♫ What A Fool Believes ♫

Last week, I rather got into a Bryan Adams ‘mode’ and ended up playing three of his.  Then, I played one by the Doobie Brothers, which led to another, and in the course of doing the research for that ‘another’, I came across this one which may well be my favourite by the Doobie Brothers.  No, I don’t plan these things, but … when you’re on a roll, having a good time, chillin’ to the tunes … why not?

Kenny Loggins co-wrote this one with the Doobie Brothers’ lead singer at the time, Michael McDonald.  Loggins put his version on his album Nightwatch, which was released in July 1978, five months before The Doobies included it on their Minute by Minute album. Loggins’ version was never released as a single, but The Doobie Brothers took it to #1 in the US in April 1979.  Michael McDonald wrote the original version of this song. He presented a fragment of it to Templeman, who encouraged him to continue working on it. Kenny Loggins came in when McDonald got stuck on the bridge of the song. Bassist Tiran Porter had suggested Loggins to McDonald because the two were good friends.

The story goes that while he was waiting for Loggins to arrive at his home, McDonald played some of the songs that were “in progress” and asked his sister Maureen which she thought was best. As Loggins was getting out of his car, he heard McDonald playing a fragment of this. According to Loggins, he heard about three-quarters of the verse’s melody (no lyrics), but McDonald stopped at the bridge. Loggins’ mind continued without a break… and the song’s bridge was born. Then Loggins knocked on the door, introduced himself to McDonald, and demonstrated the bridge that he devised before the two of them could sit down. The lyrics were finished over the telephone the next day.

Now, I am a huge Kenny Loggins fan, and I will offer you both the Doobie Brothers version and Kenny Loggins’, but in this case, I have to say that I prefer the Doobie Brothers offering.

This was the band’s second U.S. #1, after “Black Water.” The Doobie Brothers took on a different sound when they lost lead singer Tom Johnston due to illness in the mid-’70s. Instead of the album rock they were known for, they had more of a soft rock sound with Michael McDonald as lead singer.

This won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The album won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.  The song hit #1 in both the U.S. and Canada, and #31 in the UK.

What a Fool Believes
The Doobie Brothers / Kenny Loggins

He came from somewhere back in her long ago
The sentimental fool don’t see
Trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created
Once in her life, she musters a smile for his nostalgic tale
Never coming near what he wanted to say
Only to realize it never really was

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But a fool believes he sees
The wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
And nothing at all keeps sending him

Somewhere back in her long ago
Where he can still believe there’s a place in her life
Someday, somewhere, she will return

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But a fool believes he sees
The wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be (if love can come and love can go, then why can’t love return once more?)
Is always better than nothing
(Who got the power?)
There’s nothing at all (oh, now)
But a fool believes he sees (I believe she’s never gone away)
The wise man has the power
To reason away (to reason away)
What seems to be (oh, if love can come and love can go, oh, mama)
Is always better than nothing (better than nothing)
And nothing at all (oh, I believe)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Kenny Loggins / Michael McDonald
What a Fool Believes lyrics © Gnossos Music / Milk Money Music, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

♫ Black Water ♫

Last week I reduxed a song by the Doobie Brothers, Listen to the Music, and our friend Clive mentioned two others that were his favourites by the band:  China Grove and Black Water.  Well, China Grove was one that I had never heard before, and when I listened it didn’t exactly make me want to jump up and dance.  But Black Water was another story altogether … I recognized it immediately, and what’s more … I like it!  And so …

Patrick Simmons, who is the group’s guitarist, wrote this song and sang lead. It has the Louisiana swamp rock feel of earlier Doobie Brothers songs like Toulouse Street and Black Eyed Cajun Woman.  The song is about the Mississippi River, with lyrics likely inspired by Mark Twain’s books Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, which tell stories about rafting down the river.

A personal aside … while I have heard this song many, many times and always liked it, I must admit that I always thought they were singing, “Hold that water …”  Ah, the joys of being hearing-impaired!

Black Water wasn’t seen as having hit potential, so it was relegated to the B-side of Another Park, Another Sunday in March 1974. Black Water wasn’t issued as an A-side until November, and it didn’t reach #1 until March 15, 1975.

In discussing how the song became an unlikely hit, says Tom Johnston, the Doobie Brothers frontman …

“That’s a story that could have happened back then, but never would ever ever happen now: Roanoke, Virginia picked that tune up and started playing it in heavy rotation, and somebody in Minneapolis who I guess knew somebody in Roanoke heard the song and decided to follow suit, and it ended up becoming our first #1 single. That was Pat’s first single. And oddly enough, it was never looked at as a single by the record company.

I remember when I first heard it was #1, we were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and we were just getting ready to go on stage, and then I guess Bruce [their manager Bruce Cohn] must have told us. I think we were already aware of the fact that it was getting airplay, but nobody was really paying a lot of attention. And then all of a sudden it became #1 and we were paying attention. I remember I went in and congratulated Pat backstage, and we’ve been playing it ever since.”

Lead singer Tom Johnston became severely ill on the eve of a major tour beginning in Memphis, Tennessee in 1975, which led to the group replacing him with Michael McDonald, who became the lead singer of the band. Johnston was restored to fitness in 1976 and briefly back in the band, although he was sidelined once again in the fall due to exhaustion.  Michael McDonald remained with the band until their split in 1982 (they reunited in 1987, with Johnston).

Released in 1974, this hit #1 in the U.S., #11 in Canada, but did not chart in the UK.  Still, since our friend Clive knows of it and likes it, I must assume it did receive airtime in the UK.

Tonight, I have what I hope will be a treat for you.  I’m playing the original, official version and also one made within the past year, a ‘pandemic’ version where the members of the band all tuned in virtually and played their parts!  Needless to say, they are a bit older now, and of course the quality doesn’t match the original, but I thought it was fun anyway.

Black Water
The Doobie Brothers

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’
Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name
Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’
Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same

Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Yeah, keep on shinin’ your light
Gonna make everything
Pretty mama, gonna make everything all right
And I ain’t got no worries
‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all

Well, if it rains, I don’t care
Don’t make no difference to me
Just take that streetcar that’s goin’ uptown
Yeah, I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland and dance a honky-tonk
And I’ll be buyin’ ev’rybody drinks all ‘roun’

Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?
Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Keep on shinin’ your light
Gonna make everything, everything
Gonna make everything all right
And I ain’t got no worries
‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
(By the hand) hand (take me by the hand) pretty mama
Gonna dance with your daddy all night long
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with your daddy night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)
Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Patrick Simmons
Black Water lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ I Keep Forgettin’ ♫

Tonight I am tired and was just settling down after washing a mountain of dishes to decide on the song for the day, but my mind wasn’t cooperating.  Then all of a sudden, as if dropped onto my dashboard by karma, came a comment from friend Patty with a suggestion …

“How about,  I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) by Michael McDonald? I love that one!!!!”, said she, and so it shall be!

Michael McDonald recorded this with his sister Maureen McDonald providing background vocals. It was featured on If That’s What It Takes, his first solo album away from The Doobie Brothers.  Greg Phillinganes, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro of the band Toto played the clavinet, guitar and drums respectively. Noted bassist Louis Johnson laid down the song’s pronounced bassline.

This song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and was originally recorded by R&B singer Chuck Jackson in 1962. The song was also recorded by The Checkmates Ltd. and The Hi-Fi’s before Michael McDonald put together a new version of the song with Ed Sanford of Sanford And Townsend. It was the first solo hit for McDonald.

And without further ado … here you go, Patty!

I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)
Michael McDonald

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime you’re near
Everytime I see you smile
Hear your “hello”
Saying you can only stay a while

Hey, I know that it’s hard for you
To say the things that we both know are true
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime I hear
How you never want to live a lie
How it’s gone too far
And you don’t have to tell me why

Why you’re gone and the game is through
If this is what’s real, if this is what’s true
Tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (baby)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear (yeah, baby)
I keep forgettin’

Don’t say that, don’t say that, don’t say that
I know you’re not mine anymore, anyway, anytime
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (How come I)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’ (baby)

Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again)
Oh Baby (I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’)

Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC