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Doris Troy

Doris passed away yesterday, 16th February, 2004, in her Las Vegas home. I’m not sure of the causes but she had suffered from breathing problems for a long while.

Born Doris Payne in New York City in 1937, she was a truly great soul singer and songwriter who shot to fame in 1963 with her top ten Atlantic smash ‘Just One Look’. She cut more soulful sides for the label; ‘He Don’t Belong To Me’ and ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’ are personal favourites. By 1964 she had visited the UK and enjoyed the Swinging London scene so much that she stayed (she recorded here frequently over the next ten years). In that year her ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It’ single was a hit in the UK only and that as well as ‘Just One Look’ were covered to great commercial success by the Hollies.

She then moved on to Capitol records for a great double sider, ‘Face Up To The Truth’ / ‘He’s Qualified’, and then on to Calla for the Philly produced Northern Soul classic ‘I’ll Do Anything’. Lack of commercial success Stateside saw her return to the UK where she signed for the Beatles’ Apple label for whom she cut an album and several singles. Her signing was down to the group themselves who had been big fans of hers for years, in fact the whole of the UK pop scene seemed to be captivated by her talent and unaffected charm. After Apple she cut for the UK People label and staged concerts with gospel choirs that she had worked with throughout her music business career.

In the early 90s she wrote and performed in an autobiographical play about her career called "Mama I Want To Sing". When the show came to the West End she acted her own mother’s role and Chaka Khan, Deniece Williams and Mica Paris acted her part at different times. The show ran for several months, and stars such as Prince and Stevie Wonder turned up to see it and meet the legend.

At this time I was running my fourth Cleethorpes Northern Soul weekender and had been let down by an act I had booked for it. I rang Doris cold and asked her if she could come up and help me out with a PA at the event. She agreed to straight away (and very reasonably), even if it was on the only day she had off from the show. Her presence was tremendous and of course she was great with the fans. The meeting lead to me working as her agent, when she decided to stay on in London after her show closed. She performed many jazz and supper clubs and did a full soul show at the 100 Club where Van Morrison came down to see her as a fan, remembering her fondly from the 60s. She then appeared at another Cleethorpes weekender with full backing band and this was filmed by Channel 4 for a documentary they did about the event.

Bad health forced her to return to the States where she lived in New York with her sister Vi, a top DJ over there. Eventually her health worries forced her to live in Las Vegas where the climate helped her breathing.

Doris was one of the most understanding and kind hearted people you could ever wish to meet. Her approachability often made you forget what a talented artist she was. She would treat each fan as graciously as each megastar who came to see her. And when she referred to her friends as "Baby, Baby, Baby", they always felt very special.

Ady Croasdell

Discography

The Halos (members John "Gregory" Carroll, Al Showell (both former members of The Dappers on Rainbow), Doc Wheeler and Doris Higgenson) 1960 line-up.

The Halos (members John "Gregory" Carroll, Al Showell (both former members of The Dappers on Rainbow), Doc Wheeler and Doris Higgenson) 1960 line-up.

The Halos (members John "Gregory" Carroll, Doris Higgenson and Leonard Puzey (a sometime member of The Cues))

Doris Payne (Doris Higgenson - took her grandmothers name)

Everest 19327 - I Want To Be Loved (But Only By You) / What A Wonderful Lover – 1960

Doc Bagby & Doris Payne

Shirley 101 - Foolish Decision / You Better Mind - 1960 (Backing Vocals By The Gospelaires) 

Jay & Dee (the Dee is rumoured to be Doris Troy)

Arliss 1008 - Dream Talk / What A Night, Night, Night – 1961

Pearl Woods & The Gems (members Pearl Woods, Fred Johnson (Pearl Woods’ then husband), Doris Troy and Gilbert Monk) 

Wall 552 - Sloppin' / One More Time - 1962

Doris Troy
(born Doris Higgensen on 6-January-1937 in New York City. Died 16-February-2004 in Las Vegas - cause: Emphysema)

Atlantic 2188 - Just One Look* / Bossa Nova Blues - 1963 *produced by John "Gregory" Carroll. Originally released in 1963 by Andy & The Marglows on Imperial 55570.
Atlantic 2206 - Tomorrow Is Another Day* / What'cha Gonna Do About It - 1963 *also recorded in 1965 by Joey Heatherton Coral 62459.
Atlantic 2222 - One More Chance / Please Little Angel - 1964

Cameo 392 - I'll Do Anything (He Wants Me To Do) / Heartaches - 1965
Atlantic 2269 - Hurry / He Don't Belong To Me - 1965
Calla 114 - I'll Do Anything (He Wants Me To) / Heartaches - 1966
Capitol 2043 - Face Up To The Truth / He's Qualified - 1967 (both tracks written by Doris Troy)
Apple 1820 - Ain't That Cute* / Vaya Con Dios - 1970 *written by George Harrison and Doris Troy.
Apple 1824 - Get Back* / Jacob's Ladder - 1970 *this version came out before The Beatles - Apple 2490.
People Peo112 - Stretchin' Out / Don't Tell Your Mama - 1974
Midland International Mb-10806 - Lyin' Eyes / Give God Glory - 1976 
Midland Int'l Mb-11082 - Can't Hold On / Another Look - 1977
Midsong 11083 - Can't Hold On (5:28) / Another Look (4:36) - 1977 (12"release)

Doris Troy / Jackie Moore

Atlantic Oldies Series 13067 - Just One Look / Precious Precious* - ? *flip by Jackie Moore.

Lp's

ATLANTIC 8088 - JUST ONE LOOK - 1964 (mono) Tracks: Just One Look / Lazy Days / What'cha Gonna Do About It / Draw Me Closer / A School For Fools / Stormy Weather / Time / Trust In Me / Someone Ain't Right / Bossa Nova Blues.

ATLANTIC SD-8088 - JUST ONE LOOK - 1964 (stereo - "Just One Look" is rechanneled)Tracks: Just One Look / Lazy Days / What'cha Gonna Do About It / Draw Me Closer / A School For Fools / Stormy Weather / Time / Trust In Me / Someone Ain't Right / Bossa Nova Blues.

APPLE 3371 - DORIS TROY - 1970 (features George Harrison on guitars and Ringo Starr on drums) Tracks: Ain't That Cute / Special Care / Give Me Back My Dynamite / You Tore Me Up Inside / Games People Play / Gonna Get My Baby Back / I've Got To Be Strong /// Hurry / So Far / Exactly Like You / You Give Me Joy Joy / Don't Call Me No More / Jacob's Ladder.

Trivia

Doris Troy was backing vocalist on Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side Of The Moon"