Photo taken on 30th July 2006, Doug helping celebrate Barry Aldous' 70th birthday
22/08/18 - I am very sad to advise you that I received a call from Colin Whaley, a nephew of Doug Whaley. Colin advised me that Doug passed away on Monday 20th August after being ill for some time. Colin has provided me with the following details relating to the funeral. Colin is quite happy for me to pass on this information for publication on JazzNorthWest. Doug’s funeral will be held at Radcliffe Crematorium at 2.30pm on Thursday 30th August, Postcode M26 4EU. His wake is at Bradshaw Conservative Club, Bradshaw, Bolton, Postcode BL2 3ET – All Welcome. Doug was a brilliant musician and a major influence to many musicians in jazz circles of all genre. He played a big part in my own life as a musician, work colleague and friend since 1957. He will be sadly missed and I have no doubt that his passing marks the end of an era for many of us. - Regards, Barry Aldous
Doug Whaley was the leader of The Cotton City Jazz Band which was formed in 1954 and was resident at the Brunswick Hotel in Bury. In those days, the band played around the Manchester jazz scene for four years or so before disbanding when Doug went to Oxford University. He also founded The Art Taylor All Stars along with Arthur Taylor, two young jazz enthusiasts, who were at Bury Grammar School together in 1955 and which became one of the most popular bands in Manchester during the early 1960's. Both the university bands were mainstreamish towards modern.
Sad to hear about Doug'. I played with him many times over the years. He was able to adapt to any style of jazz and Big Band music, I enjoyed every session I did with him. He showed such tenacity to carry on with his playing after the devastating series of strokes he suffered, mastering playing left handed. and having a stand made to hold his trumpet in the playing position Another light has gone out in the jazz world. Attached is a recording we did at Ernie Garside's club "Cobden's Place". Roy Rogers is the clarinettist.
Rest in Peace Doug
Really sad to hear about Doug Whaley’s passing : knew him from his association with local jazz musicians in Whitefield, North Manchester, including Jim Ashton (banjo ) who played in the ‘Cotton City Jazzmen ‘ whose base was a pub , near where I moved to from Whitefield just off Walmersley Road , Bury , in October 1957 . Will tell Jim the arrangements: knew Doug wasn’t well , & understand he lived not far from the wake venue, but never got round to visiting him . Wouldn’t have taken much effort as I live in Bolton too! -
I am deeply sorry to hear about Doug. He was just about the best player in the North West and, specifically, one of the nicest fellows you could meet. I hadn't seen him for years, but will always remember him and his playing. -
Barry Aldous has just passed on the very
sad news about Doug. I am very much out of touch nowadays, and had not
heard about Doug’s passing. He was a wonderfully fluent trumpet and
flugle player but, more importantly, he was a very kind, gentle, clever
and humorous guy. In the 1980’s we worked, and sometimes travelled,
together in bands like Shades of Kenton and Les Howard’s N.D.O. I always
enjoyed his playing but it was only in the past 18 years or so ( when I
tried – with not too much success - to join in the traditional jazz
scene) that I became aware of his traditional jazz background and
pedigree. Sadly, he had, by then had that terrible bout of strokes which
caused him so much difficulty, although he bravely carried on playing,
using his left hand for the valves.
What can I say about Doug Whaley?
He had a knowledge of chord progressions and musical phraseology I'd never come across before. His playing with the great Alan Hare/Gordon Robinson Septet was a joy to the ear. Never 'far-out modern', Doug effortlessly took his traditional jazz roots and impeccable sense of swing into the musical box known as 'mainstream'. With the Alan Hare Big Band his ideas and musicianship were outstanding.
I lost contact with Doug after I turned 'pro' but I still heard about him through my son Tony who he influenced hugely when they played at the Five Ways Hotel in Hazel Grove with 'Boulders Brass'. A titan of the jazz trumpet in the North West and super guy as well.
I have just returned to Wales after saying farewell to Doug Whaley. He was quite simply the best! Having known him for over 50yrs as both a band member and friend l will miss him terribly. He was a member of the Zenith Six during the heyday of the Black Lion, and during his last few difficult years we shared good times in New Orleans and on safari in Kenya. He was so chuffed when we were recognised in a crowded Jazz club on Times Square New York a few years ago! He was a rock when I lost Keith in 2002.
Along with many of his friends musicians and family we have given him a send off which I know he would have approved.
Gabriel it's time to pass your trumpet to a better player!