Keith Knudsen

Keith Knudsen (/kəˈnuːdsən/ kə-NOOD-sən; February 18, 1948 – February 8, 2005) was an American rock drummer, vocalist, and songwriter. Knudsen was best known as a drummer and vocalist for The Doobie Brothers. In addition, he founded the band Southern Pacific with fellow Doobie Brother John McFee.

Keith Knudsen
BornFebruary 18, 1948
Le Mars, Iowa, U.S.
DiedFebruary 8, 2005 (aged 56)
Kentfield, California, U.S.
GenresRock, Country rock, Southern rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, vocals
Associated acts


Knudsen was born in Le Mars, Iowa. He began drumming while attending Princeton High School in Princeton, Illinois, where he graduated in 1966. After short stints playing in a club band and the Blind Joe Mendlebaum Blues Band, he became the drummer for organist/vocalist Lee Michaels. He played in The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils from late 1972 through mid 1973. He never did any formal studio recording with them, but recorded a live Texas Special on KSAN-FM in San Francisco with the Hoodoos and Johnny Winter. His big break came in 1974 when he was invited to join The Doobie Brothers, replacing the departing Michael Hossack. Knudsen joined the band during the recording of the 1974 Top 10 platinum album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. He made his recording debut with the Doobies on What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits in 1974, performing backing vocals over instrumental tracks that included Hossack.[1]

Knudsen did not get behind the drum kit in the recording studio until Stampede in 1975. Knudsen was co-drummer with John Hartman and later Chet McCracken until the Doobies disbanded in 1982. His contribution to the group's vocal harmonies in the studio and in concert was as crucial as his drumming.

After the Doobies disbanded in 1982, Knudsen and fellow Doobie John McFee formed the country rock band Southern Pacific.[2] The group was successful in the country charts but disbanded in the early 1990s. By then the two men had formed a writing partnership and despite not rejoining the group at that time, co-wrote the song Time Is Here And Gone with Doobies' percussionist Bobby LaKind, featured on the Doobies reunion album Cycles in 1989.[3]

Knudsen organized a one-off Doobies reunion in 1987 to raise funds for the National Veterans Foundation. After Southern Pacific folded, both he and McFee rejoined the Doobie Brothers on a full-time basis in 1993. Ironically, Knudsen found himself drumming alongside Michael Hossack, whom he had replaced all those years ago. Of the multiple pairings of Doobie Brothers drummers over the decades, Knudsen's time-keeping partnership with Hossack lasted the longest.

He featured prominently as a songwriter on the album Sibling Rivalry (2000), which was, at the time, only the band's third studio album since reuniting. He also featured on the albums Rockin' Down the Highway: The Wildlife Concert (1996), and Live at Wolf Trap (2004). In 2005 he played drums on Emmylou Harris Shores Of White Sand off the All I Intend To Be record.

Though Knudsen was a frequent backing vocalist for the Doobie Brothers, he did not sing lead on many released Doobies tracks. On "Double Dealin' Four Flusher" (from Stampede) he is heard trading brief lead vocal lines with Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston. (The box set Long Train Runnin': 1970–2000 has an early rehearsal version of this song, called "Shuffle," with vocals only by Simmons and Knudsen.) Knudsen can also be heard singing lead on songs from the 1982 Doobie Brothers Farewell Tour ("Don't Start Me To Talkin'" from Farewell Tour; "Listen To The Music" from the Farewell Tour video and the album Live at the Greek Theater 1982). Sibling Rivalry features two later, and very different sounding, Knudsen lead vocals.

Knudsen died of pneumonia in Kentfield, California, at the age of 56. He was living in Northern California with his wife, Kate, and his daughter Dayna at the time of his death.[4]


With the Doobie Brothers (studio albums)

With Southern Pacific

  • Southern Pacific (1985)
  • Killbilly Hill (1986)
  • Zuma (1988)
  • County Line (1989)


  1. ^ Selvin, Joel (February 10, 2005). "Keith Knudsen—Doobies' drummer". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. ^ Goldsmith, Thomas (1998). "Southern Pacific". In Kingsbury, Paul (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 497–498. ISBN 978-0195176087.
  3. ^ "The Doobie Brothers". Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Keith Knudsen, 56; Drummer Played for Doobie Brothers, Southern Pacific". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. February 9, 2005.

External links

A Girl Like Emmylou

"A Girl Like Emmylou" is a song recorded by American country music group Southern Pacific. It was released in August 1986 as the first single from the album Killbilly Hill. The song reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. It was written by group members Tim Goodman, John McFee, Stu Cook and Keith Knudsen.

Chris Michie

Chris Michie (January 12, 1948 – March 27, 2003) was an American guitarist and composer and best known for his work with Van Morrison.Chris Michie was born in Ithaca, New York in 1948 and moved to Madison, Wisconsin, when he was a teenager. He attended the University of Wisconsin. Michie played in a band named The Grapes of Wrath, while still a teenager. In 1969, he moved to California as a member of the Madison band, The Mendelbaum Blues Band. Keith Knudsen, a future Doobie Brothers drummer was also a member of the band. Michie quit the band in 1971 and joined the rock band, Lamb. David Rubinson, the band's producer, picked Michie to be guitarist with the Pointer Sisters.In 1981, Michie played on Van Morrison's album Beautiful Vision after picking up a message from engineer Jim Stern. Chris and his family had just arrived in Hawaii for a vacation. Jim asked if he could get to the studio the next day. Chris turned around and flew home to do the session, then returned to Hawaii. When recording the album, Morrison had a certain guitar tone in mind that neither Herbie Armstrong nor Mark Knopfler had been able to produce. After Beautiful Vision, Michie then played guitar and toured with Van Morrison as a band member until 1986, playing on the albums, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart (1983)

, Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast (1984), A Sense of Wonder (1985) and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986). Other band members of Van Morrison's band were David Hayes and Mark Springer. Michie would also play lead guitar on the album Sneaker Waves with them and play in a band with them called The Adapters.Michie worked as a freelance guitarist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He worked with Boz Scaggs, Maria Muldaur, Jerry Garcia and Link Wray. Michie composed soundtracks for the TV show, Starsky and Hutch. He also served as musical director for David Soul. His final project was to compose the sound track for "The Wild Parrots of San Francisco." The movie was released posthumously, and was dedicated to him.

Michie was married to Deborah Brown Michie for thirty five years and had a daughter, Claire, with her. He died at his home in Fairfax, California in 2003 from melanoma after having the disease for six years.

Cycles (The Doobie Brothers album)

Cycles is the tenth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The album was released on May 17, 1989, by Capitol Records.

It marked the band's reunion after breaking up in 1982. Instead of the later configurations with Michael McDonald at the helm, the band reverted to their 1972-4 lineup although Bobby LaKind who had played percussion with later configurations also rejoined. Tom Johnston, John Hartman and Michael Hossack returned to the studio lineup for the first time since 1977, 1978 and 1974 respectively.

The album was largely co-written with producers and sidesmen. Bobby LaKind collaborated with former Doobie members John McFee and Keith Knudsen on "Time is Here and Gone" and Michael McDonald on "Tonight I'm Coming Through (The Border)". Two cover versions were included in the form of the Four Tops' "One Chain (Don't Make No Prison)" and the Isley Brothers' "Need a Little Taste of Love."

The title of the album was taken from an unused song written by Tiran Porter. Porter later recorded the song for his 1995 solo album Playing To An Empty House.Lead track "The Doctor" was released as a single and stormed to No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart." After this album, Bobby Lakind retired from the band because of terminal colorectal cancer, which claimed his life in 1992.

The album was reissued in 2002 by One Way Records with two bonus tracks. The first was "Anything for Love", written by Bobby LaKind with Eddie Schwartz and Zeke Zirngiebel, which originally appeared on a CD single of "The Doctor". The second was an extended remix of "Need A Little Taste of Love," which had appeared on a CD single of "One Chain".

Ed Toth

Ed Toth is an American musician who currently plays drums for The Doobie Brothers. Toth joined the Doobies in 2005 following his departure from Vertical Horizon.Always interested in music, Toth says he's been drumming most of his life. He made good use of his father's record collection and was active in all music programs in East Lyme, Connecticut, playing in his high school band at East Lyme High School. He went on to the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1994. While still at school, Toth became a member of the funk/rock band Jennifer Culture.Toth has played in numerous other rock and funk bands over the last decade. Most notably, he was a member of Vertical Horizon from 1996–2005, which yielded a multi platinum album Everything You Want, the title track of which also charted #1. Toth's association with the group began when he was working at a Boston Borders Books; The mother of Vertical Horizon's lead singer and guitarist Matt Scannell, was shopping in the bookstore and asked Ed for a Vertical Horizon CD, which he had listened to and quite enjoyed. His enthusiasm for the recording impressed Scannell's mother so much that, in gratitude for the assistance she received at the store, she offered to put the bookstore manager and a friend on the guest list for a Vertical Horizon show at Mama Kin, an Aerosmith owned nightclub, also in Boston. Toth went to the show as the manager's friend; and when the band had an opening for a drummer, Toth auditioned for the spot.When the Doobie Brothers' drummer, Keith Knudsen, died of cancer in 2005; Toth was selected to fill his spot with the band. He has remained as drummer for the band, first in addition to Michael Hossack. After Hossack's untimely passing,Tony Pia was added, and after Pia's departure, Ed became the sole drummer in the band. Ed has been influenced by Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, Bill Bruford and a host of other virtuoso drummers.

Toth has also produced some critically acclaimed albums and started a band called Cooper with his friend, Tim Bradshaw.

Farewell Tour (album)

Farewell Tour is the first live album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 1983. It documents the group's 1982 Farewell Tour and is a double album set.

By the early 1980s, the Doobie Brothers had evolved from the guitar-boogie sound under original band frontman Tom Johnston to a soulful keyboard-driven AOR sound under Michael McDonald. Despite the many personnel changes in the group, Patrick Simmons remained from the original incarnation of the group.

In 1982, Simmons decided to retire from the group after years of constant touring and recording. When the band decided to break up in light of his impending departure, Simmons encouraged the group to make one last tour during the summer of 1982 as a way of thanking the group's loyal fanbase. This tour became known as the "Farewell Tour."

The front cover shows Keith Knudsen cutting the strings on John McFee's guitar as a symbolic gesture. The last two songs on the album were recorded at the final concert of the tour in Berkeley, California, on September 11, 1982 with vocals by original lead vocalist and guitarist Tom Johnston. For a long time the album was available on CD only in Japan, but ultimately it was re-released on CD by Rhino/WEA on August 26, 2008. The reissue deleted approximately 1½ minutes of onstage banter from the band between 'Streets' and 'Jesus', including mentioning they were going to "light up a 'doobie'" during intermission, suggesting the audience do the same.

Golan the Insatiable

Golan the Insatiable is an American animated television series that originally aired on Fox on November 23, 2013 along with Lucas Bros. Moving Co.; it officially premiered on January 11, 2014. It was created by Josh Miller and developed by Dave Jeser & Matt Silverstein. It is based on stories written by Miller that appeared on the website Something Awful. It aired on Fox's Animation Domination HD programming block.

Golan the Insatiable was picked up by Fox for a second season consisting of 6 half-hour prime-time episodes featuring a new voice cast and alternate continuity. The season premiered on May 31, 2015 on Fox's Sunday Funday lineup. Fox canceled the series after two seasons.

Greatest Hits (The Doobie Brothers album)

Greatest Hits is a 2001 compilation album by The Doobie Brothers. Its 20 songs appear in chronological order of original release. Greatest Hits peaked at number 142 on the US Billboard 200 and it also peaked at number 45 on the UK Albums Chart.

It Keeps You Runnin'

"It Keeps You Runnin'" is a song by the American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The song was written by band member Michael McDonald, and served as the third single from their sixth studio album Takin' It to the Streets.

The Doobie Brothers version was featured in the 1994 Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump, and was included on the film's multi-platinum selling soundtrack album.The song was also featured in the soundtrack of the 1978 film FM.

John Hartman

John Hartman (born March 18, 1950) is an American drummer who was a co-founder and original drummer of the Doobie Brothers. At the band's inception, Hartman was the sole drummer. However, in late 1971, the group added second drummer Michael Hossack, and the dual-drummers formation has persisted ever since. (Hossack was replaced in 1973 by Keith Knudsen.)

Hartman played on all of the Doobie Brothers' major hits of the 1970s with both Tom Johnston and Michael McDonald. He left early in 1979 following a promotional tour in support of the award-winning Minute by Minute album to look after Arabian horses on his California ranch.

Hartman was enticed to join twelve Doobies alumni (including drummers Hossack, Knudsen, and Hartman's own 1979 replacement Chet McCracken) for a brief benefit tour in 1987. Hartman subsequently rejoined when the band was reconstituted the following year. He played on the reunion albums Cycles (1989) and Brotherhood (1991) as well as the accompanying promotional tours. However, following a 1992 alumni reunion for the benefit of terminally ill percussionist Bobby LaKind, Hartman retired permanently from the band. In typical Doobies fashion, he was replaced by his former partner, Keith Knudsen.


Knudsen is a surname of Scandinavian origin, derived from the personal name Knud (Canute) and literally meaning "Knud's son."

Knudsen refers to:


Bo Knudsen (born 1958), Danish politician

Daphne Knudsen (born 1996), molecular biologist, specializing in foreheads

Gunnar Knudsen (1848–1928), Prime Minister of Norway 1908–1910 and 1913–1920

Jens Martin Knudsen (1930–2005), Danish astrophysicist

Jens Martin Knudsen (born 1967), Faroese goalkeeper

Jessi Knudsen Castañeda, host of Youtube channel Animal Wonders

Keith Knudsen (1948–2005), musician, member of The Doobie Brothers

Knud Knudsen (linguist) (1812–1895), Norwegian linguist

Konrad Knudsen (1890–1959), Norwegian painter, journalist, and parliamentarian

Lars John Knudsen (1932–2004), Australian abstract painter

Lars Knudsen (born 1962), Danish researcher in cryptography

Martin Knudsen (1871–1949), Danish physicist, after whom is named:

Knudsen Gas, scientific model for gases

Knudsen number, dimensionless number

Knudsen layer, layer between liquid and vapour

Morten Knudsen, (born 1995) Danish footballer

Per Holm Knudsen (contemporary), Danish author

Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen (1912–1998), American automobile industry executive

Sidse Babett Knudsen (born 1968), Danish actress

Tord Øverland Knudsen (born 1982), Norwegian musician

Valdemar Knudsen (1819–1898), Norwegian-American sugar planter on Hawaii, entrepreneur

Vern Oliver Knudsen, (1893–1974), American acoustical physicist

William S. Knudsen (1879–1948), Danish American automobile industry executive, US Army GeneralOther

Knudsen, a brand of dairy products, currently owned by Kraft Foods

R.W. Knudsen Family, a brand of natural bottled juices, currently owned by The J.M. Smucker Company

Knudsen Vineyards, a family owned vineyard in the Willamette Valley of Oregon

Knudsen Engineering, an advanced digital electronic systems manufacturer for marine purposes

Live at Wolf Trap

Live at Wolf Trap is the third live album by US rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 2004.

Wolf Trap is a National Park in Virginia, where the band performed live on July 25.

In addition to the CD, a DVD was released featuring, in addition to the CD setlist, "People Gotta Love Again", "Spirit", "Nobody", "Neal's Fandango", "Takin' It to the Streets" and "Without You", interviews, a photo gallery and other bonus features.

The album was also released as a double LP vinyl set, same tracklist as the CD version.

The album revived a handful of tracks the Doobies had not released live versions of before from Tom Johnston's original stint with the band. The set also included a cover of the rock and roll standard "Little Bitty Pretty One".

The album contains the final recordings of drummer and vocalist Keith Knudsen, who died shortly after its release.

Livin' on the Fault Line

Livin' on the Fault Line is the seventh studio album by the American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The album was released on August 19, 1977, by Warner Bros. Records. It is one of the few Doobie Brothers albums of the 1970s which did not produce a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (although "You Belong to Me" was a hit as recorded by co-author Carly Simon). Still, the album received modest critical acclaim. Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals) left the band early in the sessions. He is listed as part of the band (appearing in the inside group photo) but appears on little or none of the actual album; despite writing and singing five songs during the sessions for the album, they were not included on the final release. Much of this consistently mellow album has a jazz tinge, and the influences of R&B are palpable throughout. The track "Little Darling (I Need You)" is a remake of the Marvin Gaye 1966 hit.

Minute by Minute (The Doobie Brothers song)

"Minute by Minute" is a song written by Michael McDonald and Lester Abrams originally released by the Doobie Brothers on their 1978 album Minute by Minute. The single was released in April 1979, debuted at number 67 on 5 May 1979, and reached number 14 on 23–30 June 1979 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, but lost out to The Doobie Brothers' own "What a Fool Believes". It has since been covered by other artists, including The Temptations, Larry Carlton, Stanley Clarke, Peabo Bryson, Kim Pensyl, Helen Reddy, Bobby Lyle, and Rick Janus.

On My Own Two Feet

On My Own Two Feet is the 1983 debut album by Paul Barrére. It features Steve Walsh from Kansas, Bill Payne from Little Feat and Keith Knudsen from The Doobie Brothers.

One Step Closer (The Doobie Brothers album)

One Step Closer is the ninth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The album was released on September 17, 1980, by Warner Bros. Records. The album included the hit "Real Love", which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100; this also marks the last studio album with Michael McDonald in the lineup.

Sibling Rivalry (The Doobie Brothers album)

Sibling Rivalry is the twelfth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The album was released on October 3, 2000, by Pyramid Records and Rhino Entertainment.

The album was the band's first studio recording since Brotherhood in 1991. It was also the only Doobie Brothers studio album to feature lead vocal contributions from drummer Keith Knudsen and multi-instrumentalist John McFee, both of whom had rejoined the group in 1993 after an eleven-year absence.

The group photograph in the inner booklet featured touring sidesmen Guy Allison (keyboards, backing vocals), Marc Russo (saxophone) and Skylark (bass, backing vocals). Allison and Russo also featured on the album, the former co-writing three tracks while occasional touring bassist John Cowan also featured and contributed the song Can't Stand to Lose written with Poco's Rusty Young.

Southern Pacific (band)

Southern Pacific was an American country rock band that existed from 1983 to 1991. They are best known for hits such as "Any Way the Wind Blows" (1989), which was used in the soundtrack for the film Pink Cadillac starring Clint Eastwood and Bernadette Peters, and "New Shade of Blue" (1988, their highest-ranking single on the country charts in November of that year). Southern Pacific was named New Country Group of the Year when they debuted and have been honored by having their name added to the Country Music Association’s Walkway of Stars in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tim Goodman

Timothy Goodman (born September 10, 1950) is an American country music singer-songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and producer who has recorded for RCA, Columbia Records and Warner Brothers and performed on numerous sessions for other recording artists.

Goodman was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1950 and briefly spent his high school years attending the American School in London. Upon returning to San Francisco, Goodman began touring and performing during the late 1970s, becoming a mainstay in the genres of Country, country rock and Bluegrass music. Goodman was a regular on the Country music touring circuit in California, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Goodman released the solo album "Footsteps" for Columbia in 1981. This album was produced by guitarist John McFee of The Doobie Brothers and also included keyboardist Sean Hopper of Huey Lewis and the News, vocalist/keyboardist Michael MacDonald and drummer Keith Knudsen from The Doobie Brothers. During this time, Goodman also made several studio and live recordings with New Grass Revival, a progressive bluegrass band which featured notable musicians Béla Fleck and Sam Bush. These collaborations featured Tim Goodman on vocals and led to numerous live performances with the group.

Studio albums
Live albums
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