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Old Feb 18, 2004, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default Singer Doris Troy Dies (was signed on the Apple label, sang song "Just One Look"...)

Found this in my travels through cyberspace:

R&B singer Doris Troy, best known for her 1963 hit "Just One Look", died in her sleep in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday, February 16, 2004. She was 64.
Todd Baptista

The following comes from her official website,
Doris was born Doris Higginsen in New York (in January of 1937). Her father was a minister, and she went on to sing in gospel groups, having sung in church since a child. In the fifties she joined The Halos, a jazz tinged vocal group, and started writing her own material, scoring her first hit in 1960 - HOW ABOUT THAT for DEE CLARK(Abner 1032, No.33 for 5 weeks US).

In 1963, while working as an usherette at Harlem's APOLLO, Doris was spotted by JAMES BROWN and was on her way to greatness. A short stint as one half of JAY & DEE, was followed by her classic JUST ONE LOOK(Atlantic 2188,No.10 for 8 weeks US, 1963), later covered in the UK by THE HOLLIES(Parlophone R5104, No.2, 13 weeks,UK, 1964). This was followed by the great WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT(Atlantic 4011, No.37, 7 weeks, UK, 1964, No.38, 5 weeks, UK, 1965).

This success in Britain prompted Doris to try her luck there, adding her unique sound to Dusty Springfield's classic recordings (IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, LITTLE BY LITTLE). After an early appearance on the British legendary TV show "Ready, Steady, Go", Doris's UK following grew & grew. In the coming years she would work with The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin & The Moody Blues.

In 1969 The Beatles signed her to their Apple label, as an artist, writer & producer! Those sessions featured Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell & Ringo Starr, among others. While gaining respect for the album, sales were disappointing; but Doris carried on regardless. She recorded a live Gospel album at London's Rainbow Theatre in 1971 for Polydor. This atmospheric, electric album "The Rainbow Testament" was proof of her power as a live artist.

1974 saw Doris in the studio again, for People Records, working with reggae producer Dandy Livingstone on the album "Stretchin' Out". While still keeping a firm hold of her Gospel roots, she showed a mellower side on tracks like "All I Have Is Written In Your Eyes".

In the years that followed, she returned to the States, recording & appearing in Las Vegas with Lola Falana. Then came a major turning point. Doris's sister Vy Higginson had been working with Ken Wydro on a theatrical project that would evlolve into the musical "MAMA I WANT TO SING". Becoming the highest grossing off-Broadway show ever, "Mama" was the story of Doris's life, with a liberal sprinkling of Gospel, and , of course,"JUST ONE LOOK". Since it's inception in 1981, the show has packed 'em in all over the world - Greece, Japan, Switzerland, Egypt, and, earning an Olivier Awards nomination,in London's West End, with a cast that included Chaka Khan & Denice Williams. Doris played her own mother in the production.

Doris's contribution to Soul music was recognised in 1996, when she received the Pioneer Rythym & Blues Award at the Hollywood Palladium, performing "JUST ONE LOOK" with backing from Mavis Staples, Patti Austin & Darlene Love. Others might have been happy at this point to relax in the knowledge that their hard work had finally been recognised, but not Doris. In the fall of 1999 Doris appeared in a new show "GOSPEL IS...!" at the Williams Lafayette Institute for the Arts, 7th. Avenue @ 131st Street, Harlem, NYC., described by one reviewer as "The Mama for the Millennium".

Doris Troy
Singer known as 'Mama Soul'
19 February 2004

Doris Higgensen (Doris Troy), singer: born New York 6 January 1937; died Las Vegas 16 February 2004.

In a career spanning over 40 years, the soul singer Doris Troy left her indelible vocal and songwriting stamp on some of the most distinctive records of the pop era.

In 1963, she scored a US Top Ten hit with "Just One Look", the catchy song she co-wrote with her friend Gregory Carroll. The following year, the Hollies reached No 2 in the UK charts with a cover version. Troy herself charted in Britain with the equally infectious "What'cha Gonna Do About It" - later adapted by the Small Faces - and appeared on the television show Ready Steady Go in 1965. This was the beginning of a love affair between the American vocalist and the UK which culminated in her signing to Apple, the Beatles' label, in 1969.

Nicknamed "Mama Soul" by her British fans, Troy settled in London and sang backing vocals on several classic recordings by the Rolling Stones (the gospel epic "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), George Harrison ("My Sweet Lord") and Carly Simon ("You're So Vain"). Most famously, she was one of the female singers on the seminal Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon (1973). After returning to the US, she appeared in Mama, I Want to Sing, an off-Broadway musical based on her life which she brought to London in 1995.

She was born Doris Higgensen in the Bronx, New York, in 1937, the daughter of a minister who had left his native Barbados to settle in the United States. Rhythm and blues and other forms of secular music were frowned upon at home and the young Doris sang gospel music in her father's church. However, by the early Fifties, she had heard all about the neighbouring Apollo Theatre in Harlem. She got a job there as an usherette, and then joined together with two girlfriends as "The Halos".

Her mother tried to talk Doris into quitting her job at the Apollo, but the music bug had bitten and she began writing songs:

I took "How About That" to a publisher, signed a piece of paper and got a $100 advance! The next thing I knew, Dee Clark recorded it for the Vee-Jay label and it was on the charts. It taught me that determination gets you a long way in show business.

More convinced than ever that she could have a career in music, Doris began using her grandmother's name Payne and recorded her first single, "I Want to be Loved", for Everest Records in 1960. She subsequently teamed up with a male vocalist and cut "Dream Talk" for the Artiss label as Jay & Dee. Both 45s sank without trace. Doris Payne persevered and realised she could make a living providing backing vocals on the studio sessions taking place in the Tin Pan Alley of midtown Manhattan.

She joined up with Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick. "These were real groovy days," she said later. Then, with a friend, Gregory Carroll, she came up with "Just One Look" in a tiny studio at 1650 Broadway and played the demo to Juggy Murray, the head of Sue Records. "He just sat on the tape, so I took it over to Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records and they flipped out! Next thing I know, they put it out in the form we recorded it, as a demo!" Inspired by Helen of Troy, Doris came up with the stage name she would use for the rest of her career.

In 1963, she went on the road with Chuck Jackson while Atlantic plugged "Just One Look" to radio stations. "The record took off so damn fast, it sold like crazy," she remembered. Troy issued a follow-up single, "What'cha Gonna Do About It", another demo "cut on that little ole basement studio". In July 1963, the label rush-released her début album, Just One Look and Other Memorable Selections. The former usherette returned to the Apollo on a bill featuring Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, the Coasters and Ben E. King and the event was captured for posterity on the live album Apollo Saturday Night (1964). However, Atlantic couldn't repeat the success of "Just One Look" with subsequent 45s.

Troy travelled to the UK regularly, sometimes playing live shows with Reginald Dwight (a pre-fame Elton John) on keyboards. "I'll Do Anything (He Wants Me To Do)", originally issued on Cameo in 1965, became a Northern Soul anthem and, after cutting "Face Up to the Truth" for Capitol in 1966, Troy concentrated on Britain, moving to London in 1969.

"I got a call from Madeline Bell inviting me down to a recording session that Billy Preston was doing for Apple," Troy recalled:

George Harrison was producing "That's the Way God Planned It" and Billy and I agreed to write some songs together for his Apple album. That's when George asked me about my own ability to record. As it turned out, I wasn't signed to anyone. Within days, we had three agreements: one for me as an artist, one as a writer and one as a producer.

The Beatles might have been on the verge of splitting up but the Apple offices in Savile Row, London, acted like a magnet for musicians. On her eponymous album for Apple, Doris Troy was backed not only by Harrison (who wrote "Ain't That Cute", the lead-off single) and Preston, but also by a stellar line-up of musicians which included Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and Leon Russell. Troy shone in the setting but this didn't translate into huge sales. "People ask me what went wrong at Apple and I think part of the problem may have been that George Harrison was trying to experiment with soul," she admitted later.

Undeterred, Troy remained in Britain and combined session work (for Kevin Ayers, Nick Drake and Humble Pie) with her own recordings, such as the gospel-influenced The Rainbow Testament (1971). By 1974, after the reggae-tinged Stretchin' Out, she moved back to the States and settled in Los Angeles. She tried her hand at disco with "Can't Hold On" in 1976 but eventually moved to Las Vegas. She appeared in various hotels until her sister Vy Higgensen, an established broadcaster, wrote Mama I Want to Sing about Doris. The musical became the highest-grossing off-Broadway show in history. When it transferred to London, Chaka Khan and Deniece Williams both appeared in the show. In 1984, Doris Troy joined the cast and played her own mother. "I knew I had to be a part of it. It's been such a miracle to have my own mother watch as I've played her on stage," she said.

A soul legend in Japan and most of Europe, Troy saw her Apple album re-released on CD in 1992 and settled in the UK once more, remaining until 1997. In 1995, she was the first live artist to perform at the restaurant Mezzo in Wardour Street, London, on the site of the old Marquee venue she had frequented in the Sixties. Reflecting on the ups and downs of her career, she was philosophical:

While I'm regarded as Mother Soul, I'm gonna make sure my children, my fans get this message. It's a bit of cliché but, like the record says, "All You Need is Love". It is that simple.

[size="1"][ Feb 19, 2004, 12:51 AM: Message Edited By: BeatleChick ][/size]
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Singer Doris Troy Dies (was signed on the Apple label, sang song "Just One Look"...)

Awwww this is sad, from what I know via George's writing, she was a sweatheart [img]graemlins/sad1.gif[/img]

The album she worked on with George has great songs, I played them a lot 2 years ago when I was discussing the songs with my buddy ABCKO. It's cool music and George is very much there. They wrote songs together.

This is the info from that 1970 album

1. Ain't That Cute (Harrison/Troy) - 3:52
2. Special Care (Stills) - 2:57
3. Give Me Back My Dynamite (Harrison/Troy) - 4:54
4. You Tore Me up Inside (Schinnery/Troy) - 2:27
5. Games People Play (South) - 3:04
6. Gonna Get My Baby Back (Harrison/Starr/Stills/Troy) - 2:17
7. I've Got to Be Strong (Lomax/Troy) - 2:34
8. Hurry (Carroll/Troy) - 3:10
9. So Far (Troy/Voormann) - 4:25
10. Exactly Like You (Fields/McHugh) - 3:06
11. You Give Me Joy Joy (Harrison/Starr/Stills/Troy) - 3:38
12. Don't Call Me No More (Schinnery/Troy) - 2:05
13. Jacob's Ladder (Traditional) - 2:57
14. All That I've Got[*] (Preston/Troy) - 3:55
15. Get Back[*] (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:06
16. Dearest Darling[*] (Troy) - 2:50
17. What You Will Blues[*] (Troy) - 4:57
18. Vaya con Dios[*] (James/Pepper/Russell) - 3:29

George Harrison - Guitar, Producer
Ringo Starr - Drums
Stephen Stills - Guitar, Producer
Doris Troy - Vocals, Producer
Chris Ludwinsky - Engineer
Steve Kolanijan - Liner Notes
Mike Jarratt - Engineer
Mick Clarke - Guitar

During the Doris Troy Sessions, George also recorded well known songs which appeared for instance on the "A True Legend" bootleg, like I Live For You and Going Down To Golders Green.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 05:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Singer Doris Troy Dies (was signed on the Apple label, sang song "Just One Look"...)

"Gonna Get My Baby Back", "Give Me Back My Dynamite", "Ain't That Cute" and "You Gave Me Joy Joy" are the songs of hers I heard from that album. She had a very good voice, very bluesy, and it must have been very fun to Ringo and George to work with her from the sound of the tracks.

It's a great loss. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Singer Doris Troy Dies (was signed on the Apple label, sang song "Just One Look"...)

I remember one year at Beatlefest when Doris Troy was supposed to appear. She couldn't make it to the Fest because she was sick. Hearing the news now, makes it even more sad.
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Old Feb 28, 2004, 07:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Singer Doris Troy Dies (was signed on the Apple label, sang song "Just One Look"...)

AWW, this is sad. I didn't know anything about her till I read this post, however thanks to Beatlelinks I know more. I'm sure she will be missed.
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