Denny Doherty may be best remembered for his place in the Mamas and the Papas, but that wasn’t the only thing friends recalled Saturday, when the Halifax-born musician was laid to rest in his hometown.
In fact, playwright Paul Ledoux emphasized his longtime friend’s sense of humour and charm as he entered St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church.
“I think people will always remember Denny as a handsome, charming man with a voice that … melts your heart every time you hear it,” he said.
Doherty died at 66 on January 19th at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga after suffering complications from recent surgery.
He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
He left his mark on the turbulent 1960s as part of the Mamas and the Papas, the folk-pop group which became famous for hits like “California dreamin'” and “Monday, Monday.”
Doherty was one of only two living members from the group, and the last surviving member, Michelle Phillips, talked briefly about how difficult it was to pen the eulogy for her old bandmate.
“Denny had a blisteringly funny sense of humour – that mad Irish charm, that intelligence – that drew people to him for life,” she told hundreds who attended the service.
“Because once you were friends with Denny, you were friends forever.”
The group was only together for three years, time that was marked by drug use and destructive love triangles.
And yet they managed five albums and ten hit singles during the time leading up to their 1968 breakup.
From there Doherty went on to have a successful career in theatre and in television, including his role as the harbourmaster on the children’s show “Theodore Tugboat,” which he became known for later in life.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Jon Levy
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