The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has revealed its 2020 inductees, with San Jose, CA, music legends the Doobie Brothers at the top of the class.
"I’m very excited. It’s awesome," gushed longtime band leader Tom Johnston to Rolling Stone about the Rock Hall honor. "We don’t sit around and think about it 24 hours a day, but we’ve talked about it over the years. It’s just really great to be recognized by your peers as well as the fans. It’s an honor. First off, we heard we were nominated and that was a big deal to begin with because we’d been watching other bands that we’ve worked with or known over the years get inducted and we thought, 'Man, that would be great.' And then we got nominated. That was the first big deal. To hear we were actually going, we were stoked. I don’t know how else to put it. We were very, very happy."
Ready to celebrate the band's five decades of rock with a big tour this summer, let's look back at the major musical moments that led to The Doobie Brothers being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1. The album Toulouse Street
After The Doobie Brothers failed to make much of an impact with their self-titled debut album, they came back strong with this summer 1972 release. It was the first DB record to feature Tiran Porter on bass, as well as second drummer, Michael Hossack. Toulouse Street came with the band's first big hit, "Listen to the Music," and fan favorite, "Jesus is Just Alright."
2. The album The Captain and Me
The band's second album is important because it features two of The Doobie Brothers' most enduring hits: "China Grove" and "Long Train Running."
3. The Doobie Brother's incendiary live show
Armed with a catalog of killer songs and populated by crack musicians, a concert by The Doobie Brothers was known to be one hell of a good time. They laid waste to many a stage throughout the '70s, as evidenced by this half-hour set that was televised on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.
4. "Black Water"
This highlight from the What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits full-length would prove to be The Doobie Brothers' first #1 on the Hot 100. Written by Patrick Simmons after producer Ted Templeman heard him playing the song's main lick in the studio, "Black Water" would initially be relegated to the B-side of "Another Park, Another Sunday," which would only peak at #32.
5. "Takin' it to the Streets" and the introduction of Michael McDonald
There were seismic changes in the band during 1976. Frontman Tom Johnston was sidelined with severe stomach ulcers. Needing reinforcement, the group brought in Michael McDonald. Takin' It to the Streets' title track would be a radio hit through the summer of '76, peaking at #13 on the Hot 100 and showing a new side of the Doobie Brothers.
6. The Doobie Brothers appearing on What's Happening!! in 1978
There was no more impactful or memorable musical moment on prime-time TV in 1978 than the January two-episode arc on the wildly popular show What's Happening!! featuring The Doobie Brothers. From the classic "Which Doobie you be?" phone call to the moment Rerun was caught bootlegging the Doobies' show (he was dancing too hard, natch), the appearance helped make the band a household name all across America.
7. The album Minute by Minute
After starting the year on What's Happening!!, the Doobie Brothers would end 1978 with the December release of the band's eighth studio effort, Minute by Minute. The album was highlighted by the band's second #1 chart-topper on the Hot 100, "What a Fool Believes."
8. They can still deliver the goods in concert
The guys will be giving fans the best of both worlds on the upcoming 50th anniversary tour, which will feature both Tom Johnston and Michael McDonald fronting the group. This will be McDonald's first trek with the band in years, so there are still details that need to be worked out. Johnston is confident they'll nail it: "We’re playing a gig the middle of next week and then we have a residency in Las Vegas for February," Johnston said today (Jan. 15). "I think we’ll start nailing that down then, but we’re going to rehearse a lot in May with Michael. That time is probably the best time to put that together. We’ve played a lot with Michael over the years. He comes and sits in with us at corporate [events] and things like that."