like, whoa, do the doobie brothers belong in the hall of fame?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

THE DOOBIES IN THE HALL OF FAME?” That’s a ques­tion that’s been asked a bit in the wake of their re­cent in­duc­tion into said Hall. There was a ver­sion of that ques­tion (“Are the Doobie Brothers Hall of Fame Worthy”) on Quora this morning. I an­swered it there and wanted to share my an­swer here.

But first, I am not that big a fan of the Doo­bies. In fact, I kinda hated the orig­inal band fronted by Tom John­ston. One of the rea­sons I may have kinda hated them was that their watered-down ver­sion of Jesus Is Just Al­right was a bigger hit in 1972 than my fav­erave band the Byrds’ vastly su­pe­rior ver­sion had been in 1970. 1

But I al­ways liked Michael Mc­Don­ald’s some­what strained soul singing. My take on the group has mel­lowed with age—perhaps yet an­other sign of in­cip­ient Alzheimers on my behalf—and I like a good deal of what made the charts way back in the 1970s and ’80s.

Back to the Quora ques­tion. There were al­ready three pos­i­tive an­swers to the ques­tion, in­cluding, “Not only are they worthy, they should have been in twenty years ago!” and “They should have been in the Hall looooong ago!!!!!!!!” 2


DoobieBrothers BestOf LP 600

The BEST OF THE DOOBIES album was cer­ti­fied by the RIAA for a Di­a­mond Record award sig­ni­fying 10,000,000 units sold. As the award was made way back in 1996, we can prob­ably as­sume that all of the units in­cluded in the award were ac­tual records and tapes sold in stores. That is, they were not vir­tual al­bums made up of ac­cu­mu­lated files down­loaded or streamed via computer.

The answer to your question

I thought I would echo these sen­ti­ments while in­cluding a little bit of data, so here is what I contributed:

The Doo­bies had six­teen Top 40 hits on the Bill­board Hot 100, two of which were #1.

They have eleven al­bums that have been cer­ti­fied by the RIAA for Gold or Plat­inum Record Awards.

If there was an ac­tual set of basic cri­teria for in­duc­tion into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Doo­bies would have passed it a looooong time ago.

Alas, the only cri­teria for in­duc­tion are the opin­ions and, ap­par­ently, the moods of the Hall nom­i­na­tors and voters.

PS: The an­swer to your ques­tion is “Duh …”


DoobieBrothers DutchTV 1974 HansPeters 1500

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of the Doobie Brothers on the Dutch tele­vi­sion show Toppop in Jan­uary 1974. At the time, they were riding high on the back of two big hit sin­gles, Long Train Runnin’ and China Grove, and a pair of al­bums that had been cer­ti­fied Gold by the RIAA in 1973, TOULOUSE STREET and THE CAPTAIN AND ME. (Photo by Hans Pe­ters and cour­tesy of Wikipedia.)



 Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

2   Com­ments cour­tesy of An­thony Case­beer and Ed­mund S Vill­nave, respectively.


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No, these guys are fake, they’re not even related.

“That’ll make it al­right, al­right, alright”.

I kinda prefer the Cap­tain and Me pe­riod (and I’m not re­fer­ring to Ms. Ten­nille). Al­though per­haps apropos of nothing, there are some in­ter­esting his­tor­ical facts about the band. Their first album was a stiff, but un­like more re­cent times, wherein the artists were out the door if they didn’t have an im­me­diate hit, the record com­pany be­lieved in them and sup­ported them in their careers.

The orig­inal member Tom John­ston al­most died (and not from a drug over­dose) just a few years into the band’s suc­cess and left. By 1981, there were no orig­inal mem­bers left (!) so they packed it in until re­union time in 1987 when (sur­prise, sur­prise) it was dis­cov­ered there was a great de­mand for con­cert tickets and much moolah. I think they have ba­si­cally been going at it ever since, off and on. Saw them at the local Casino a few years ago and they were pretty good too.


In S.F., where I’m from, there’s al­ways been a sus­pi­cion about the Doo­bies that they were light­weight, yacht rock. The Chron­icle re­viewer Joel Selvin re­ally slagged them back in the day. I think they wrote “What a Fool Be­lieves” about him! But the Doo­bies had the last laugh. Still pop­ular. In the HOF. 

I prefer the early records, pre-Michael Mc­Donald. There’s a lot of mu­si­cality and va­riety of in­flu­ence. It’s catchy, but has stood the test of time.

My top three are:

1. Cap­tain And Me
2. Toulouse Street
3. Stam­pede

I saw them live many times, in­cluding my first ever con­cert in 1975. The SNACK Con­cert at Kezar Sta­dium in S.F. On a bill with Dylan, Neil Young, San­tana, the Dead, and Jef­ferson Star­ship, the Doo­bies got a huge ova­tion and rocked Kezar with “China Grove.” Pure ado­les­cent sublimity.


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