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    Troy, Doris (6 January 1937 - 16 February 2004)

    Doris was born into a stern religious family and was sequestered about as far away from R&B as she could be, but her experience in the Pentacostal church choir helped mold her musical style for the rest of her life.  Somehow, she must have convinced her parents to let her work at the Apollo Theatre, because that's where she was performing usherette duties when she was discovered by James Brown.  Doris broke out of her religious vacuum and sang jazz in the '50s with The Halos and was somewhat of a rarity at the time:  A singer who wrote her own songs.  Dee Clark recorded "How About That" in 1960, and it peaked at #33 in the States, her first taste of chart success.  Three years later, she would register her first hit as a singer-songwriter with "Just One Look", which cracked the top ten and was soon thereafter recorded by The Hollies, who took it to #2 in the U.K.  Her follow-up single, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It", reached #37 in the States and #38 in the U.K.  This dent in the U.K. chart inspired Doris to make the great egress to London, where she was signed by Apple Records and recorded her eponymous debut with support from the likes of Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, and Stephen Stills.  Doris eventually returned to the U.S., doing a turn in Vegas with Lola Falana.  Her career got a boost in the early '80s when her sister Vy wrote a musical based on Doris's life entitled Mama, I Want To Sing!.  The show debuted in 1981 and became an international success.  Doris herself appeared in the London production, playing her own "Mama", and sharing the stage with Chaka Khan and Deniece Williams.  There were 1,500 performances in Harlem's Heckscher Theatre alone.  In 1996, Doris was honoured with the Pioneer Rhythm & Blues Award, and was joined on stage by Patti Austin, Darlene Love and Mavis Staples for a live performance of "Just One Look".  Doris returned to the stage in 1999 with "Gospel Is...!" which was performed at Harlem's Williams Lafayette Institute for the Arts.  She passed away on 16th February 2004, in Las Vegas, from emphysema.  A film version of Mama, I Want To Sing! is due for release in April 2008.



    1. http://www.google.com/musica?aid=cFXU8yeyOoG&sa=X&oi=music&ct=result
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Troy
    3. http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Doris%20Troy.html
    4. http://www.simonbell.com/doristroybiography.html
    5. http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/troy_doris/bio.jhtml
    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mama,_I_Want_to_Sing!











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