This is the one played by the band at the very beginning—when Wayne Brady is introduced by the announcer.
The tune is actually very short (in the show) as it is just a riff played over and over—but a memorable one at that. It is because it is a popular song by the band The Doobie Brothers, entitled “China Grove.” The song is over 40 years old; it was part of their 1973 album The Captain and Me.
In Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, of course it is played by the band led by Rickey Minor. We all know who Rickey Minor is, right? American Idol, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, etc.
First let’s listen to the original recording of “China Grove.”
Now the part where it is played in the show. (And maybe watch a little En Vogue at that.)
Oh, the “China Grove” was once featured as a song choice in the game. Very inside joke-y.