September

The Doobie Brothers rocked Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson September 14 during a benefit concert for the MIND Center. This year's event grossed more than $500,000 for Alzheimer's and dementia research. From left, band members Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McFee play a trio of guitars.
The Doobie Brothers rocked Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson September 14 during a benefit concert for the MIND Center. This year's event grossed more than $500,000 for Alzheimer's and dementia research. From left, band members Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McFee play a trio of guitars.

Doobie Brothers fans ‘Listen to the Music’ for MIND Center, Alzheimer’s research

Published on Monday, September 18, 2017

Media Contact: Karen Bascom

As the Mississippi Moon rose over Jackson, thousands of people enjoyed a rocking concert that raised funds and awareness for a devastating illness.

The Doobie Brothers performed at Thalia Mara Hall Thursday night to benefit the MIND (Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia) Center, a national leader in Alzheimer’s research and patient care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

This year’s concert grossed more than $500,000, the highest ever total for the MIND Center’s fundraising concert series. Net proceeds will be used for Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

Founded in 2010, The MIND Center leads cutting-edge studies of Alzheimer’s and dementia, provides clinical care for patients with memory loss and cognitive impairment, and offers clinical trials of potential treatments.

“The Doobie Brothers’ outstanding legacy has gifted the world with so much wonderful music. This performance has helped us shine a light on Alzheimer’s and the funds raised will help us accelerate the pace of discovery towards effective treatments,” said Dr. Tom Mosley, Dudley and Robbie Hughes Chair of the MIND Center.

The Doobie Brothers open their set at Thalia Mara Hall.
The Doobie Brothers open their set at Thalia Mara Hall.

Prior to the concert, sponsors celebrated at a reception held at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

“Every 60 seconds, a person develops Alzheimer’s,” Suzan Thames, MIND Center Community Advisory Board Chair, told the attendees. “There is no cure, and you dear people are making a dent by showing your support this evening.”

Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs, welcomed the concert audience and thanked them for their support of Alzheimer’s disease research.

The Doobie Brothers held a meet and greet during to their concert. Pictured from left are John McFee, MIND Center Community Advisory Board Chair Suzan Thames, Pat Simmons, Vice Chancellor for health Affairs Dr. LouAnn Woodward and Tom Johnston.
Before the concert, Doobie Brothers John McFee, left, Pat Simmons, center, and Tom Johnston, right, meet and greet Suzan Thames, second from left, The MIND Center community advisory board chair, and Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs.

“There are more than 53,000 Mississippians affected by this disease and five million people in the United States,” she said. “That is the reason that the MIND Center is on a mission to slow, stop and eventually prevent” these diseases. 

Woodward also recognized Mosley for his efforts in turning the center into a national leader in Alzheimer’s research.

“Now, are you ready to ‘Listen to the Music’?” Woodward asked.

The Doobie Brothers opened the concert with “Jesus is Just Alright with Me.” After that, the band played a selection of their best-known tunes, including “China Grove,” “Takin’ it to the Streets,” and “Black Water.”

They also played some of their lesser-known tracks, displaying the range of their music from rock to bluegrass to rhythm and blues to “psychedelic redneck hippie music,” said singer-guitarist Pat Simmons. 

Pat Simmons, left and John McFee of The Doobie Brothers play acoustic guitar.
Simmons, left and McFee play acoustic guitar.

Born out of the “chaotic” music scene of late-1960’s California, The Doobie Brothers’ current lineup includes original members and singer-guitarists Simmons and Tom Johnston, as well multi-instrumentalist John McFee. The band also features Bill Payne on keyboards, Marc Russo on saxophone, Ed Toth on drums and John Cowan on bass.

Between songs, the band members took a moment to address the audience and recognize their support for Alzheimer’s research.

“We want to thank you and we appreciate the cause you’re supporting this evening,” Johnston said.