Our top 10 Dobie Gray songs list looks at the work of a member of the baby-booming Silent Generation. Lawrence Darrow Brown grew up at a time where Americans were still dealing with the aftermath of World War II. Born in Texas on July 24, 1940, Brown grew up listening to gospel music before moving to Los Angeles in 1960 to seek for himself fame and fortune as an actor. In order to make ends meet, Brown sang for clubs and local labels until it was suggested he make a career out of something he was really good at. He would eventually change his name to Dobie Gray, a name which was an inspiration from the series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”
From 1960 until 1970, even with a few hits within the R&B genre under his belt, Dobie Gray had yet to achieve the rank of stardom. Moderately successful at best, it wasn’t until he joined the band known as Pollution did things finally start to pick up for him. In 1972, Gray signed a solo recording contract again where things finally started to pick up for the singer-songwriter. Come the mid-1970s, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he ventured into the country music genre. While there, he wrote a series of songs in collaboration with other artists including Ray Charles, George Jones, and Don Williams.
Gray did get into acting enough to appear in some stage productions and a couple of films, namely in the 1966 Comedy “Out of Sight” and the 1973 movie “Mean Mother.” The height of his music career began in 1973 upon the hit single “Drift Away,” which enabled him to experience touring around the world.
Songwriter to the End
Dobie Gray wrote many songs for many chart-topping artists in addition to him releasing his own singles. He also did a number of commercial work for companies like Budweiser, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, and Kraft. Some of Gray’s songs are featured in various movies such as 1995’s “Casino,” and 2003’s “Wonderland.” Until the diagnosis of cancer claimed the life of Dobie Gray in 2011, he continued to write songs and perform. In total, Gray has recorded and released twenty-four albums, as well as a total of twenty singles.
Best of Dobie Gray Songs
#10 – From Where I Stand
Among those who’ve been fans of Dobie Gray’s music, as well as those who’ve listened to the single “From Where I Stand” for the first time seem to be in agreement this is one of those songs where it’s difficult to keep a dry eye by the time it’s over. On the US Hot Country Songs charts by Billboard Magazine, it charted to number sixty seven in 1986.
#9 – See You at the Go-Go
Continuing with our Dobie Gray songs list we turn to a real feel good up-beat tune called “See You At The Go-Go.” I mean how could a song called See You At The Go-Go not be an uplifting song? In 1965, Dobie Gray’s “See You at the Go-Go” charted at number sixty nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was released through Charger Records as part of a single where this song was featured on the B-side while on the A-side it was the single “The ‘In’ Crowd.”
#8 – One Big Family (Credited to Heart of Nashville)
Featuring a collection of country music’s finest, Dobie Gray is part of the ensemble cast who lend their singing talent to the single “One Big Family,” which was released in 1985. This was country music’s contribution towards the efforts to end the hunger crisis in Africa. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, this song peaked at number sixty one.
#7 – That’s One to Grow On
Considered as a lost country classic as Dobie Gray’s recordings were among what was lost due to the infamous Universal Music that ravaged through on June 1, 2008. The fire claimed well over 100,000 master recordings, many of which are deemed irreplaceable, including Dobie Grays. “That’s One to Grow On” peaked at number thirty five on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1986.
#6 – The Dark Side of Town
On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, Dobie Gray’s single “The Dark Side of Town” peaked at number forty two. This comes from the studio album “From Where I Stand,” which was released in 1986. This is such a soulful and sad song. It’s been covered by many artists.
#5 – Loving Arms
In 1973, the cover single “Loving Arms” was among the best charting songs for Dobie Gray. On the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart, it came in second while with the US Billboard Adult Contemporary it placed seventh. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song reached number sixty one, and on the Canadian Singles Chart at number sixty seven. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, it peaked at number eighty one showing off how much of a crossover artist Dobie Gray had been throughout his career. The guy just had that type of voice like a Wilson Pickett or Jackie Wilson that could win over any type of audience.
#4 – You Can Do It
The single “You Can Do It” was recorded and released by Gray in 1979. On the music charts, it did peak at its highest at number thirty two on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and at number thirty six on the US Billboard Hot 100. On the the Canadian Singles Chart, “You Can Do It,” reached number fifty eight. On Australia’s Kent Report, at #96.
#3 – The “In” Crowd
Dobie Gray recorded and released the single “The ‘In’ Crowd” in 1964 that would prove to be his most successful hit during the 1960s era. With the Canada Singles Chart, the song placed in eighth place while with the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number eleven. With the US Billboard Hot 100 at number thirteen. It was also the first time the UK Singles Chart would get a listen to Dobie Gray as his single reached number twenty five there.
#2 – Drift Away (with Uncle Kracker)
The 2003 version of Dobie Gray’s original hit single “Drift Away” was recorded and released with Uncle Kracker (Matthew Shafter) for his album “No Stranger to Shame.” This is the one and only time Drift Away would realize a number one chart spot, which was with the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. With the US Billboard Adult Top 40, it peaks at the second spot. the US Billboard Hot 100 charted Drift Away as high as ninth, and with the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 in tenth. Making it an international hit, New Zealand charts the song at #25.
#1 – Drift Away (solo)
Anyone who grew up in the 1970s will surely remember this song. It’s just one of those legendary radio hits that you never forget. One of those ultimate sing along songs no matter where you were or who you were with you could not help but sing along with this one. The original version of the 1973 single “Drift Away” earned Dobie Gray Gold Certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. While the solo version may not have charted quite as high as the cover performed by Uncle Kracker which is pretty ridiculous, this song earns the nod as among Gray’s best. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Drift Away,” charted peaked at number five. On the Canadian Singles Charts it hit number seven.