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The Doobie Brothers

As one of the most popular California pop/rock bands of the '70s, the Doobie Brothers evolved from a mellow, post-hippie boogie band to a slick, soul-inflected pop band by the end of the decade. Along the way, the group racked up a string of gold and platinum albums in the U.S., along with a number of radio hits like "Listen to the Music," "Black Water," and "China Grove."

The roots of the Doobie Brothers lie in Pud, a short-lived California country-rock band in the vein of Moby Grape featuring guitarist/vocalist Tom Johnston and drummer John Hartman. After Pud collapsed in 1969, the pair began jamming with bassist Dave Shogren and guitarist Patrick Simmons. Eventually, the quartet decided to form a group, naming themselves the Doobie Brothers after a slang term for marijuana. Soon, the Doobies earned a strong following throughout Southern California, especially among Hell's Angels, and they were signed to Warner Bros. in 1970. The band's eponymous debut was ignored upon its 1971 release. Following its release, Shogren was replaced by Tiran Porter and the group added a second drummer, Michael Hossack, for 1972's Toulouse Street. Driven by the singles "Listen to the Music" and "Jesus Is Just Alright," Toulouse Street became the group's breakthrough. The Captain and Me (1973) was even more successful, spawning the Top Ten hits "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Keith Knudsen replaced Hossack as the group's second drummer for 1974's What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, which launched their first number one single, "Black Water," and featured heavy contributions from former Steely Dan member Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. Baxter officially joined the Doobie Brothers for 1975's Stampede. Prior to the album's spring release, Johnston was hospitalized with a stomach ailment and was replaced for the supporting tour by keyboardist/vocalist Michael McDonald, who had also worked with Steely Dan. Although it peaked at number four, Stampede wasn't as commercially successful as its three predecessors, and the group decided to let McDonald and Baxter, who were now official Doobies, revamp the band's light country-rock and boogie.

The new sound was showcased on 1976's Takin' It to the Streets, a collection of light funk and jazzy pop that resulted in a platinum album. Later that year, the group released the hits compilation The Best of the Doobies. In 1977, they released Livin' on the Fault Line, which was successful without producing any big hits. Johnston left the band after the album's release to pursue an unsuccessful solo career. Following his departure, the Doobies released their most successful album, Minute by Minute (1978), which spent five weeks at number one on the strength of the number one single "What a Fool Believes." Hartman and Baxter left the group after the album's supporting tour, leaving the Doobie Brothers as McDonald's backing band.

Following a year of auditions, the Doobies hired ex-Clover guitarist John McFee, session drummer Chet McCracken, and former Moby Grape saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus, and released One Step Closer (1980), a platinum album that produced the Top Ten hit "Real Love." During the tour for One Step Closer, McCracken was replaced by Andy Newmark. Early in 1982, the Doobie Brothers announced they were breaking up after a farewell tour, which was documented on the 1983 live album Farewell Tour. After the band's split, McDonald pursued a successful solo career, while Simmons released one unsuccessful solo record. In 1987, the Doobies reunited for a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, which quickly became a brief reunion tour; McDonald declined to participate in the tour.

By 1989, the early-'70s lineup of Johnston, Simmons, Hartman, Porter, and Hossack, augmented by percussionist and former Doobies roadie Bobby LaKind, had signed a contract with Capitol Records. Their reunion album, Cycles, went gold upon its summer release in 1989, spawning the Top Ten hit "The Doctor." Brotherhood followed two years later, but it failed to generate much interest. For the remainder of the '90s, the group toured the U.S., playing the oldies circuit and '70s revival concerts. By 1995, McDonald had joined the group again, and the following year saw the release of Rockin' Down the Highway. But the lineup had once again shifted by the turn of the new millennium. In 2000, the band -- Hossack, Johnston, Knudsen, McFee, and Simmons -- issued Sibling Rivalry, which featured touring members Guy Allison on keyboards, Marc Russo on saxophone, and Skylark on bass. The late-'70s incarnation of the band -- Simmons, Johnston, McFee, and Hossack (with Michael McDonald guesting on one track) -- reunited once again to put out World Gone Crazy in 2010. The band-assisted documentary Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers followed in 2012, the same year Hossack died of cancer.

In early 2014, the Doobie Brothers -- this time featuring McDonald, Johnston, Simmons, and McFee -- announced they were returning to the studio to record an album filled with country versions of their greatest hits, featuring such Nashville stars as Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown, Sara Evans, and Chris Young. Called Southbound, the album appeared in November. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Black Water (Single)

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Track List: Nobody (Radio Edit) (Radio Single)

Comments

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I LOVE ME SOME MICHAEL MCDONALD !!!!!
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Hey guys, were almost of of weed, we got one doobie left......
Okay, anything else on the agenda?
Yeah, we need to come up with a band name.

Somewhere in San Francisco circa 1972
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Good
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Nice
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way to go boys ��
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Yes rainy r right
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Love this
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brian31514
i've always been a fan of great music!
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Real heartfelt music, of a time gone, a much better world, not so crazy. Saw them at T.H.Barton Colosseum in little rock, ark in the seventies. An era I surely miss and wish more people could've experienced! Best days ever!
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Real music
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Song has such a smooth uptempo, but mellow beat.
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Saw them in Charlotte NC in the mid 70's. I was in the 10th grade. Wow!! Talk about Doobies!!!! Hahaha!
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Never saw them back n the day saw them n 2010 they were awesome
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Bad. White. Boys
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ronward49ers
I started with them in 1972 in San Rafael California and I saw them last year in Meadowbrook New Hampshire with Chicago and this year I'm going to see them with Greg Allman they've gotten so much better with age man can they jam
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Black water. I wanna here some funky Dixie land, preatty mommas gunna take me by the hand
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The best band I ever saw in the 70's!!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Donnie Donnie do...!
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smoke a doobie !!! wish I had one !!!
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Doo Be, or not Doo Be?
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I lost track of how many farewell concerts I have seen! Some of their best music was never heard on radio...back then if you were a fan you bought the album to have a few tunes but these guys were So amazing, so musical that you discovered more from what you hadn't heard...Pric e l e s s !
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LIKE?!?!?! Are you kidding me? These guys are my life blood! I have seen them live many times but one of my favs was when I was stationed in , of all places, Guam! I have many photos and even the newspaper article..mus t say this, Doobies ain't the Doobies without Tom Johnston! priceless! Rock on Brothers!
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unique Peombo
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Wat a fool believes
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Groovy Tune.
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Like. Them. Doobies
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Have toluse street great album
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I wasn't born when this song debuted. But it is and always will be a fave along with "I keep forgetting"
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Oh yeah
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dragonlady60 8 8
i love...this song and michaels voice
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Song reminds me of the movie Joe dirt
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mmolina24
Not in the hall. ponderous
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Cowgirl nailed it!
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They might been post hippie, they was one of the early 70s one of the greatest bands ever
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wtmatt349
Rock on
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jay.koplove
I grew up on the doobies. Long may they live. Listen to the dam music. Alll the time.
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matratus
Another park another Sunday.
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Listen to The Music: Always.
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I love Black Water
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Growing up to this group it never got old some group's u just get burned out on but not the doobies . never gets old love this frickun group
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yamobeeeedaa r . . . . . ? ? ? ? just makes me laugh...love the doobies...bl a c k water a fav...but i agree w earlier post about michael mcdonald..he never did it for me...sounds like the martian from bugs bunny cartoons...l o l . . .
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Great band to see live these guys really know what they were doing
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I mean, could there have been a better name for a band in the 70's? I have their first album and every one since. I buy every Vices/Habits album I can find because there is a great poster in the album. As for their outstanding music throughout the years, can someone tell me why they are not in the R&R HOF? Seems fishy to me.Fire up Neal's Fandango and Road Angel and then mellow out on Pat's Black Water and it set's the tone for even more- Takin' It To The Streets, Clear As The Driven Snow, The C
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janecichy
Oh those days!
A car, a cute guy and the 8 track player!
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muneca1166
Smoking a doob with the Doobies, Those were the days! How time flys!
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sandymcleod1 7
AWESOME BAND
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dragonlady60 8 8
doobies ...one of the greatest ...!
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Classic!!!!!
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From Boogie Band to Blue Eyed Soul. Wow!
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I grew up in CA listening to the Dobbies pre Michael and post. Enjoy both styles and they still make me feel good when I hear thier tracks.
I saw them a few years ago in NC at a multi venue complex. There were such a range of age groups walking in I thought some people were entering the wrong venue haha. People in thier 70s were mimicking tokin a doob.
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