♫ Listen To The Music ♫

There are hundreds, if not thousands of songs in the world of ♫♪♫ that I love, and yet some nights I find myself at a loss for one that I haven’t already played since I began posting music last July (at the suggestion of one of my first blogging buddies, Mr. Militant Negro) last July.  Exhaustion, coupled with the dark cloud over my head these days, I suppose, keeps me from immediately being able to think of another favourite of yore.  So, when somebody mentions or requests a song that I do like, I jump on it!  Tonight’s song came about just so.  David, who wasn’t all that thrilled with Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ a few nights ago, mentioned that he likes Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers.  And so, when I was feeling really down tonight, considering just skipping the music post altogether as I sometimes do, I found this tune floating around in my head.  So, here we are …

The song, released in 1972,  was written by the band’s lead vocalist Tom Johnston, who also played guitar on the track. This was the Doobie Brothers’ first big hit  According to Johnston …

“It was all based around this somewhat Utopian view of the world. The idea was that music would lift man up to a higher plane, and that world leaders, if they were able to sit down on some big grassy knoll where the sun was shining and hear music – such as the type I was playing – would figure out that everybody had more in common than they had not in common, and it was certainly not worth getting in such a bad state of affairs about. Everybody in the world would therefore benefit from this point of view. Just basically that music would make everything better. And of course I’ve since kind of realized it doesn’t work that way.”

As to how he came up with it …

“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. 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.”

Without further ado … this is for you, David …

Listen to the Music
The Doobie Brothers

Don’t you feel it growing, day by day
People getting ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Woah, gotta let the music play

Mhm
What the people need is a way to make them smile
It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message, get it on through
Oh now momma don’t you ask me why

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

When I know you know baby, everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day
We’ll be happy and we’ll dance
Oh, we’re gonna dance our blues away

And if I’m feeling good to you and you’re feeling good to me
There ain’t nothing we can’t do or say
Feeling good, feeling fine
Oh, baby, let the music play

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Like a lazy flowing river
Surrounding castles in the sky
And the crowd is growing bigger
Listening for the happy sounds
And I got to let them fly

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music

All the timeSongwriters: Tom Johnston
Listen to the Music lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

49 thoughts on “♫ Listen To The Music ♫

  1. Ah, yes. I love this one Jill. My cousin will be attending a DB concert in Evansville later this week — unless of course I have the date wrong and it was last week! Am I jealous? Heck YES! I am. He didn’t even offer to take me with him! 😇🎵🎼📀 And would you believe my emoji doesn’t even have a guitar? Bummer!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Wow! My guitar back again! I will have to de-son my older son before I begin de-cuzzining anyone. I could be persuaded to keep the son though just in case a band of gypsies travels thru and want to buy him from me. I would probably have to pay them to take him though. Get the idea he’s on my s**t list at the moment? And yes, the DB’s are still together although, like the Beach Boys they have added members to take the place of the ones who are no longer with them so it might be a completely different group now using the name and sound. I’ll see Greg Thursday and ask him then — unless that is the day of the concert. If so he won’t even be visiting us. Now that is really rude! 😇🍓🤣

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  2. Jill, I love the Doobie Brothers in any vintage. I do prefee the more guitar oriented rock and roll of their early days – this song, China Grove, South City Midnight Ladies, et al. Yet, with McDonald they had some excellent songs as well – Takin it to the Streets is a great example.

    One of my favorite DB memories is a senior girl that I think everyone had a crush on in high school loved “China Grove.” I remember her running to her car to turn up the radio to hear it. That was my first exposure to the song. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Naturally I made a quick trip to Google to see if you were right … turns out you are: “According to an interview with the band’s co-founder Tom Johnston, the name was coined by a roommate he was living with when the group was in its infancy. “We had a guy in the house who said, ‘Why don’t you call yourself the Doobie Brothers because you’re always smoking’,” Johnston told the Minnesota Daily.” Good memory!

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  3. For a minute there I forgot all the nasty things that have happened since those days and I was filled with the hope I used to have that songs like this promised. Still great music though even if people didn’t follow through. It’s so sad.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well now I’m not sure I should have played this one after all, if it made you sad. It is great music, though unfortunately it wasn’t prophetic. Perhaps some day the human race will learn to get along together … never lose hope. Yeah, I know, I’m a fine one to say that.
      Cwtch Mawr

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  4. I try so hard to say only nice things or say nothing at all, as was instilled during my formative years, though it remains a work in progress as I don’t do silence well. However, I must take you to task a wee bit for the statement ‘David, who wasn’t all that thrilled with Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ a few nights ago’. I may be overstepping my bounds by speaking for David, but that silence thing prompts my input…however unwelcome that may be! I believe that it was the quality of the video that was not to his liking rather than the song itself, along with the suggestion of a Doobie Brothers song. After all, it was Michael McDonald that replaced Tom Johnston in 1975 up to 1982 when the Doobie Brothers disbanded…regrouping several years later with Johnston again and continues to this very day. My favorite Doobie Brothers years were the McDonald ones. Their 1980 “One Step Closer” is my favorite of their albums, most especially the song “Real Love” with his lead vocal. I believe that was also the last studio album that McDonald was on. I seem to remember that he has on occasion sung with them over the years since they regrouped, but don’t quote me on that. I’ll attempt to curtail my propensity for loquacity by moving into nice mode and say that this is a very good choice but refrain from saying that in my opinion, it isn’t the best. Curtailed but failed, huh?! Thank-you!

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    • You are right, of course … David didn’t specifically say he didn’t like the song, only that he found the video annoyingly out of sync. But … you must be so terribly disappointed in me! I made note, in my notes for music posts that I keep handy, I plainly had written “April 16 — Selena birthday — tribute for Ellen”. Every day … every bloomin’ day … I saw that note, reminded myself that April 16 was fast approaching. And then … came April 16 … I was tired, out of sorts, in one of those “wish the earth would open me and swallow me” moods, and … I forgot. I’m so sorry, my friend. It did not even hit me until I opened the file tonight to see what I might wish to play and let out an expletive when I saw the note at the top of the page. Can I somehow redeem myself? That said, I’m glad you liked “Listen to the Music” anyway, even though I missed Selena and took David’s comment to mean one thing when it may or may not have. Sheesh … I’m picking up your P for L!

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      • It may interest you to know that one day last week an email arrived in my inbox that had your list for music posts with some checked or crossed through and right at the top were the words you ‘plainly had written’! I deleted it, realizing that it must have been sent in error, but was secretly delighted and anxiously awaiting today. I admit to being quite disappointed that for whatever reason you apparently had changed your mind and used today’s song instead. I decided to let it go in the hope that maybe there would be two music posts today…guess not, as Selena’s birthday is nearly over. It is brave of you to admit the error of your ways, especially during these, my Benjaminless Days. I am rapidly becoming a cantankerous B-witch…with a capital “B”!! A statement of fact, but heed my words : Beware of the B-witch! Then again, as Scarlet O’Hara said : “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Or, a Benjaminism : “Today is the tomorrow from yesterday, right Gem?” So, in a sense today is yesterday and tomorrow will be today…Selena and I wait! Thank-you!

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  5. Nice song to wake up to, Jill. Thank you. There are so many songs with this theme that I will not mention any at all, but they have a happy message, and I love to listen to them. Music does something inside us, cheering us up when we are feeling down, making us want to dance and be in motion, making us sing along. Long live music!

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