Thursday, September 12, 2013

1973: Long Train Runnin'

Most people will recognize the opening rhythm guitar playing of Gm7 to G7sus4 chords. Tom Johnston made The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin’” – literally. He wrote the song, sang lead, played the signature rhythm guitar, and wailed on the harmonica solo. For harmonica aficionados, Johnston used a C harmonica while an Eb harp would typically be used for Gm. As you can tell, the C harmonica really works well. 

This 1973 hit began as an instrumental jam that the band played in concert. As many songs have working titles (The Beatles’ “Yesterday” was originally known as “Scrambled Egg”), “Long Train Runnin’” began as “Rosie Pig Moseley” and later was named “Osborn.”

Producer Ted Templeton encouraged Johnston to pen words to this instrumental and the finished product was propelled to the #8 position. It was one of two singles from the band’s third album, “The Captain and Me.” The LP’s other hit recording was “China Grove” that charted later in ’73 at #15.

No comments:

Post a Comment