More than 50 years, ago a group of northern California friends needed to name their band before a gig. Another friend suggested they name themselves for the funny flower they were all so fond of. That place holder name \u2014 The Doobie Brothers \u2014 is now etched into Cleveland\u2019s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and rides the ether on the signal of classic rock stations nationwide. Even if the unrelated \u201cBrothers\u201d no longer partake. \u201cNobody in the band came up with that name. A guy living in the house on 285 S 12th Street thought it would be a good moniker for us because it kind of indicated what we were doing at the time,\u201d founding member and singer\/guitarist Tom Johnston said. \u201cNobody\u2019s doing that anymore and they haven\u2019t been for years, but at the time we said, \u2018fine. Yeah.\u2019 We all figured it\u2019s not going to last, we\u2019re going to have to dump this and get a new name. But we never got around to doing it so it\u2019s still there and we don\u2019t ever think about it. It\u2019s just there.\u201d The Doobie Brothers will bring its brand of genre-defying rock to the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport on Sept. 11 as part of the band\u2019s 50th Anniversary tour. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the tour a few years. But the Doobie Brothers launched the belated anniversary tour in 2021, with a break for a quick Vegas residency between legs. The tour features original singer Johnston, as well as Michael McDonald, who took over singing and primary songwriting duties when Johnston left in 1977. McDonald joined the band at the suggestion of Jeff Baxter. Baxter, a graduate of Watertown\u2019s Taft School, played with McDonald in Steely Dan before joining becoming a Doobie. When a persistent ulcer Johnston had since high school sidelined him on a tour for the album \u201cStampede,\u201d McDonald was brought in. But Johnston\u2019s health issues reduced his role on the follow up \u201cTaking it to the Streets.\u201d That album featured more McDonald-influenced material and softened the fuzzy rock tones that had made the Doobies popular among motorcycle groups like the Hell\u2019s Angels. \u201cWe kept going. But by then I decided by \u201977 that I would take some time off and get really healthy. The band kept going and had a lot of success. Michael come in and he became the focal point and had some really great songs and some very successful stuff.\u201d The Doobie Brothers formed in California in 1970 and quickly launched into a seemingly endless cycle of touring and recording that brought them right up to 80s. The Johnston years produced hits like \u201cChina Grove,\u201d \u201cBlack Water\u201d and \u201cListen to the Music,\u201d While the McDonald era was marked by songs like \u201cTakin\u2019 it to the Streets\u201d and \u201cWhat a Fool Believes.\u201d The group disbanded in 1982, but a one-off reunion in 1987 to support Vietnam Veterans brought a Johnston-fronted Doobie Brothers back to full-time status. And while McDonald has joined the band for a few corporate events and special occasions, he\u2019s joined the anniversary tour full time. That means it\u2019s the first time fans will be able to hear songs spanning the Doobie Brothers\u2019 career sung by the same voices that made them famous. Johnston\u2019s solo career included a few albums and a song on the hit \u201cDirty Dancing\u201d soundtrack. McDonald scored hits like the Grammy-winning \u201cYah Mo B There\u201d and \u201cI Keep Forgettin\u2019\u201d which was heavily sampled by hip hop artists Nate Dogg and Warren G on the song \u201cRegulate.\u201d \u201cWhen we got together to do this tour, we spent two weeks making sure we know the songs, then we put the setlist together\u201d Johnston said. \u201cIt\u2019s just interspersing songs of Michael\u2019s in with what we already have. It worked out great. The crowds love it. Whatever we did we did it right.\u201d Tickets to the Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary tour are available at ticketmaster.com. Tickets range from $59-$420.