Tom Johnston Savanna Nights

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  Tom Johnston – Savanna Nights

Charles Thomas “Tom” Johnston (born August 15, 1948) is an American musician. He is a guitarist and vocalist, known principally as a founder, guitarist, lead vocalist and songwriter for the Grammy Award winning rock group The Doobie Brothers, as well as for his own solo career. His off-and-on career with The Doobie Brothers spans more than 40 years, during which time the band exhibited numerous successful styles.

Tom Johnston is most well known for both his lead guitar and vocal role in the band The Doobie Brothers, as well as for his adaptation of his own acoustic guitar style, blending a unique strum and percussive accented rhythm at the same time on one instrument. This style, interwoven with melodic hammer-ons (Example Early Johnston Riff and Vocal on YouTube) gave Johnston an early signature sound inside of popular 1970’s rock music. All the rhythm structures behind “Long Train Runnin’” and “Listen to the Music” were formulated first for an acoustic guitar, and then re-applied in similar style on an electric guitar.

 In December 1973, the British music magazine, NME reported the relatively trivial news that Johnston had been arrested in California on a charge of marijuana possession. More seriously however, following years of a road touring lifestyle and health issues surrounding stomach ulcers which stood as a challenge since high school, Johnston became severely ill on the eve of a major tour beginning in Memphis, Tennessee in 1975 to promote Stampede. Johnston’s condition was so precarious that he required emergency hospitalization for a bleeding ulcer. With Johnston convalescing and the tour already underway, fellow Doobie Brother Jeff Baxter proposed recruiting a fellow Steely Dan alum to fill the hole. This led to the emergency hiring of Michael McDonald, who became the lead singer of the band. Restored to fitness in 1976 and briefly back in the fold, Tom contributed one original song to Takin’ It to the Streets, (“Turn It Loose”), and also added a vocal cameo to Pat Simmons’ tune “Wheels of Fortune.” He also made live appearances with the band in 1976 (appearing in a concert filmed that year at the Winterland in San Francisco, excerpts from which appear occasionally on VH1 Classic), but was sidelined once again in the fall due to exhaustion.

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From: Wikipedia

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