Mommas and Poppas

Denny Doherty Gone at 56…

Dennis Doherty of Mommas and Poppas fame, has died today… He was 66…

I just saw that, Bill. It’s a shame - far too young. :(

He lived in a suburb just west of downtown Toronto… But he had part ownership of some bars in downtown Halifax. So, I understand. I was just sent a photo of him on a local TV show back in 1961 on the CBC local music show… That was before he became famous. , so-to-speak…

The group took the loss of momma cas… quite hard… But you can’t have a high profile like they did and stay sane… She was a big loss to music-in-general, for her time… There was no one that came along to take her place…

But… Denny was a world class musician… and arranger…

That’s what I think…


I think I once mentioned that my kids know him as “the Harbourmaster” from Theodore Tugboat. They were really surprised to hear that he made records too. :)

Hi TomS:
This guy has touched a wide age-group of followers… It was a shock to hear about this last evening… There was nothing in the media saying what it was that took him…

I was talking with Hal Bruce this morning at the Tim’s Coffee hang-out… This guy has become a popular BeatlesTribute Entertainer/Performer, around the world… Hal is saying that he is gonne assemble a Tribute Show to the Mommas and Poppas… This guy is one great performer and one hard working Entertainer…

I have to take the space and add this to the conversation…

Join us for a musical evening with…

The Music and Story of The Beatles
With “The Cavern’s Very Best Friend”…Hal Bruce
Featuring Scott Ferguson

Thursday, January 19th at 7:00 pm
The Music Room
6181 Lady Hammond Road, Halifax, NS

Guest appearances by
Donna “Marilyn” Scaglione and Michelle Gill

Limited tickets available! For further information and tickets, please phone 902-435-7410 or e-mail

An evening you won’t want to miss!

"Hal Bruce presents the magic of The Beatles with a tremendously entertaining show that enraptures people everywhere he goes…I too, was spellbound!"
Sam Leach - The Beatles First Promoter/Manager (Liverpool, England)

"Hal is, without a doubt, one of Beatle Week’s finest performers…he is welcome at The Cavern anytime."
Bill Heckle - “International Beatle Week” Organizer (Liverpool, England)

"Hal Bruce captures the true spirit and energy of The Beatles in his live show and on CD. He achieves such a high level and standard which makes him not just another tribute show. If you haven’t seen him…what are you waiting for!"
Peter Miniaci - Beatlemania Shoppe Owner (Toronto, Ontario)


Hal’s Page

We just shook our heads over his passing… :O ??? :(

Who knows why it is, that some of us are called and some of us remain?

Anyway, I’m glad that I am here… and… I hope the CBC carries that Leafs/Sydney Crosby Game tonight… :;): If they don’t, I’m gonna be an ugly Bluenoser… :p


My first exposure to Denny Doherty was when he had a folk group, The Halifax Three. This was around 1963. They were really great, with tight harmonies, nice acoustic guitars behind them, and some wonderful songs. They did what was for me the definitive version of “The Great Silky.” I saw not long ago that there is a fairly recent CD reissue of their work.

The M’s and P’s all came from the folk revival of the 60’s. Mama Cass had a group called the Big Three, who appeared quite often on the “Hootenanny” TV series. John Phillips was great friends with and wrote a lot of songs with John Stewart of the Kingston Trio.

Denny was touring with a new M&P group a just a few years ago and he appeared in my area at a casino. I was unable to get tickets for the show.

He was the least known of the original 4 Mama’s and Papa’s. But the guy who sings the 3rd part in the harmonies is usually not the one we notice, is it. Take a listen to the Halifax Three and you’ll see how good Denny was.

He will be missed.


Hi Don:
Thanks for your reply on this thread…

Do you remember the other guys on that Halifax Three Stage? This is interesting…

I was on a stage back then, where there were 3 - 4 groups that played at a Bar called the Plaza Lounge… on the Darthmouth side of the Harbour… The rotation there used This “Folk” Group(it may have been the stage that Dennis played on) and a Blues Stage known as the Dutch Mason Blues Band… There may have been other groups but we played on that stage maybe once or twice a month… It continued up until '68 '69… Times were good then… but the money wasn’t… Well… you know… However, there was no shortage of work… We worked week-in-and-week-out… 70 weeks-a-year… :O :p We could have worked more but the nights weren’t long enough… I think there was a stage called the Graham Bowser Band that played as the "Spare-Board Stage if we got double-booked…


Hi, Bill,

The other two guys in the group were Richard Byrne and Pat LaCroix. Here is a link to an article about Denny with a picture of one of their album covers.


Hi Don:
What a “Nice Written” account of the Dennis Doherty contribution to Entertainment…

It couldn’t have been the Halifax Three that appeared on that Plaza Stage… The time-frame is all wrong. However, the Folk Group that appeared there was busy doing Live CBC music shows, as a lot of entertainers got work on the CBC TV and Radio here in the area… and… for that matter right across the Country… (Ann Murray… Gene McLelland, fame) You name them… I don’t know if I spelt Gene’s name right… ???


I remember an episode of “Denny’s Show” on CBC in, I think, 1978 in which John and Michelle Phillips made a guest appearance. It was shortly after Keith Richard ran afoul of Canadian Customs with some drugs and John Phillips made a reference to the incident on the air. Michelle placed a hand on John’s arm as if to say “shut up” and Phillips’ took the hint. Throughout it all Doherty remained professional and cordial even though his guest and former bandmate was obviously higher than a kite.

Hi BillClarke:
Do you happen to know where that “Denny’s Show” was produced? I don’t recall IT being done here, on the East Coast… Were the Guests International? or Canadians? How long did the show run?


Quote (woxnerw @ Jan. 24 2007,01:56)
Hi BillClarke:
Do you happen to know where that “Denny’s Show” was produced? I don’t recall IT being done here, on the East Coast… Were the Guests International? or Canadians? How long did the show run?


Hey Bill,

I’m pretty sure it was produced in Halifax and I think it only ran one year, which I’m guessing to be 1978 - somewhere around there anyway. Beyond that I’m flumoxed. It was a CBC-TV production so their website may have better information.


Edit -
A Google search of “Denny’s Show”+CBC produced two results which both point to this entry regarding Georges Hebert which reads:

"Georges began his musical career playing with the Bunkhouse Boys and the Brunswick Playboys in Moncton, and later in Halifax with CBC-TV Music Hop (Frank’s Bandstand) and Sing-a-long Jubilee. In the mid seventies, he toured with Anne Murray and later with Ian Tyson’s Great Specked Bird, returning to Halifax to perform on CBC shows such as Denny’s Show, The Marg Osburne Show, The John Allan Cameron Show, Sunshine Hour and Coming Up Country. In 1979 he rejoined the Anne Murray show and has been with her ever since."

Which seems to confirm that the show was taped in Halifax but doesn’t provide any further info. Sorry I can’t be of better help.
- Edit

Hi BillClarke:
I only noticed that Edit… to your post… Isn’t that “Google” a wonderful thing?

Those names… Georges Hebert and John Allan Cameron…

As you may be aware… John Allan is not with us… He became ill… He went just the other week… That took me by surprise… The energy that came from his stage… I did audio and lighting for one of his concerts… It was back in the mid-to-late-'80’s… I have a ream of tapes (from that one) around here somewhere… Bruce Timmons and another Caper was on that stage… It started out like any other concert… But by the end of the show it exploded into a “Kitchen Party” like you wouldn’t believe… There was only three of them there… MmAaNn…

If you don’t have Bruce on your stage… Who Have You Got??

Georges Hebert… There’s one “Smooth” Guitar Player… Anne’s Company/People… doesn’t use his talents quite enough… Just my opinion… on her stage… Those guys… ?? They get the call and off to Vegas… or where ever… for a week-or-so… What a life… I don’t see Georges enough… He just lives at the Head-of-the-Harbour… (Bedford)… I guess we live in our own little worlds…

Him… and RADAR Wayne argue over their Music, quite a bit… :O ??? :p