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Doris Troy

Doris Troy (1937—2004) was known affectionately as Mama Soul to her legion of British fans, a nickname she acquired in the mid Sixties after she came to the UK following the success of her songs ‘Just One Look’ (as covered by The Hollies) and ‘Watcha Gonna Do About It’. Doris grew up in the Bronx area of New York, and at an early age was talent spotted by James Brown at the Apollo Theater. As well as her solo recordings for Atlantic Records, Doris became the backing vocalist of choice for artists as diverse as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and Carly Simon.

Doris signed to Apple Records in 1969, after impressing George Harrison with her backing vocals on Billy Preston’s first album for Apple, That’s The Way God Planned It. For Doris Troy, issued on Apple in 1970, Doris co-wrote several songs with George, and two with George, Ringo and Stephen Stills of Crosby Stills & Nash. Following Apple, Doris recorded for James Brown’s People label, and played her own mother in a musical adaptation of Doris’ life story, Mama I Want To Sing, that was written for her by her sister Vy Higgensen.