The Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water” & More

Collect from an evergreen royalty stream generated by classic hits from The Doobie Brothers, featuring the 1974 iconic track “Black Water,” along with 23 other The Doobie Brothers songs!  


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Cliff B

The Theoretical IRR is a formulaic guideline based on an extrapolation of the normalized, historical earnings trend of the catalog. The Theoretical IRR is not a guarantee of future performance. It should be used for comparison purposes only. Each catalog has its own risk factors and the Theoretical IRR is not based upon a specific analysis of this catalog. Click here to view the basis for all Theoretical IRR calculations.

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: $160,000
Bidding Increment: $2,500
Closing Price: $160,000
End Date: Jan 10, 2019, 3:00 PM MST
Last 12 Months' Royalties:


Investment Term:

10 years*


ASCAP & Warner/Chappell

Rights Included:

Public Performance, Mechanical, Sync

Interests Included:

Publisher (U.S. and Canada Only)

Track List:

ASCAP & Warner/Chappell

First Distribution:

ASCAP: February 11, 2019

Warner/Chappell: February 15, 2019

Distribution Frequency: Quarterly
Buyer Fees:


Become a Royalty Exchange All Access Investor to waive auction fees and enjoy additional exclusive benefits.

What rights are included?

  Musical Composition Sound Recording
Copyrights included? No
Public Performance
Sources: Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, Samples, etc.
Distributors: ASCAP, Warner/Chappell Music


Few songs are as universally recognized and appreciated as “Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers. Who hasn’t at one point had the catchy a capella refrain "I'd like to hear some funky Dixieland/ Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand” stuck in their head for hours after hearing it?

And now, you have the rare opportunity to own publishing royalty streams from this timeless track as part of a collection of The Doobie Brothers’ songs dating from 1971 to 1976.

The full catalog listed includes 24 songs spanning the legendary Doobie Brothers’ first six studio albums. But the iconic 1974 release “Black Water” from the album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits is the clear headliner. “Black Water” accounts for 72% of this collection’s earnings to date. It was the band’s first-ever No. 1 hit (Billboard Hot 100) and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

The 1974 classic continues to receive regular radio airplay today, nearly 45 years after its initial release. As a result, the largest income source for this catalog comes from public performance royalties, at 59% with most of that stemming from terrestrial radio play. That alone is rare. Interestingly, these royalties have been relatively steady for a song of its age, averaging about $6,000 over the past five years. 

What’s more, “Black Water” is also a popular song on today’s digital services, with streaming public performance earnings growing over 53% in the last year. And the song has several different cover versions, including one by country legend Garth Brooks, as well as occasional sync payments.

The winner of this auction will benefit from not only the public performance royalties earned on radio and digital platforms but also from mechanical and sync royalties going forward.

For instance, in the Financial tab, you’ll notice two larger payments in Q1-2017 and Q2-2017. The reason for these spikes is twofold. For Q1-2017, there was a one-time adjustment from Pearl Records for mechanical royalties. These earnings stemmed from Garth Brooks’ rendition of “Black Water” on the 2013 album Melting Pot. The spike in Q2-2017 was for a sync payment for “Black Water,” when featured in the TV series Dr. Ken.

Aside from “Black Water,” this collection also features The Doobie Brothers’ “South City Midnight Lady.” Released in 1973, the song is off the double-Platinum album The Captain and Me. The track brings in 19% of the catalog’s income in the last year.

Finally, there is “Sweet Maxine,” “Toulouse Street,” and “I Cheat The Hangman,” included in this catalog. Every track in this offering was produced by legendary rock producer, Ted Templeman and off one of the following The Doobie Brothers' albums:

  • The Doobie Brothers (1971)
  • Toulouse Street (1972) - Platinum-certified
  • The Captain and Me (1973) - 2x Platinum-certified
  • What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974) - 2x Platinum-certified
  • Stampede (1975) - Gold-certified
  • Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) - Platinum-certified

Don’t miss out on investing in this evergreen catalog!

Key Drivers

Band & Song Longevity. Songs in this collection have been earning for 45 years and still continue to produce consistent royalties. “Black Water” is widely seen as a classic hit and has been covered by various top artists including Garth Brooks, Zach Brown Band and a sampled in track from rock band Train.

As a band, The Doobie Brothers have won four Grammy Awards and sold more than 48 million records worldwide (including three multi-Platinum, seven Platinum, and 14 Gold albums). The classic, guitar-based rock sound The Doobie Brothers cultivated continues to resonate with listeners today. Nearly five decades after the band was formed, The Doobie Brothers — including founding members Simmons and Johnston — continue to perform their classic catalog actively on tour (recently wrapping a tour in November 2018).

Income Mix. The winner of this auction can receive income from three different royalty streams:

  • Mechanical: Royalties paid to songwriters when music is reproduced, either sold (CD, vinyl, or digital downloads) or streamed (either on-demand like Spotify or on Internet Radio like Pandora).

  • Performance: Royalties paid to songwriters when music is performed publicly. Music played over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify or Pandora is considered a public performance.

    • In the last 12 months, this collection has earned the majority of income from public performance royalties at 59%. These earnings are also fairly steady thanks to continued radio play and showing an increase from streaming platforms.

  • Synchronization: Royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for the licensing of a song in music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

    • If any of the songs in this collection are requested for use in TV/Film, you would collect the upfront sync fees.

About the Royalty Distributor

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is one of four United States performing rights organizations, along with BMI, SESAC & Global Music Rights. It collects license fees from music users on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. For more information on ASCAP’s distribution schedule, click here.

Warner/Chappell Music, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, is home to a wide array of legendary songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and influential standards. With offices in more than 40 countries, Warner/Chappell provides deep expertise across a range of creative services and the most innovative opportunities for songwriters and copyright holders.

Similar Auctions


This action is restricted to Royalty Exchange users.
Please, sign in or create a free account to continue.

Sign In Register