[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 .
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 . 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) . 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 , the Moody Blues , and The Steve Miller Band , 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.