China Grove (song)

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"China Grove"
Single by The Doobie Brothers
from the album The Captain and Me
B-side "Evil Woman"
Released July 25, 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded 1973
Genre Hard rock
Length 3:16
Label Warner Brothers
Writer(s) Tom Johnston
Producer(s) Ted Templeman
The Doobie Brothers singles chronology
"Long Train Runnin'"
"China Grove'"
"Another Park, Another Sunday"

"China Grove" is a song from The Doobie Brothers' 1973 album The Captain and Me. It was written by original main singer/songwriter Tom Johnston.[1] The song is based on a real town in Texas with the same name.[2] The connection is obvious given its real-life proximity to San Antonio, which is referenced in the lyrics.[1] However, the rest of the song is largely a fictional account portraying China Grove as Texas' version of Chinatown. Notable is the mention of samurai, who in fact are Japanese, not Chinese.[3] The song reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Part of the guitar riff uses a variant on the clave rhythm.


The track was originally titled "Parliament" after the band's tradition of naming demos after whatever brand of cigarette Tom Johnston was smoking at the time. According to Johnston, "...I really owe Billy Payne for the words because he played this wacky bridge that started the thinking process with this wacky sheriff, samurai swords, and all that."[3]

Cover versions[edit]

Pop culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Spatz, David J. (April 29, 2010). "Listen to the Doobies". Atlantic City Weekly. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Texas Titles in Toto". The Austin Chronicle. November 28, 2003. 
  3. ^ a b Meeker, Ward (August 4, 2012). "Doobie Brothers: A Discussion with Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]