would be released in 2000.
"World Gone Crazy" in 2010, and "Southbound" (their 14th studio album) came out last year!
The Doobie Brothers have sold over 40 million albums throughout their career!
Besides all the miles on the road, what else is the band up to these days?
Check out their official website HERE.
Like their facebook page, by clicking HERE.
Above: Enjoy the Doobie Brothers as recorded from the concert floor in L.A, last summer!!
And enjoy the Doobie Brothers with New Jersey 101.5!
Don't forget to become an "NJ Insider" to get the list of winning songs, and the TIMES that we'll play them.
Good Luck! (and thanks for reading and listening).