Blending folk and rock behind poignant vocals, The Doobie Brothers defined rock music in the 1970s. They have toured and sold-out tickets all over the United States and abroad. The band has become one of the classic with songs like 'Black Water', 'What A Fool Believes', and 'Real Love'.
The Doobie Brothers began in San Jose, California in 1970. The founding members consisted of Pat Simmons, John Hartman, John Shogren, and Tommy Johnson. They started small in Southern California but soon got a large following, and Warner Brothers signed them in 1970. The Doobie Brothers first, self-titled album was all but ignored. Soon after its release, John Hartman left and was replaced by Tiran Porter. The band also added a second drummer, Michael Hossack for their new album. 'Toulouse Street' was released in 1972 and featured several hit songs including 'Listen To The Music' and 'Jesus Is Just Alright'. It quickly became a hit and was soon followed by their third album, 'Captain and Me'. This album was also very successful with a Top 10 hit 'Long Train Runnin''.
The Doobie Brothers were quickly becoming a household name and critics were beginning to take notice. The band's fourth album, 'What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits', included the Doobie Brother's first number one single, 'Black Water', and sold more than two million copies. However, several changes were being made in the band. Michael Hossack, the band's second drummer, was replaced by Keith Knudson, and guitarist Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, formerly of Steely Dan, joined for the Doobie Brothers fifth album. In the same year, Tommy Johnson left the band due to illness. He was replaced by another former member of Steely Dan, Michael McDonald.
Despite the changes, the Doobie Brothers continued to thrive. In 1976 the band released 'Takin' It to the Streets' which quickly became their first platinum album. This was followed by several more successful albums and concerts. The group toured with Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and others and played at the all-star Musicians United for Safe Energy Concert. They also appeared in a 'No Nukes' concert film soon after. Even with all this touring and activism, the Doobie Brothers still had time to pick up some awards at the Grammys. In 1980, they won three Grammy Awards for their album 'What A Fool Believes' and one for 'Minute by Minute'. Their awards included Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Vocal Arrangement, and Best Pop Vocal Arrangement, Duo/Group.
Even with all this success, in 1982 the Doobie Brothers announced that the band was breaking up. Many of the members embarked on successful solo careers, but the band always reunited once a year to play at the Lucille Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. However, after five years, several members of the Doobie Brothers restored the band for a fundraiser tour that raised over one million dollars in ticket sales alone. The tour included the Hollywood Bowl for the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation and that was one of the quickest ticket sell-outs in that site's history. It was topped only by the Beatles.
Today the Doobie Brothers continue to tour and fundraise for multiple causes. Along with their compassion, they have earned 13 RIAA gold and 11 multi-platinum sales awards, and performed around the world for more than 35 million fans. Although the band has changed some since its beginning in 1970, their fans still appreciate their music.