Doobie Brothers: Minute by Minute

Whygold's Weekend

.. under this motto I present you my music tip for the weekend. Maybe one or the other will discover something new. In my opinion, listening to music consciously is as important as reading a good book.

Today: The Doobie Brothers - Minute by Minute

The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. They have sold over 40 million albums. The Doobie Brothers were formed in Southern California in 1969 by Tom Johnston, John Hartman, Skip Spence (ex-Moby Grape) and Gregg Murph under the band name Pud.

Gregg Murph soon left the band, replaced by Dave Shogren. Patrick Simmons joined in 1970. Doobie is a slang term for a two bladed joint. Supposedly, during a cozy round of potheads, the sentence was said at some point: "Now we're all doobie brothers", the band was promptly renamed - The Doobie Brothers. In late 1970, producer Ted Templeman got his hands on a demo and soon the band landed a deal with Warner Brothers.

In early 1971 their first LP Doobie Brothers was released, but it was not a success. The tracks presented country/rhythm and blues rock built on guitar rhythms in the vein of San Francisco bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service. In 1972 Dave Shogren left the group and was replaced by bassist Tiran Porter. In addition, Michael Hossack was hired as second drummer, something only the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers had done before.

The 1972 album Toulouse Street sold very well thanks to catchy melodies and emphatically rocking rhythms thanks to the single hits "Listen to the Music" and "Jesus is just alright". The follow-up album The Captain and Me contained the first top ten hit "Long Train Runnin'" and the No. 15 Hit "China Grove". The album peaked at number 7, stayed on the Billboard charts for over a year and sold over 2 million copies. At the end of 1973, Michael Hossack got out anyway, who was then replaced by Keith Knudsen because they wanted to keep the cast with a second drummer.

In 1974 the Doobie Brothers released the album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, which debuted guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (formerly of Steely Dan), who also became a permanent member that same year. The first single "Another Park, Another Sunday" just reached the Top 40 and could not build on the success of the predecessors. However, the single's B-side, Patrick Simmons' bluegrass song Black Water, enjoyed growing popularity. The song topped the charts in the spring of 1975 and sold 1 million copies.

With the 1975 album Stampede, the Doobies were able to continue on their successful course. The single "Take Me In Your Arms", a former Motown classic, was very successful. Tom Johnston retired temporarily for health reasons and was replaced by singer and keyboardist Michael McDonald, who had previously worked with Jeff Baxter on Steely Dan.

For the album Takin' It to the Streets (1976), McDonald contributed half of the songs and also had a strong influence on the style, which now had significantly more soul and jazz elements and became more keyboard-heavy. The singles "Takin' It To The Streets" and "It Keeps You Running" were very successful. The album reached platinum. The more jazzy '77 album Livin' on the Fault Line was critically labeled "unoriginal" but still made the top 10 and went gold.

At the end of 1977, Tom Johnston finally left, as there seemed to be no more room in the band for his more rock-heavy style. In November 1978, the Doobies released Minute by Minute. The band reached number 1 in the US album charts for the first time, marking the peak of their career. It stayed at the top for five weeks and, thanks to the No. 1 single "What A Fool Believes" won two Grammys in 1979.

Two more single hits followed with "Minute By Minute" and "Depending On You". At the peak of their success, however, the group threatened to break up. Jeff Baxter and John Hartman dropped out and were replaced by Cornelius Bumpus (saxophone), Chet McCracken (percussion, drums) and John McFee (guitar, ex-Clover). In the fall of 1980, the Doobies continued their winning streak with One Step Closer. The album elicited enthusiasm from the fans but rather boredom from the critics. In 1981, a promotional single titled "Can't Let It Get Away" was released for a Coca-Cola commercial, intended only for the Japanese market.

The Doobie Brothers split up in 1982 after Michael McDonald decided to pursue a solo career. In 1983 the double live album "Farewell Tour" was released, documenting the band's farewell tour. The Doobie Broth reunited in 1987 ers with Johnston, Simmons, Hartman, Hossack, Porter and Bobby LaKind. The 1989 comeback album Cycles didn't fall far short of previous sales figures and included another Top 10 hit with the single "The Doctor". Due to the success, they released the album "Brotherhood" in 1991.

The attempt to move away from the usual West Coast rock failed and the album flopped. In March 1991, McDonald rejoined the Doobie Brothers. On December 24, 1992, LaKind died of a brain tumor. In 1993 the band toured the USA with the line-up Johnston, Simmons, Hossack, Knudsen, McFee. In December, a remix of "Long Train Runnin'" (originally on The Captain and Me, 1973) made the UK Top 10 singles chart.

A revision of "Listen to the Music" was released in May 1994. A month later the Doobies toured the USA with Foreigner and also came to Europe. In 1995 they toured the country again, first with Foreigner and later with the Steve Miller Band. In 1996 the live album Rockin' Down the Highway was released. With the album Sibling Rivalry (2000), the Doobies had found their old sound again. Commercially, however, the album was not very successful.

In 2002, the albums Cycles and Brotherhood were re-released on the One Way Records label. The remasters contain bonus tracks. 1989's 'Cycles' added 'Anything For Love', previously only available on the hit single 'The Doctor', as well as the extended remix of the second hit 'Need A Little Taste Of Love'. 1991's "Brotherhood" features two previously unreleased tracks, "All Your Dreaming" and "Fool You, Crazy Me," as well as a third bonus track, an acoustic version of "Rollin' On." In 2004, Cornelius Bumpus died of a heart attack.

On July 25, 2004, the Doobie Brothers performed a live concert at Wolf Trap National Park with the following line-up: Michael Hossack (drums, percussion), Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals), Keith Knudson (drums, vocals), John McFee (guitar , dobro, pedal steel, slide guitar, violin, vocals), Patrick Simmons (guitar, vocals), Guy Allison (keyboards, vocals), Marc Russo (alto, tenor, baritone sax), M.B. Gordy (percussion), Skylark (bass, vocals), Marvin McFadden (trumpet), Mick Gillette (trombone, trumpet).

This concert was captured in the film "Doobie Brothers Live at Wolf Trap" directed by Michael Drumm. Keith Knudsen died of complications from cancer in 2005. After ten years, a CD with new material was released in 2010 for the first time with World Gone Crazy. In addition to the normal CD with 11 tracks, the deluxe version contains the two bonus tracks "Little Prayer" and "New York Dream" as well as a DVD with a documentation of the 40-year band history.

There are two more bonus tracks on the Japanese release: the instrumental "Delta Devil Dog" and the demo "Lie To Me". The album also reached the top 40 on the Billboard charts in October 2010. In 2010, Michael Hossack withdrew from the band for health reasons. In 2012 he succumbed to cancer.[1]

In November 2014 the album Southbound was released, a re-recording of their greatest hits with stars of the country rock scene. Michael McDonald was also used on the tracks "What A Fool Believes", "Takin' It To The Streets" and "You Belong To Me". On October 10, 2021, the band released their album Liberté. (Source: Wikipedia) Michael McDonald, one of the most incisive voices in pop music. Even if he "only" sings backing vocals with Christopher Cross or Toto, you can always hear his voice.

Have fun listening to the music!

Your Chris Weigold

P.S.: Maybe you can enjoy the listening pleasure together with a glass of wine from our "World Symphony Edition".