Michael McDonald joined the Doobie Brothers in 1975 and almost immediately turned the band from a Southern rock-influenced group of neo-hippies into a smooth pop/soul powerhouse. By the time McDonald left the band six years later, they were the Grammy-winning alpha males of pop/rock. McD picked up right where the band left off, scoring a Top 10 pop and soul single in late 1982/early 1983 with the classic “I Keep Forgettin'”. As you can see from the video (or you would’ve been able to see had I been allowed to embed the video), McDonald may have lost the Doobies, but he certainly didn’t lose the beard.

Prior to McDonald joining the band, the Doobies’ best known song was “Black Water”, a #1 smash in spring 1975. That particular song was vocalized by Patrick Simmons. Did you know that just over half a year after McDonald hit the charts as a solo artist, Simmons did too? His song “So Wrong” was a top 40 pop hit and also scored a ranking on the R&B chart.

(it’s not the entire video, but enough to give you a good taste)

It was Simmons’ only Hot 100 appearance as a solo artist. The resulting album, “Arcade” was not a big seller, and the Doobies (minus McDonald) reformed in the late Eighties.

What I find a little strange, however, is how much like McDonald “So Wrong” sounds. It’s a little more streetwise and danceable than the stuff McD was doing around this time, but check out the vocals. Did Mike contribute background vocals or something?

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