Tag Archives: Michael McDonald

Doobie Brothers Frontman Tom Johnston: Michael McDonald Was a, ah, ‘Blessing’ for the Band

We’d be fools to believe that original Doobie Brothers vocalist and guitarist Tom Johnston wasn’t a little—just a tad, mind you—envious of Michael McDonald.

After all, it was Michael who propelled the band to superstar status in 1979, by composing and arranging What a Fool Believes, which snagged them their first-ever Grammy Award. Three Grammys, in fact—for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Vocal Arrangement.

CAPTION: "I left the band in ‘77 because I just decided this isn't working for me," Tom (above) tells us of his Doobie departure. "I just left and went and played baseball for a year."

"I left in ‘77 because I decided this isn't working for me," Tom (above) tells us of dumping The Doobies. "I just left and went and played baseball for a year."

Co-written with Kenny Loggins, the tune, which hit No.1 on the pop charts, featured backup vocals by none other than Michael Jackson, who also sang on two of Michael’s (McDonald’s, that is) other tracks from the Minute by Minute album: Here to Love You and Minute by Minute, the latter winning The Doobies their fourth Grammy, for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Interviewed on Icon Fetch, Tom—who co-founded The Doobies in 1970 but was replaced by Michael in 1975 due to a peptic ulcer—reflects on Michael’s contributions to the band.

When host Tony Peters points out that Michael took Continue reading