One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: Tom Johnston

“Savannah Nights” by Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston is better known as one of the founding members of The Doobie Brothers. Johnston wrote and sang many of the Doobie Brothers’ early hits, including “Listen to the Music,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “China Grove,” and “Long Train Runnin’.”

However, in 1975, after years of touring, Johnston, became severely ill and was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer. The band was just about to go on tour when this happened. So they hired Michael McDonald, who became the new lead singer of the band. This changed their sound. So when Johnston was finally feeling better, and came back, he had no more influence. So, he left the group in 1977, and went solo.

He was not nearly as successful on his own. His lone hit was “Savannah Nights”, which peaked at #34 on January 12, 1980.

Johnston joined the Doobie Brothers when they reunited together for a brief tour in 1987 to benefit Vietnam veterans. This event led to the permanent reformation of the band. He is still with the Doobie Brothers today.

Here is Tom Johnston’s one solo hit, “Savannah Nights”:

3 thoughts on “One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: Tom Johnston”

    1. Yeah, I know. I hadn’t heard that one before either. There are quite a few from 1980 that I didn’t recognize. I guess I wasn’t listening to the radio all that much back then. I know that there are some readers that are a little older than me that might appreciate some of these. This is pretty cool, because I’m learning about “new” songs.


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