Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. There were a few snickers about the band name when the Doobie Brothers came rolling out of San Jose, Calif. But what the high times the group achieved during its next 50 years were certainly not to be laughed at. At a time when rock had its fist in the air or its head buried in proggy noodling, the Doobies were more down to earth. The group broke up in but founders Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons got back together five years later and have kept going ever since, with McDonald occasionally guesting.
'It Keeps You Runnin''
The Doobie Brothers are really two different bands -- three, if you count the group that's soldiered on without Michael McDonald since the late '80s. The second took over in , after McDonald, a Steely Dan vet, joined. It's not fair to say that McDonald brought them mainstream success -- they racked up a number of Top 40 singles, including a No. But his tenure ushered in a brand new era for the band. Our list of the Top 10 Doobie Brothers Songs covers both. After 's Top 5 'Stampede' album, the Doobies were near their breaking point.
Their heyday was basically the entire decade of the Seventies, though a major shift occurred when frontman Tom Johnston, who wrote the majority of their hits, stepped aside in to deal with a bleeding ulcer and other medical issues. They recruited a largely-unknown Michael McDonald, who was fresh out of Steely Dan, and kept jamming out the hits, albeit with a bit of a funkier edge to them. Their self-titled debut LP peaked at a pathetic on the charts, and they feared their follow-up, Toulouse Street , would do the same and result in Warner Bros. The finished track, from their third album, The Captain and Me , cracked the top He was already four years into his role as in the group and had demonstrated his songwriting chops over and over, but this one went to Number One and remains one of their most beloved and well-known tunes. Written by Johnston who takes a sizzling harmonica solo in the video above, complete with Seventies turquoise rings , the song peaked at Number 8 on the Top The song then caught on at other stations around the country, and within months, the Doobies had an unlikely chart-topper. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu.