Talk:Michael McDonald (musician)

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Links to this article have been fixed[edit]

When the original Michael McDonald page was moved here to make room for a new disambiguation page, none of the links to this article were cleaned up -- and there were a LOT of them! I've now taken care of that oversight. Engineer Bob 09:29, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Subjective Stuff[edit]

As much as I would like to put that McDonald "Single handedly destroyed music" and that he "broke up one of the best bands ever" its not really wikipedia style. DELETED! —Preceding unsigned comment added by RickO5 (talkcontribs) 11 September 2006

Without a doubt, McDonald has the sexiest male voice around, and the looks, the keyboard skills (try to imitate his style) and the songwriting ablity to match.CuteMama1 (talk) 16:15, 19 September 2008 (UTC)CuteMama1

This article is a MESS. I don't have time to fix it now, but I think it's a mild disgrace. The whole 2000's section looks like a bunch of one-liners from publicists. The information is all good, but the presentation is awful. Any other fans out there who'd like to see Mike's wiki page look nicer? Or maybe Mike's publicist has an intern who can do the job for me? :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SugarKeys (talkcontribs) 07:42, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Is Michael McDonald (singer) a baritone or tenor?[edit]

Edit history:

  • 198.49.31.230 20:29, 4 June 2005 - tenor
  • 129.2.74.17 15:35, 19 December 2005 - tenor
  • Africa4ever 01:37, 1 May 2006 - baritone
  • 138.123.128.72 19:10, 7 June 2007 - tenor
  • OettingerCroat 07:04, 15 July 2007 - baritone

Pdfpdf 12:29, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

  • He certainly sounds like a tenor to me -- but his bio on AllMusic.com refers to him as a baritone so I'd defer to them as a reasonably authoritative source. -- Engineer Bob 01:58, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Bob. (He sounds like a tenor to me, too!) Pdfpdf 02:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC) TENOR - Baritones can not hit those high notes he's famous for! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.193.215.23 (talk) 00:46, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

He is definitely a tenor, and his "head voice" or "falsetto" is in countertenor register. He is not a baritone. If his bio says he's a baritone it's incorrect. His bio could also say he's president of the USA but would that make it correct? Of course not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.146.67 (talk) 19:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC) Album links The 1982 If That's What It Takes links to a Celine Dion French album and Blink of an Eye links to a Star Trek Voyager episode

Tribal44 has changed tenor to baritone. Is consensus in the future here, people? Patricia Meadows (talk) 05:52, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


He is a baritone. I have a source. [1] Tribal44 (talk) 15:47, 22 October 2008 (UTC)Tribal44

Tribal44's source is StubHub, a ticket seller, those musicologists. I have a source too, my own musical education. Chart his register on a music staff and you'll realize he's absolutely and technically, a tenor. Singers out there- try and match his register, if you can reach it.Dcrasno (talk) 03:25, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Can we end this nonsense already? Someone has changed tenor to baritone again! I hope my changing it back to tenor is the last time. Tribal44's source is a ticket seller- Engineer Bob defers to Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic.com who is a writer not a musician (I guess, or both). Can someone at Wiki please email Allan Pollack, the musicologist, who critiqued and analyzed the entire Beatles catalogue. As a musician, I guarantee he'll tell all the baritonephiles that Michael is a tenor- positively. allanwpollack@hotmail.comDcrasno (talk) 03:41, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Can you folks at Wiki, after you email Allan Pollack (see above post), to delete the two "source references" to Allmusic.com(2) ands Stub Hub(1)?; they're going to become inaccurate and I won't know how to do it.Dcrasno (talk) 04:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC) Here we go again! Whoever changed it to baritone again- at least go to the discussion page and talk about it.Dcrasno (talk) 17:37, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

You know, there are much, much worthier debates on WP than this. But I'm starting to enjoy it nonetheless. It's kind of hilarious that anyone really cares enough to pick a fight. Why don't we take a Solomonic approach and call him an alto? Or a tenitone? Patricia Meadows (talk) 03:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree with User:Patricia Meadows that this has become ridiculous but for me, accuracy is important. MMc is one of the finest vocalists in all R & R. and I want his bio to be accurate. I've added to and edited articles about music and musicians many times because I am a musican and I've never been challenged or deleted except once about a particular segment about the Beatles. When I "speak" about music, I know what I'm talking about, not just opinioning or guessing. So, here we go again.Dcrasno (talk) 15:35, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

And BTW, why he be descibed as having a "deceptive, husky..." voice if he was a baritone? What would be the deception? The deception is that he is a tenor.Dcrasno (talk) 15:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I have a couple of points that need to be made here. First is that the classification of voices in the 'fach' system was conceived for, and continues to only be applicable to voices singing CLASSICAL music. The way a singer of pop music operates their voice doesn't betray the markers that a voice instructor would be able to use to classify their voice. So really, this whole discussion is really silly. Second, Michael McDonald does sing (and seems to sing quite comfortably) in a tenor range, even though labeling him a tenor is meaningless without hearing what he sounds like after years of classical voice study. Notice that the article speaks of his range, and not specifically what he is. It's possible to sing in a tenor range and not be a tenor. It would just be taxing on a voice to do so. So... the article should stay as "tenor range". He doesn't sing in a baritone range. 67.161.125.217 (talk) 08:16, 30 April 2010 (UTC)tkeller 4-30-10

  • I don't care what he is. I just love him! Taking it to the streets is my anthem. Jeff Agnew, Middletown, DE, Dodge 4x4. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.66.124.31 (talk) 17:21, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I come from a classical background, and I agree that it can be a bit silly to try to shoehorn pop performers into the same vocal categories. But his voice is super-deep, and his natural range, were he to be singing classical repertoire, is the baritone range. In pop music, calling a man a tenor or a baritone isn't so much about what range he's singing in, it's more about how deep his voice is. That's why Jim Morrison and Mike McDonald are baritones, and Steve Perry is a tenor. In fact, Mike is rather low as baritones go; if he were assigned a role in a choir, he'd most likely be a "bass-baritone."SugarKeys (talk) 07:48, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I have never heard Michael McDonald sing in any voice other than "falsetto" or a "head voice," and frequently singing up to D5 and higher. This is not in a Baritone range, and a Baritone wouldn't be tasked to sing this high, even singing pop--an operatic baritone's highest note is Bb4, and this is a "Light Baritone," who is considered almost a tenor. Bill Medley is a pop Baritone, and a quick comparison of Bill's singing to Michael's singing debunks this notion that Michael's singing is in the baritone range. Michael's singing is in Bobby Hatfield's range, not Bill's. The comment about him being a Bass-Baritone is particularly ridiculous. Bing Crosby was a popular Bass-Baritone, particularly at the end of his career, singing down to E2 and never going above C4 (middle C). Barry White is a Bass-Baritone--'nuff said. Johnny Cash and Junior Brown are country Bass-Baritones. Listen to "Ring of Fire", then to "Sweet Freedom", and you'll find the latter is two octaves at a minimum above the former. I don't know if Michael McDonald's full voice is in the baritone range. His pop singing is in the counter-tenor range.Weyandt (talk) 14:57, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

The comment above yours addresses this. Baritone describes an essential characteristic of his voice, not the range in which he typically sings. Many singers typically sing outside their natural range. I have no personal opinion as to whether McDonald is a baritone or a tenor (although he absolutely is not a countertenor), but it wouldn't matter if I did; we have a reliable source saying he's a baritone and no alternative source to refute it. Rivertorch (talk) 16:03, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Steely Dan[edit]

Could you move the Steely Dan part. He toured with the band but is not a recurring member —Preceding unsigned comment added by Knowitallmusic (talkcontribs) 18:58, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

    • The Steely Dan section is totally misplaced, and the paragraph detailing his work with Steely Dan ends with a non-sequitur about seeing a Doors concert. The title "Early Years" is totally wrong for the text that is there; it should be replaced with a section on Steely Dan. Trashbird1240 (talk) 20:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Editing Solo Career section[edit]

This section was poorly written and packed with too many details in no particular order; it also had no references whatsoever. I have deleted much of the section, re-written it and added references. Patricia Meadows (talk) 14:52, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

West Coast Pop?[edit]

User 216.164.57.137 has added "West Coast Pop" to the Genre section in the infobox. Aside from the fact that "West Coast Pop" redirects (rather inexplicably) to "Professional wrestling aerial techniques," I am unconvinced that it adds anything to the article, and should be deleted. Patricia Meadows (talk) 03:52, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

There should be a Yacht Rock category. 98.226.15.142 (talk) 02:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

McDonald is also background singer in a few Ambrosia songs.[edit]

This was not mentioned in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.97.45 (talk) 14:38, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


SugarKeys (talk) 07:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

2000–present: A big list of stuff[edit]

Do we really have to list every incidental pop culture appearance the man has made? I propose trimming this down; if you disagree, please speak up. MatthewBurton (talk) 02:11, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

No, it needs trimming. I used to catch some of this stuff as it was added, but nowadays it mostly slips by me. It might help if we had some sort of threshold for mentioning his appearances. Rivertorch (talk) 02:55, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
This is hardly limited to this one article, but here we go: is it really "notable" that he appeared on 30 Rock, American Idol and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but not notable that he appeared with the Doobie Brothers on What's Happening!!? I can go to any website and witness a collective lack of memory and shameless promotion of modern-day pop culture without seeing it mirrored on here.
Here's another problem which manifests itself in too many articles of this type. Even music-centric sources mention his upbringing in humble, working-class surroundings as the son of a St. Louis bus driver. Yet, on Wikipedia, we treat such details as irrelevant because it has nothing to do with music? I only phrase the question this way because it seems that most musician biographies I read strive to be similarly hopelessly one-dimensional. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 09:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Then all we need is clear, objective definitions of the terms employed ("humble" "working-class"), and authoritative verification that the subject fits the criteria, or at least claims such. I mean, really, I know what you're getting at and often experience frustration, but it readily turns into "rabbit hole" debates about the definition of words used to define the criteria! Weeb Dingle (talk) 18:52, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

In 2017 McDonald collaborated with Brian Owens on a song called "For You" found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH9IW7g0624 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.25.45.86 (talk) 18:12, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

Peacock Wording Replacement[edit]

Just replace "soulful" with "distinctive." The first is PR. Replacement conveys individuality and recognizability. Sounds less like the work of an agent or fan(atic). Tapered (talk) 16:40, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but not quite correct. Did you read the source? It's the reason why the source is there (or vice versa). And although the word "distinctive" is also in the source, it says, "soulful baritone", not "distinctive baritone". —Musdan77 (talk) 05:26, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Until soulful is linked to another article or outside source that defines it in a clear, objective manner, it is An Opinion, and at best ought to be bracketed in quotes to indicate its subjectivity. Even then, in order to remain, it ought to be attributed to some "objective" music/culture reviewer's stated opinion. Weeb Dingle (talk) 18:57, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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...by whom?[edit]

"He was 'discovered' while playing with a group called Blue"

Is that like being "abducted," or maybe "enlightened" or "called" -- or is it something done by someone? Weeb Dingle (talk) 19:00, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Michael McDonald on Guitar[edit]

I have now see McDonald play guitar live multiple times and seems more than proficient. Can we add this to his instruments list? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aidanmcmurry (talkcontribs) 04:25, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Needs a reliable source. Besides, what matters is not whether he can play the guitar but whether he's noted for playing it. RivertorchFIREWATER 07:18, 16 September 2017 (UTC)