Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Keith Knudsen - Phone Interview March 1, 1976

Earlier this year, drummer, singer and songwriter Keith Knudsen was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doobie Brothers.   

Born in Le Mars, Iowa, Knudsen's family moved to Princeton, Illinois when Keith was in his early teens.  While a student at Princeton High School, Knudsen began his musical career playing in area bands such as the Sir-Vays and the Coachmen.


After high school Knudsen moved to California, performing with several different groups before joining the Doobie Brothers in 1974.

In early 1976, just prior to the release of the Doobie Brothers' album Takin' It To The Streets, Knudsen was back in Princeton visiting his parents and "the old home town."  The local newspaper, the News Tribune, ran the following article:

This led to the following phone interview with local radio personality Don Zukowski on March 1, 1976:

Knudsen remained with the Doobie Brothers until they disbanded in 1982.  Afterwards he formed the country rock band Southern Pacific with fellow Doobie John McFee.     

Knudsen is credited with organizing a one-off Doobies' reunion in 1987 to raise money for the National Veterans Foundation which ultimately led to the group reforming.  Knudsen rejoined the group on a full time basis in 1993.

Knudsen died from pneumonia in 2005 at the age of 56.  He is buried in Princeton, Illinois.


  1. I had a chance to meet Keith Knudsen several times towards the end of his life. He was always so kind to his fans, and always willing to sign an autograph. In fact, he would often ask me if I had anything else I wanted signed after signing one album for me. He once even signed the booklet AND the outside of the box for the Doobies box set.

  2. Southern Pacific had a couple of members of The Byrds in the band too. I loved their music and I even still have 2 of their cds.