Happy Birthday Doris Troy

Doris Troy
Doris Troy from an article by Roger St. Pierre

January 6th. would have been Doris Troy’s 77th birthday….those of you who know me personally are aware of the impact she had on my early career, in so many ways, which I detail in my book ” Mersey Me!”,  from her first tour in the U.K. with The Stones and The Hollies, where she wiped the floor with them every gig, to the glory years of the late sixties, when I served as her musical director and pianist.

She earned the title “Mama Soul”, or ” Mother Soul” in the U.K. , where she spent the most fruitful part of her career, after her classic association with Atlantic Records, which resulted in her string of self-written, much covered solo hits, but also her background vocal expertise on records by Solomon Burke and many others. It was well-earned….in the U.K., she was ground zero for the aspiring vocal talents who arrived from the States, and built a formidable Rolodex of savvy studio singers, who she shepherded masterfully through the sometimes stodgy world of British studio recording at that time.

She knew more than most of the producers did about BGV, ( vocal background recording), both as a leader and vocal arranger, and the list of recordings that she contributed to, either solo, or with her team, is quite dizzying. Try John Lennon and Pink Floyd, for starters, and look the rest up !

Larger than life, both in stature and attitude, she made a huge impact in the gradually expanding London recording scene….a queen bee in some ways; she was amazingly inclusive, at home working with Roger Waters or Zombies guru Chris White, Beatles, Stones and on and on.

She was godmother to my daughter Celeste, and always sent gifts at appropriate life landmarks. Celeste visited her in Vegas not long before Doris passed, and I treasure the phone call, which I taped, of that visit.

She lit up my life in so many ways, with her humor, bravery and great talent. It will always be my honor to have known her. Happy Birthday, Angel Face!

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The Skelly Suggests…Unusual Covers Of Lennon and McCartney

Lennon/McCartney Covers
Lennon/McCartney Covers

UNUSUAL COVERS OF LENNON & McCARTNEY

With the 50th. Anniversary of the Beatles emergence, and the two surviving members hitting their seventies, there’s been an increased focus on their astonishingly long-lived musical impact, particularly the juggernaut that is the Lennon & McCartney song catalog. Everyone who is anyone has had a crack at it, with varying results, from the giants of previous generations, like Sinatra, Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, to the soul singers of their own time, plus folkies, popsters, hipsters and artists of every ethnic persuasion imaginable.

Their output was astonishing from day one, and the many songs they never recorded as a band are wonderfully documented in Steve Boyle’s soon to be released film “Lost Beatle Songs” in which ( for the interest of full disclosure) I have a cameo part.

However, the following list collects some of the more unusual and unlikely cover versions from the Lennon & McCartney oeuvre, each hand-picked for your delectation.

1. Ticket To Ride
2. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
3. Eleanor Rigby
4. She’s A Woman
5. The Fool On The Hill
6. All My Lovin
7. A Little Help From My Friends
8. Goodnight
9. Norwegian Wood
10. In My Life
11. The Long And Winding Road
12. Magical Mystery Tour
13. Rain
14. Oobla-Di, Oobla-Da
15. We Can Work It Out
16. Me And My Monkey
17. Do You Want To Know A Secret
18. You Can’t Do That
19. You Won’t See Me
20. The Long And Winding Road
21. I will
22. Day Tripper
23. Rocky Racoon
24. Let It Be
25. I Call Your Name
26. I Want To Tell You
27. Not A Second Time
28. Blackbird
29. From Me To You
30. Good Day Sunshine
The 5th Dimension
Tori Amos
P.P. Arnold
Jeff Beck
Bjork
Suzy Bogguss & Chet Atkins
Joe Brown
The Carpenters
Waterson/Carthy
Johnny Cash
Ray Charles
Cheap Trick
Petula Clark
Arthur Conley
Deep Purple
Fats Domino
Fairground Attraction
Georgie Fame
Bryan Ferry
Aretha Franklin
Art Garfunkel
The Grateful Dead
Ritchie Havens
Gladys Knight
The Mamas and The Papas
Ted Nugent
Robert Palmer
Billy Preston
Del Shannon
Roy Redmond