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    He has won five Grammy Awards; he has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Bonnie Raitt to B.B. King to Hall & Oates to Alison Kraus to Faith Hill, and even Grizzly Bear, and he has had an impressive string of hits as a solo artist and member of The Doobie Brothers. But when Michael McDonald plays at HullabaLOU on Saturday at Churchill Downs, there's a chance some fans may want him to sing a song that wasn't even his.

    If you've been in Louisville for a while, you'll remember Kenny Loggins' This Is It as the adopted theme of the University of Louisville basketball team during their 1980 championship season. Who sang the unmistakable backing vocal part on that song? You guessed it: Michael McDonald, who also sang memorable parts on hits like Christopher Cross's Ride LikeThe Wind and Steely Dan's Peg.

    During the 90s, McDonald released only two studio albums and couldn't match his massive success of 80s hits like I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near), Sweet Freedom, and On My Own. But over the past decade, he has released hit soul cover CDs on the Motown label that have all charted in the Top 15. The fact that he still makes hit records after nearly 35 years is testament to McDonald's talent and adaptability.

    McDonald also seems to have embraced his ubiquitous nature and has a good sense of humor about his immersion in our pop culture, allowing a concert DVD to be featured in an electronics store in The 40 Year-Old Virgin ("If I have to hear Yah Mo B There one more time, I'm going to Yah Mo burn this place to the ground") and even doing a song for South Park. And any music writer worth their salt would be remiss not to mention The Doobie Brothers bootleg episode of What's Happening!! Remember McDonald asking Rerun, "How could you guys do this to us?"

    After HullabaLOU, McDonald will wind down his solo tour before embarking on The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue tour with Donald Fagen and Boz Skaggs, which begins August 18 in Danbury, Connecticut, and will hit Cincinnati's PNC Pavilion on September 10. But on Saturday, McDonald will have the spotlight to himself, and fans can expect to hear some hits from a large catalog of songs that have helped provide the soundtrack of the last thirty years. 

    McDonald will be performing Saturday July 24 on the Kroger stage at 5:20.

    Buy tickets to HullabaLOU.

    Photo courtesy of William Morris Endeavor.

    Watch a Soundstage performance of I Keep Forgettin'.


    Kevin Sedelmeier's picture

    About Kevin Sedelmeier

    I am polite, and I'm rarely late. I like to eat ice cream, and really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.

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