Proudly Canadian: Dr. Music

Dr.-Music.jpg

Submitted Sandy Graham

In the 1970’s radio was playing great talent on the air as part of the CanCon requirements, and one such group was Toronto’s Dr. Music. An eclectic freeform jazzy R&B group, they fluctuated between 7 and 15 members. Dr. Music was truly the creation and dream of noted arranger/keyboardist Doug Riley.

Riley’s music experience had started years before, when he was recruited to get musicians for CTV’S ‘The Ray Stevens Show’ for season 1969-1970. That was the birth of Dr. Music. When the show was cancelled, Dr. Music decided to stay together, release recordings and tour to support their music.
The first release under the Dr. Music moniker was "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" on RCA Records, a split single with The Laurie Bower Singers for a Canadian version of the international Coca-Cola jingle.

This led to a partnership with British engineer/producer Terry Brown and the duo of Brown and Riley led to the their collaboration to form Toronto Sound Recording studio for jingle production. It also included working with then a new Canadian label, GRT Records. Having previously released his solo album 'Foxy Lady' (featuring vocalist Terry Black) on GRT, Riley was able to get the label's backing to release Dr. Music's self-titled debut LP featuring the first single, "Try A Little Harder", and its hit follow-up "Sun Goes By" (both written by Motherlode's Steve Kennedy) in 1972. Dr. Music disbanded at this point as Doug Riley was immersed in his new studio position, and the struggle to do both ventures well led to this decision.

Doug RileyDoug RileyIn 1973, Riley decided to assemble a second version of Dr. Music with a smaller 7 piece act, which was a combination of ever-changing band members of Motherlode and Lighthouse. The revised version was met with great applause, and resulted in very successful Eastern and Western tours, plus a new album for the fans entitled ‘Dr. Music II’. The second rendition of Dr. Music called it quits not long after that.

Returning to his earlier career of arranging and producing TV Shows, Riley then worked on CBC’s ‘Keith Hampshire’s Music Machine’. During the show’s second season, around February 1974, Riley reformed Dr. Music for the third time, once again placing them as the house band for the show and this gave them the chance to record another album, ‘Bedtime Story’. This was a more rock-jazz offering, as the title track was a Herbie Hancock tune. Once again, Dr. Music broke up for various reasons.

In 1984, Doug Riley revived a Dr. Music concept, with a group of musical friends and the result was ‘Dr. Music Circa 1984.’ Riley would also continue as a solo artist and released two albums after that – ‘Dreams’ in 1976 and ‘Freedom’ in 1990.

Doug Riley died suddenly on August 28, 2007 of heart failure Doug Riley was at the Calgary airport on route to his home in Little Pond, P.E.I. when he died suddenly of heart failure. He was 62 years old.

Line-Up Of Dr. Music Members

VERSION I - 1972:
Doug Riley (keyboards)

Laurel Ward (vocals)

Rhonda Silver (vocals)

Brenda Gordon (vocals)
Terry Black (vocals)

Diane Brooks (vocals)
Trudy Desmond (vocals)

Michael Kennedy (vocals, percussion)

Steve Kennedy (vocals, tenor & alto sax, flute)

Brian Russell (guitar)

Terry Clarke (drums)

Kenny Marco (guitar)

Doug Mallory (lead vocals, guitar)

Don Thompson (bass)

Gary Morgan (clarinet, sax, flute)

Keith Jollimore (vocals; baritone, alto & tenor sax; flute)
Barrie Tallman (trombone) 

VERSION II - 1973:
Doug Riley (keyboards)

Doug Mallory (lead vocals, guitar)
Wayne Stone (drums)

Michael Kennedy (vocals, percussion)

Steve Kennedy (vocals, tenor & alto sax, flute)
Keith Jollimore (vocals; baritone, alto & tenor sax; flute)

Barrie Tallman (trombone) 

VERSION III - 1974:
Doug Riley (keyboards)

Doug Mallory (lead vocals, guitar)

Claude Ranger (drums)

Bruce Cassidy (trumpet, fluegel horn)

Don Thompson (bass)

Dave Brown (second drums)

Steve Kennedy (vocals, tenor & alto sax, flute)
Keith Jollimore (vocals; baritone, alto & tenor sax; flute)
Barrie Tallman (trombone) 

Sun Goes By

Dr. Music
http://youtu.be/AiraoEJ5eBw