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James Patrick Doyle
Photo Credit: Steve Lowry

James Patrick Doyle
1956 -- 2002

James Patrick Doyle was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, on August 9, 1956, the year The Wizard of Oz went into public domain. He died suddenly on January 8, 2002, in Houston, Texas--his home for the last twenty years of his life. James loved many things, from science fiction to the Marx Brothers; from Victor Herbert to L. Frank Baum; from foreign-language cast albums to Toscanini 78s. But his greatest love was his wife Kate whom he married in May, 1993.

James grew up in southern California where he was introduced to the 1903 Broadway musical version of The Wizard of Oz by his next door neighbor--a woman named Felice Louria who had seen the show as a child. James was intoxicated at the idea of this work which joined his love of fantasy literature with his passion for musical theatre. James fostered his love of music by playing violin in various pit-bands, studying orchestration, and eventually composing his own works.

Doyle's first music CD was Before the Rainbow, a collection of music from the earliest stage adaptations of the Oz books. He also composed a new score for L. Frank Baum's silent film His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz, as well as a score to accompany Baum's play The Uplift of Lucifer. James was a guest lecturer at the Centennial Oz Conference in Bloomington, Indiana, in July, 2000, where he spoke about his work on scoring the silent Oz films as well as his work with David Maxine in restoring the 1903 Wizard of Oz.

Doyle also wrote both music and lyrics for a new stage musical of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which premiered at the Toronto Civic Light Opera Company in December, 2000. This show was Doyle's second CD.

His unfinished projects included a new musical verison of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Livia a musical based on Roman Emperor Claudius's infamous grandmother.

Listen to James Doyle sing The Scarecrow Song from the 1903 Wizard of Oz.

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