Doris' funeral took place in New York on Monday February 23, 2004, following her passing on Monday 16th February in Las Vegas. Doris had been suffering with acute emphesyma for some time. She was 67.

Among those attending with Doris' sister Vi & family, were Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston, & Valerie Simpson.

Sadly, neither Madeline or myself was able to attend, but Dusty fan John Harding, who was in New York, represented us at the funeral, adding our names to the Book of Remembrance. We are eternally grateful.

MAMA SOUL
 Cissy Houston sang "If I Can Help Somebody", while Dionne recalled fond memories of Doris. All three had started out together back in the early sixties doing sessions in New York.

 Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records spoke of Doris' resoluteness & sense of fun, and the church choir sang selections from "Mama I Want To Sing"

 Dionne talked about Doris finding her way onto Dionne's musical notes when they were backing together - to the point where she actually said to Doris 'DT, that's my note you're singing' - to which she got the response 'you'd better find your part'.

Valerie Simpson of songwriting team Ashford & Simpson (Aint No Mountain High Enough etc..) told how Doris had encouraging advice for them in the Brill Building days before they hit it big at Motown

 MADELINE BELL'S TRIBUTE TO HER FRIEND DORIS ELAINE

 SIMON BELL TRIBUTE

DORIS ELAINE (WHAT I ALWAYS CALLED HER) INSPIRED SO MANY SINGERS. WE FIRST MET IN LONDON DURING THOSE HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF THE SIXTIES. TO ME SHE WAS ALREADY A "STAR”. SHE’D HAD HIT RECORDS AND SUCCESSFUL COVER VERSIONS OF HER SONGS. SHE KNEW JUST
ABOUT EVERYONE. BLACK, WHITE, YOUR COLOUR OR CULTURE NEVER MATTERED. ONLY, YOUR TALENT AND HOW TO USE IT WAS IMPORTANT.
WE SHARED SO MANY GOOD TIMES IN THE STUDIO. OUR FIRST SESSION WAS DUSTY SPRINGFIELD’S “IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE”. OUR LAST “GIGS” IN FRANCE WITH JOHNNY HALLIDAY WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY MIND AS THAT’S WHERE WE LEARNED TO SPEAK A BIT OF FRENCH. NOT BAD FOR TWO (BLACK) WOMEN FROM THE GHETTOS OF HARLEM AND NEWARK.


WE ALSO SPENT MANY HOURS JUST TALKING ABOUT OUR CHILDHOOD AND HOW WE WANTED TO MAKE OUR FAMILIES PROUD. I REALLY COULD GO ON FOR A LONG TIME, BUT THEN, WE ALL KNOW WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LADY SHE IS, STILL. THAT BEAUTY WILL NEVER DIE. IT’S SO STRANGE TO THINK THAT I WONT PICK UP THE ‘PHONE AND HEAR THAT
HIGH-PITCHED “HEY, BABY,BABY”.


I LOVE YOU, DORIS.


MADELINE BELL

 Doris Troy was a large figure in my life. She started me on my professional singing career, a road that led me to Dusty's side at her greatest time of need.

In the early 70's I came to London to try to become a singer. Through a friend, I met Doris, who was gigging in and around London. I shared a flat with a guy who rented his P.A. to Doris. I went to one of her gigs, and talked to her at length about my ambitions to be a singer & songwriter. Soon I was living at Doris' Hampstead flat and she started me on the session scene. I would turn up on gospel sessions to incredulous looks from the other singers, but Doris said "this is Simon, he's from Glasgow.. and you know where Glasgow is.... Harlem!!". Doris later recorded my first song "All I Have Is Written In Your Eyes" on her "Stretching Out" album. Through her I worked with Madeline Bell, and that connection led me to be with Dusty. When the show based on her life (Mama I Want To Sing) played London, Doris called me on stage one night to intoduce me to the crowd. Somehow I was always "her Simon". That night we sang "This Little Light Of Mine" together, on stage with Chaka Khan fanning us with her silk scarf.

There will never be another like Doris Troy. She was larger than a hundred lives and lit up every room or conversation she entered.

She was there at the birth of soul, and will never be forgotten.

Simon Bell, February 18 2004.

 

 

 

Bonnie Raitt among those paying tribute at David Nathan's SoulMusic.com

   
 Singer Jimmy Chambers of The London Beat, remembers Doris (right)

Like everyone whose heard the sad news about Doris's passing I, for a while
was completely numb, but now I'm able to function again and I'd like to add my contribution of tributes to a diamond that has been taken from us, I guess the wonderful thing for some of us is that we were personally touched by this one
in a million star, a gentle soul, a sweet person who'd always have the time for you
and most of all she knew how to laugh.


We will all miss Doris Troy there'll never be another, may her wonderful work live on and her soul rest in peace.

Jimmy Chambers

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