Eric Allen Doney, 62, of Pen Argyl, passed away on Friday, April 17. Born January 22, 1953, he was the son of Bette Doney and the late Robert Doney. He is also survived by family members and numerous friends who shared his passion for music.
Eric began classical studies in first grade and gave his first public performance at the age of seven. In junior high school, he began performing professionally at the many Pocono jazz clubs with local legends such as Al Cohn, Bill Goodwin, and Steve Gilmore. He graduated from Pen Argyl High School in 1971 and earned a bachelor of music degree from Susquehanna University. Doney's first tour was with vocalist Jon Hendricks, with whom he recorded the Grammy-nominated album, Love. After moving to New York, Doney joined the David Johansen band on a two-year tour, opening for such groups as The Who, Blondie, Duran Duran, the Clash, and REO Speedwagon.
In 1983, Doney moved to Paris and toured with vocalist Kim Parker. Hired as a conductor for Connie Stevens, he relocated to Santa Monica, California. Doney became musical director and pianist for Bob Hope's television shows. In 1984 he performed at the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics, played with Les Brown's Band of Renown, and was musical director for Englebert Humperdink, touring more than 40 countries.
In 1993, Doney returned to the Poconos and formed Pacific Street Records. He produced twenty recordings for the label, with such local jazz greats as Phil Woods, Bob Dorough, John Coates Jr. and Scott Jarrett. Doney continued as a solo artist for the next decade, writing and producing numerous records, teaching, as well as touring internationally as an accompanist. Doney's latest work was his collaboration with the record label Minsi Ridge Records as a featured artist, mentor, and creative consultant.
In 2008, Eric received the prestigious Fred Waring Award by the Delaware Water Celebration of the Arts. Services: Respecting Eric's wishes, there will be no formal services. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Eric's name to support music and musicians in the area. Please send them to William Doney, care of the Guerro & Ruggiero Funeral Home, 126 E. Pennsylvania Ave, PO Box 161, Pen Argyl, PA 18072.
Published in Morning Call on Apr. 19, 2015