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The Doobie Brothers

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The Doobie Brothers are an American rock group, best known for hit singles like Black Water, China Grove, Listen to the Music, Long Train Runnin’, and What a Fool Believes. They have sold over 22 million albums in the United States from the 1970s to the present. The Doobie Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 1969, singer, guitarist and songwriter Tom Johnston and drummer John Hartman formed the nucleus of what would become The Doobie Brothers. Skip Spence of Moby Grape (and formerly of Jefferson Airplane) introduced them to one another after Hartman arrived in California determined to meet Spence and join an aborted Grape reunion. New bandmates Johnston and Hartman called their fledgling group Pud and experimented with different lineups (occasionally in the lineups was Spence) and styles as they performed in and around San Jose. They were mostly a power trio (along with bassist Greg Murphy) but briefly worked with a horn section. In 1970, they teamed up with bass player Dave Shogren and singer, guitarist and songwriter Patrick Simmons. Simmons, who had belonged to several area groups (among them was the band “Scratch”, which was an acoustic trio with future Doobies bassist Tiran Porter) and also performed as a solo artist, was already an accomplished fingerstyle player whose approach to the instrument complemented Johnston’s rhythmic R&B strumming. In a recent interview, Tom Johnston attributed the band’s eventual name to friend and housemate Keith “Dyno” Rosen, who noted the guys’ fondness for “doobies.” They considered the new moniker an improvement over Pud.

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