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Doobie Brothers Head Class of 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Doobie Brothers in 1977

It took the Doobie Brothers 37 years to make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. During that time the '70s hit machine broke up and staged several reunions. This summer they toured with Santana. Founded in 1970, the Doobies plan to embark on a 50th anniversary tour in 2020.

The other 2020 inductees are Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex. Nominees who were not selected include Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motorhead, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.

Named for stoners' humorous term for a joint, the Doobies basically had two productive careers: pre singer Michael McDonald joining the group in 1976 and post that significant band change. Prior to McDonald, they were a rockin' band from San Jose, California with a country slant, led by singer/guitarists Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons.

The hits came quickly, starting with "Listen to the Music" (No. 11) and "Jesus Is Just Alright" (No. 35) in 1972, followed by "Long Train Running" (No. 8) and "China Grove" (No. 15) in 1973 and their first No. 1, "Black Water" in 1974.

After "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)" (No. 11, 1975), the smooth and soulful McDonald hopped aboard the Doobies train. "Takin' It to the Streets" (No. 13, 1976) proved that the new formula worked. By 1979, they had their second No. 1 with "What a Fool Believes." Written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, it was named Record and Song of the Year by the Grammys.

That was the Doobies' peak. In the early '80s, the group began to dissolve. In 1987, they staged the first of many reunions. Over the years, the band recorded 14 studio albums. The current lineup includes Johnston, Simmons, John McFee and Bill Payne. McDonald will join them on their 50th anniversary tour.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland (the home of the musuem) on May 2.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.