Carl Doy Biography
Carl Doy was born in Camberley, Surrey, England. At the age of six he fell in love with his grandmother's piano, and, through trial and error, plus a gift for playing by ear, he worked out how to play many of the popular songs of the day. Over the next ten years, he developed this talent, learning, unfortunately, many bad habits along the way. Two of his Grammar School music teachers, recognising his potential, gave him lessons, giving him the technique necessary to pass the Associated Board exams and also coached him for auditions at the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Music. Their work, much valued and appreciated, paid off: at eighteen he won scholarships to both institutions. He chose the latter and studied piano, organ and composition there for two years, under Eric Harrison, Richard Latham and Herbert Howells.
Two years later, having achieved the highest possible grade for theory, he decided it was time for a change and joined the P&O Arcadia as resident pianist for a world cruise. He spent the next few years on various cruise ships, interspersing this with work in UK clubs and a six month stint in Greece and Turkey playing NATO bases.
In 1971, he was appointed Musical Director aboard the "Ocean Monarch", which was one of the first ships ever to have a full entertainment company aboard. Apart from conducting the orchestra, the job involved arranging new shows to add to the company's repertoire. After eighteen months of cruising in the Mediterranean and South Pacific, he and his wife, Kathy, decided it was time to leave the cruise ships and to settle down.
Moving to New Zealand in 1973, he very quickly established himself as a session pianist and arranger for Television New Zealand. For the next decade and a half he wrote literally thousands of arrangements for radio and television, finding time in between to arrange and play for such diverse occasions as the Royal Variety Performance, for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and the Pope's Mass, which involved writing for two orchestras and a thousand voice choir. Also during that period, he played for and toured with a variety of visiting artists, including Shirley Bassey, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Seekers, Bob Hope, Rolf Harris, Dick Emery, The Four Aces, and Del Shannon. A full list of artists Carl has worked with is available here.
In the late seventies, Carl turned his hand to popular songwriting, finding success almost immediately with "Nothing But Dreams", which represented New Zealand at the Pacific Song Contest in 1979. The song, sung by Tina Cross, won the competition against eight other Pacific rim countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. More success followed. He represented New Zealand again in many major international festivals, including the American Song Festival in Los Angeles, where he won the Open Section and the World Song Festival, also in Los Angeles, where he won the artistic prize.