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Doobies' Knudsen Dies

Longtime drummer succumbs to pneumonia at fifty-six

February 9, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Keith Knudsen, drummer for California rockers the Doobie Brothers, died of pneumonia yesterday at the age of fifty-six after a month-long hospital stay in San Francisco. He joined the band in 1974, playing on six albums and hits such as "Taking It to the Streets" and "Black Water."

Knudsen played with the group through their 1982 farewell tour, at which point he and Doobie guitarist John McPhee formed country-rock band Southern Pacific. He joined the reunited Doobies in 1993. The band has been playing more than 100 gigs annually and are set to release a new album this summer. Knudsen was also working on a solo album.

Knudsen, who lived in Sonoma County, is survived by his wife Kate and daughter Dayna. Donations can be made to Knudsen's preferred charity, the National Veterans Foundation.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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