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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Doucette, Jerry - 1977 Mama Let Him Play
Doucette, Jerry - 1977 Mama Let Him Play

ARTIST: Doucette, Jerry
ALBUM: Mama Let Him Play
LABEL: Mushroom Canada
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Jerry Doucette - vocals, guitars * Brett Shindell - guitars * Ron Cummings - bass * Robbie King - organ * Duris Maxwell - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Down The Road * 02 Back Off * 03 When She Loves Me * 04 People Say * 05 All I Wanna Do * 06 Mam Let Him Play * 07 Whats Your Excuse? * 08 It's Gonna Hurt So Bad * 09 Keep On Running * 10 Love Is Gonna Find You


Day after day, year after year I think I've heard Doucette's 'Mama Let Him Play' on the radio and never had a clue who penned the track. It was a pleasant surprise to discover this album in my collection therefore and learn exactly who was responsible for one rock radio's staples. Jerry Doucette is a native Canadian who bounced from band to band during his formative years before getting a break from Mushroom who liked Doucette's demos and signed him. Doucette put a band together and recorded this successful debut, a sleek slice of 70's radio rock, with one foot in the AOR camp. The album was produced by Ralph Hennemann, who has worked with a slew of well known Canadian rock acts such as Chiiliwack, Prism and Toronto. The album went platinum in Canada, aided by the title track naturally, which isn't the sound of the album overall, the harder rock sounds competing with precise soft rock for airtime.

The Songs
Fans of Boz Scaggs, Eddie Money and Bob Seger will find much to enjoy in the nine tracks on offer. Rockers are present in the title track, 'Keep On Running' and 'What's Your Excuse', with the title track gaining popularity due to the obvious anthemic nature of the chorus. 'Down The Road' is one part Little River Band, the other Bachman Turner Overdrive, and very convincing as a result. 'Back Off' scores with some nice boogie riffs, with Doucette running the show with his impressive guitar solo. 'When She Loves Me' takes the plunge into AOR with results that could almost be Hall And Oates or Pablo Cruise. Nicely handled for the time and very melodic. 'People Say' straddles the line between hard rock in the verses but has an undoubtedly AOR hook backed by some funky bass work similar to Tim Bogert off Boxer's 'Absolutely' album that same year. The melody keeps coming, this time 'All I Wanna Do', which is West Coast through and through and predates the likes of Robbie Dupree. 'Love Is Gonna Find You' is so laid back it shades the likes of Rupert Holmes for effect. Anyone into 70's AOR will fall in love with this track.

In Summary
Sadly for Jerry and his band of troops the follow up 'The Douce Is Loose' didn't generate the sales of the debut and the AOR influences were largely left behind ostensibly after the success of 'Mama Let Him Play' as a single. Doucette quit the industry a few years later after fading from the scene but reappeared in the 90's with new material and began touring again. Sadly Doucette is afflicted with a rare spinal condition which seems to have forced him into retirement once again. It's almost embarrassing to me that I've had this sitting around for years and never listened to it until now.... amateur dare I say? Well recommended for anyone like myself who may have overlooked it.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on May 29 2008 03:38:21
I wouldn't mind hearing this one. Is this Mushroom label associated with the New Zealand one?
#2 | gdazegod on May 29 2008 06:22:23
It was Mushroom Records in Australia. There is no direct connection between the Aussie label and the Canadian one.

Mushroom Aust was founded by Michael Gudinski back in 1971, Mushroom Canada was founded by Shelley Siegel, along with two HEART alumni, Mike Flicker and Howard Leese. Mushroom Canada originate from a recording studio called Mushroom Studios based in Vancouver. The label folded in 1979 after the death of Siegel.

As far as NZ based labels were concerned, there was EMI, Festival, Ode, RCA and of course CBS who had Sharon O'Neill on their books more or less from Day One. Many of the top NZ acts migrated across the ditch to Australia, and some signed up with Mushroom, including Tim Finn and Split Enz.
#3 | richardb on May 29 2008 08:03:25
A very under-rated artist. 'The douce is loose' and 'Coming up roses' are also well worth checking out (their harder rocking) as his 90's release 'Price of an education'.

Richard B
#4 | gdazegod on May 29 2008 08:47:08
The Douce Is Loose is in the queue. A very big fan of Jerry Doucette if I recall, was AOR fan-demi god John Watson, he of Legs Diamond fan-dom fame. I remember corresponding with John way back in 1981, Doucette, LD and early Yesterday And Today were among his favorites.
#5 | rkbluez on May 29 2008 23:19:28
Would be nice to see 'The Douce Is Loose' released on CD and 'Mama let Him Play' get reissued I can't believe K-Tell put that out FOR A LIMITED TIME...but of course it's OOP. I did Douce... from vinyl along with Mama...and still listen to them every now and then.
#6 | jefflynnefan on May 30 2008 01:57:39
Thanks for the Mushroom history!
#7 | dangerzone on May 31 2008 03:28:13
There's a track of Doucette's on YouTube called 'Danger Zone' which is superb west coast. I must have played it fifteen times in a row. Worth a look!
#8 | reyno-roxx on June 03 2008 19:50:30
Jerry Doucette contributed a guitar solo to, 'Guitar Groupie', the best track (sort've a prototypical version of Black Rose material) on Cher's 'Take Me Home' album.
#9 | super80boy on July 20 2013 15:55:05
Recently found this album for a very modest price at a local record store and snagged it due to your positive review. This was a good record with a handful of fine tracks, including the lead off energetic 'Down The Road', 'People Say', 'Mama Let Him Play', the guitar riffing 'Whats Your Excuse?', and 'It's Gonna Hurt So Band'.
#10 | Nick C on February 23 2017 17:09:23
I could kick myself for not grabbing his 'Price of an Education' CD in downtown Burlington when I was over in Canada last year. I meant to go back to the shop and pick it up but forgot all about it and never went back into town.
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