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Founding Drummer of the Doobie Brothers, John Hartman Dead at 72
The Doobie Brothers, 1971 / Hartman in Forefront (Image: Warner Bros.)

Founding Drummer of the Doobie Brothers, John Hartman Dead at 72

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(CelebrityAccess) – John “Little John” Hartman, a co-founder, and drummer of the Doobie Brothers, has died at the age of 72. The news was shared by the band today (September 2022) on their social media platforms. The date, cause, and location of death were not disclosed.

Their message called Hartman “a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman.” Hartman became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020 when the band was finally inducted after decades of eligibility. His death was first announced by the Rock Hall on Tuesday (September 20) in a brief “In Memoriam” post on its social media pages that also left out any details.

Hartman played on all of the Doobies’ hits of the 1970s, including “Listen to the Music” (1972), “Jesus Is Just Alright” (1972) and “Takin’ It to the Streets” (1976). The drummer’s visage is prominent on the cover art of the band’s 1971 self-titled debut album.

The Doobie Brothers’ full post read: “Today we are thinking of John Hartman, or Little John to us. John was a wild spirit, great drummer, and showman during his time in the Doobies. He was also a close friend for many years and an intricate part of the band personality! We send our condolences to all his loved ones at this difficult time. Rest In Peace John.”

Hartman, born March 18, 1950, in Falls Church, Va., left the group in 1979, returning occasionally for reunions and recordings. He retired from the outfit in 1992. In the band’s early days, second drummer Michael Hossack performed alongside Hartman in the Doobies. Hossack died in 2012. Fellow drummer alumnus, Chet McCracken, also died in 2022, at age 75. The band’s current drummer is Ed Toth.

The Doobie Brothers have won four GRAMMY Awards and sold more than 48 million records worldwide (including three multi-platinum, seven platinum, and 14 gold albums).

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