WCSX Classic Cuts
The Doobie Brothers: “Rockin’ Down the Highway”
The Hook: They watched it go from a loose jam to a polished track.
Album: Toulouse Street
Writer: Tom Johnston
Stats: An FM radio hit, it was never released as a single by the band.
Background: John Hartman, who drummed on all the Doobie Brothers ’70s recordings, credits producer Ted Templeman and engineer Donn Landee with turning “Rockin’ Down the Highway” from a rough jam into a radio-ready track. He recalls how it came about.
Former Doobie Brothers drummer John Hartman on the origins of guitarist Tom Johnston’s “Rockin’ Down the Highway.” OC:…neat experience. :15
“Most of that stuff on Toulouse Street was basement songs. That means Tommy and I were down in the basement jamming these things and then coming up with some of the stuff. “Rockin’ Down the Highway”’s one of those songs and to see it go from a real rough cut basement jam song into a full-fledged production was a real neat experience.”