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Music / The Doobie Brothers

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The 1974 lineup from left to right: Keith Knudsen, Tiran Porter, Patrick Simmons, Tom Johnston, John Hartman
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The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band from San Jose, California renowned for their emphasis on vocal harmonies. They started out in 1970 with a hard rock sound incorporating folk music and rhythm and blues under the leadership of Tom Johnston, when the constant touring and Johnston's own health problems were proving an issue for the band after 1975. Johnston ultimately had to leave the band to pursue a solo career in 1977, with former Steely Dan keyboardist Michael McDonald taking the reins. A year later the band released their biggest single: "What a Fool Believes". The corresponding album Minute by Minute had proven to be a tough act to follow, since 1980's One Step Closer had underwhelmed and received far less airplay compared to the previous album's output.

In 1982, the band had called it quits, only to regroup five years later with Johnston returning to the lineup. They have been a popular touring act since then, with venues quickly selling out the moment the band regrouped. In time for the band's fiftieth anniversary, they got inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

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Studio Discography:

  • 1971 - The Doobie Brothers
  • 1972 - Toulouse Street
  • 1973 - The Captain and Me
  • 1974 - What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
  • 1975 - Stampede
  • 1976 - Takin' It to the Streets
  • 1977 - Livin' on the Fault Line
  • 1978 - Minute by Minute
  • 1980 - One Step Closer
  • 1989 - Cycles
  • 1991 - Brotherhood
  • 2000 - Sibling Rivalry
  • 2010 - World Gone Crazy
  • 2014 - Southbound

Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italics):

    Principal members 
  • Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (1974-9, 1987, 1992)
  • Cornelius Bumpus - saxophone, keyboards, vocals (1979-82, 1987, 1989-90, 1992, 1993, 1995; died 2004)
  • John Hartman - drums (1970-9, 1987-92)
  • Michael Hossack - drums, percussion (1971-3, 1987-2012; died 2012)
  • Tom Johnston - guitars, vocals, harmonica (1970-1977, 1987-Present)
  • Keith Knudsen - drums, backing vocals (1973-82, 1987, 1993-2005; died 2005)
  • Chet McCracken - drums, vibes (1979-82, 1987, 1995)
  • Michael McDonald - keyboards, vocals (1975-1982, 1987, 1992, 1995-6, 2019-presentnote )
  • John McFee - guitars, pedal steel, violin, harmonica, backing vocals (1979-1982, 1987, 1993-5, 1996-present)
  • Tony Pia - drums, percussion (2010-6)
  • Tiran Porter - bass, vocals (1972-80, 1987-92)
  • Dave Shogren - bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1970-1; died 1999)
  • Patrick Simmons - guitars, vocals (1970-1982, 1987-present)
  • Willie Weeks - bass (1980-2, 1993)

    Touring members 
  • Guy Allison - keyboards, backing vocals (1996-2015)
  • Richard Bryant - percussion, vocals (1989-1991)
  • Bernie Chiaravalle - guitar (1995)
  • David Choy - saxophone (2002)
  • Josh Cowan - bass, backing vocals (1993-5, 2010-present)
  • Jimi Fox - percussion, vocals (1989-91)
  • M.B. Gordy - percussion (2001-5)
  • Danny Hull - saxophone (1993-8)
  • Bobby LaKind - percussion, backing vocals (1979-1982, 1987, 1992; died 1992)
  • Dale Ockerman - keyboards (1988-95)
  • Bill Payne - keyboards, backing vocals (2015-present)
  • Marc Quiñones - percussion (2018-present)
  • Marc Russo - saxophone (1998-present)
  • Skylark - bass, vocals (1995-2010)
  • Ed Toth - drums, percussion (2005-present)
  • Ed Wynne - saxophone (2002)
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Tropin' it to the streets:

  • Jesus Was Way Cool: "Jesus Is Just Alright".
  • New Sound Album: Minute by Minute is the first album with Michael McDonald in control after Tom Johnston had to leave for health reasons. It was where the Doobie Brothers took a more pop rock direction.
  • Protest Song: "Takin' It to the Streets"
  • Revolving Door Band: Infamous for this; the only member to stay for the entire time is Patrick Simmons, with Tom Johnston taking a brief hiatus for health reasons in the late 70's. They cycle through touring members quite a bit, and even the number of principal members that recorded studio albums is a staggering 14.

Alternative Title(s): Doobie Brothers

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