Friday, February 17, 2012

Tom Johnston - "Savannah Nights"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted November 17, 1979, Peaked #34, 11 Weeks on the Chart)

After being sidelined from The Doobie Brothers due to some medical issues, Tom Johnston was ready to get out and record again. He had become very ill in 1975 and was only able to contribute sporadically to the group's albums before leaving in 1977. He recorded his first solo album Everything You've Heard is True in 1979, and "Savannah Nights" was his first single.

While it came out late in 1979, it was shortly after the disco backlash. Yet here was one of the Doobie Brothers -- one who wasn't part of "What a Fool Believes," for Pete's sake -- doing a record that may not have been totally disco but certainly had a dance groove in it. There may have been a guitar solo in the record, but the clavinet laying down a funky groove wasn't fooling anybody.

Despite having a dance beat, the video was part of the rotation that played on MTV during its first day of programming in 1981. It's not exactly what the channel would be remembered for playing; they used anything they had during those first few months on the air.

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