Why Aren’t They In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The Doobie Brothers

[Note:  This group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2020.]

One of the most popular bands that people search about on my blog to see if they have been chosen for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is the Doobie Brothers. And no, the Doobie Brothers have not been selected for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet. I was reminded of the profound influence of the Doobie Brothers this morning while following the Yahoo! Live Commentary for UFC 145, and Maggie Hendricks, one of the sportswriters for MMA at Yahoo!, made a comment that Michael McDonald (a Modesto-based UFC fighter) finished off his opponent with an uppercut that “came from somewhere back in her long ago,” a reference to Doobie Brothers #1 hit “What A Fool Believes,” with Michael McDonald (no relation to the UFC fighter) on lead vocals. How is a band that enduringly popular and critically claimed not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? They are almost as glaring omission as Chicago, from the same era [1].

The Doobie Brothers’ Contribution

The Doobie Brothers’ major contributions to Rock & Roll were in serving as a place where many different influences (including R&B, country, bluegrass, hard rock, boogie, rock & roll, and funk) were blended together into one harmonious and immensely popular blend [2]. Despite a brief breakup in the 1980’s lasting from 1982 to 1987, the band remains active and occasionally releases new records. As far as its indisputable sales go, one of its albums has done diamond (10x platinum), and three additional albums have gone multi-platinum, aside from its three other platinum albums and four additional gold albums (that would be a grand total of 11 albums that have gone gold or greater) [3]. When you combine sales and influential sound (which was copied wholesale in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by singers such as Robby Dupree), you have a band that is obviously deserving of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Status.

Why The Doobie Brothers Is A No Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Besides having 11 successful albums, as well as a recognizable and commercially successful (along with critically acclaimed) sound, the Doobie Brothers have an immense treasure trove of signature songs that any band would be envious of, including the following songs: Listen To The Music, Jesus Is Just Alright, Long Train Runnin, China Grove, Black Water, Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me), Takin’ It To The Streets, What A Fool Believes, Minute By Minute, Real Love, and The Doctor, aside from writing hits for others like “You Belong To Me.” Two of their songs hit #1, three additional ones hit the top 10, and eleven more of their songs hit the top 40. Two of their songs were nominated for the Grammies for Song of the Year in the same year, and one of them “What A Fool Believes,” won. When a band combines critical acclaim with a lengthy run of hit singles and albums, that should be a Hall of Fame no-brainer.

Why The Doobie Brothers Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Maybe Jann Werner doesn’t like the fact that the band’s name is a marijuana reference (I don’t like that either, but it doesn’t stop my appreciation for their music). Maybe the voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame don’t want to induct Michael McDonald. Maybe they forgot how all of those great songs listed above were performed by the same group, with a variety of songwriters and lead singers. Maybe they are having trouble determining the precise line-up of the band to be inducted, given the large number of musicians who have performed in the Doobie Brothers over their lengthy career. Whatever the reason is, it’s not good enough.

Verdict: The Doobie Brothers is a no-brainer for induction. Like a few other bands, like Chicago, Heart [4], the Moody Blues [5], and The Steve Miller Band [6], this band’s music helped define the music of the 1970’s in ways that were both critically appreciated as well as massively popular. In addition, inducting the band can help the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame tell the story of how genuine soulful Rock & Roll crossed over into soft rock in the 1970’s–a story that genuinely needs to be told.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-chicago/

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doobie_Brothers

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doobie_Brothers_discography

[4] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-heart/

[5] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-the-moody-blues/

[6] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-the-steve-miller-band/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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35 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The Doobie Brothers

  1. Pingback: Rock Music News » Blog Archive » Why Aren't They In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The Doobie …

  2. John says:

    Are you kidding me! one of the greatest vocal and musically inclined musicians in history, and no Hall of Fame…something is really wrong here..let’s get with the program and VOTE them In!!!!!!

    • Agreed. Sad to say, there are many such travesties.

    • Doug says:

      The RRHF is a joke and nothing more than a popularity contest among the assholes running it. Fuck them. The Doobies should have been in a very long time ago.

      • This is one of those exclusions that really hurts the credibility of the RRHOF, no doubt.

      • Doug says:

        Exactly nathanalbright and remember how long it took for Stevie Ray Vaughan to get inducted. My god who’s doing the voting? The RRHOF has no credibility when you consider some of the garbage artists already in.

      • I don’t know who is doing the voting. If I ever find out, I will definitely write about it. One has to wonder who exactly is mailing in the ballots, and what criteria they are using. Other Halls of Fame, like football and baseball, do a better job being transparent about such matters, and some voters will post their ballots and their justification for it as part of a greater conversation.

  3. Pingback: Not A Bad Thing | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Michael M. says:

    I have the same question about the Duprees and Johnny Maestro. I emailed a DJ of a classic rock radio station as to why they don’t play the Brooklyn Bridge. His response. “Because they’re no classic rock. They’re not even rock!

    That station plays Imagine by the Beatles all the time. Go figure.

    Also, how did the HOF Platters get in? Who’s more DooWop than the Platters?

  5. Pingback: Yacht Rock, Or, The Incestuousness Of Cultural Elites | Edge Induced Cohesion

  6. Suzanne Devlin says:

    The Doobie Brothers are not in the HOF but Madonna is? Seriously?

    And for the record, we couldn’t dance to most of The Beatle’s songs. Like Chuck Berry said in his song “Rock ‘n Roll Music”:

    Just let me hear some of that rock ‘n roll music
    Any old way you choose it

    It’s got a backbeat, you can’t lose it

    Any old time you use it
    It’s gotta be rock-roll music
    If you wanna dance with me
    If you wanna dance with me

    Except for “Get Back”, “Revolution” and very few others, it was close to impossible to dance slow or fast to Beatle’s songs. They had great songs but back then, we always picked to dance to The Rolling Stones’ music because they did have that “back beat”.

    I saw the Doobie Brothers at the Oregon State fair a few years ago and they sounded exactly like their original recordings. They didn’t miss a beat. Pun intended. I was shocked and excited that they still “had it”. Too often over the years, I’ve gone to see live acts and was disappointed that they performed so poorly in person even when they were young. Not the Doobie Brothers. Thom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are just awesome along with the rest of the band. My personal favorite: “Rockin’ Down the Highway”. I never start a road trip without that song blaring on my Bose as I’m leaving home.

    This iconic band has more then earned their place in the Rock ‘n Roll HOF.

  7. Ron Dupler says:

    Doobie Brothers were constant hit makers in the 1970’s how are they not in the HOF but Los Lobos is nominated for 2016 HOF At least they got Chicago nominated

    • I agree that at least Chicago is nominated, and Janet Jackson too. We’ll see if they actually get in this year, and yes, I believe the Doobie Brothers should be an obvious induction as well.

  8. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Huey Lewis & The News | Edge Induced Cohesion

  9. Francis McKenney says:

    50 years from now China Grove, Long Train Runnin, Take Me In Your Arms etc will still be popular. Barely 1 person will remember Run_Dmc, no knock but true! Give Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons and the rest of the band their just due, they’ve more than earned it and waited way too long!!!

    • Agreed. Catalog value means a great deal.

    • Doug says:

      Don’t forget about the huge travesty of the Beastie Boys being inducted.What a joke.

      • As much as I rip on acts like Laura Nyro or Faces/Small Faces (and the Beastie Boys would hit in here too), my thought is that any act that is inducted sets the threshold for what kind of act is worthy of induction. Where an act is more worthy than (insert name of x act here), they are worthy. The Beastie Boys made it possible for me to write about acts as worthy or more worthy than them indefinitely, so they deserve at least some credit.

  10. Francesca L Potter says:

    I hope they get over themselves soon! It’s ridiculous that the Doobie Brothers are not in the Hall of Fame. Back in the day they were the sound of my generation. It’s idiotic to think that Trump is in the White House but the Doobies are not in the HOF. Surely, no one in 2017 is so sanctimonious to exclude them because of their name!

  11. Andrew horowitz says:

    The wreaking crew

    • I’m not very familiar with this act, but I will do some research on it.

      • mothfire says:

        The Wrecking Crew wasn’t so much of an act as they were the sidemen who played on most of the rock and roll records coming out of the 1960 through the mid 1970s. Essentially, they were what Toto was before becoming Toto. The players included Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kaye, Barney Kessel, Larry Knechtel, PF Sloan, Howard Roberts, Leon Russell, among others. Tommy Tedesco’s son made a documentary of the group called “The Wrecking Crew” so you should check that out.

      • I did read a book on the backing group and I absolutely agree that the rest of them that haven’t been inducted yet deserve it.

  12. Jeff Sherry says:

    New to this site but I am totally in aggrement the The Doobie Brothers belong in the r&R Hall of Fame. Come on! I’m not going to repeat everything said above…but we need to act! What can we do? I wrote a letter to the Hall of Fame stating our case and got a form letter reply! It’s bull, and wrong! Let’s go all out for the band. They deserve it!

    • Thanks for your comments. I think there are various ways of getting the word out from what I have seen of other worthy bands. Twitter blasts can show who are fans that want to get the word out, as are Facebook groups that encourage social media discussion about fans about what one’s favorite songs/albums by the band are, and so on. 🙂

  13. Paul John Stilp says:

    Really? Life is so short isn’t! Who the he’ll would consider the juvenilism of the powers that are to even have any acumen to know good music period let alone the mindset to know music is the only universal language that can reach the calm of one’s soul or peace of mind! I’m sure the HOF, I guess is a thing to aspire to but to me it’s nothing more than a tool for others to steal credit that they are something that mattered. Quite sad. If someone has talent, should it be celebrated or a group just doing their job to promote good things? The Doobies should form their own opinion who they think are musically significant which I would admire more than some silly established HOF sham. Always remember George C. Scott’s Oscar comments.

    • I think that while some people don’t care at all for what the Hall of Fame, or any other kind of organization, thinks, I think there is always a desire that those institutions which take it upon themselves to serve as gatekeepers of culture do as good a job as possible.

  14. mothfire says:

    It looks like they have a good chance of making the 2020 class. I would love to see that. This one is such a no-brainer that it makes you think that HoF is in dire need of some.

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