Listen To The Music – The Doobie Brothers

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………….on June 20th of 1972 The Doobie Brothers record “Listen To The Music” for their second  LP “Toulouse Street.” The song would go on to become The Doobie Brothers’ first hit, this was written by the band’s lead vocalist Tom Johnston, who also played guitar on the track. Johnston wrote many classic Doobie Brothers songs, including “China Grove” and “Long Train Runnin’.” This, however, was the only time he produced a guitar lick that he knew would become a hit. Says Johnston: “I was sitting in my bedroom in San Jose. I was doing what I always do, I had been up playing guitar for hours. It was like 2 or 3 in the morning. I had the opening riff to it, and I think I figured out all of the chord changes as well. I called Teddy (producer Ted Templeman), woke him up, and played it for him over the phone, and he was less than enthusiastic. (laughing) I think it was because I woke him up. But he said, ‘Well, yeah, it might be pretty good. Needs a couple of changes.’ But we didn’t ever change anything. It stayed the way it was, the way I had it. The chord changes and everything we made are the same. In the studio, the bass part was added by Tiran (Porter), drums were added by Mike (Hossack), and Pat (Simmons) came up with a couple of parts and put in that banjo at the end. And it was the second time anybody had ever used something like phasing on a record. First time was ‘The Big Hurt’ by Toni Fisher. But things like ‘Long Train Runnin’,’ I said, ‘You’re nuts. It’ll never be a single.’ And it was.”Johnston has seen the music industry change dramatically – and for the worse – since he formed The Doobie Brothers in 1970. Watching record companies fail to properly develop artists is an example: The Doobie Brothers’ self-titled first album was a flop, but Warner Brothers Records stuck with them, never pressuring them to produce a hit, and The Doobies developed into a very successful Rock band. “Listen To The Music” reached #11 in the US and #29 in the UK.