Fonds 40 - Doug Riley fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Doug Riley fonds


  • 1966-2007 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 m of textual records + 5 audio cassettes + 2 audio disc + 1 photograph (22 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Doug (Douglas Brian) Riley was a composer, arranger, pianist, organist, and record producer, born in Toronto on April 12, 1945. Before his death on August 27, 2007 in Calgary, Alberta, Riley relocated to Little Pond, Prince Edward Island. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto in 1967.

Riley produced and performed on many recordings with various solo artists and groups (including Ray Charles, Natalie McMaster, David Clayton Thomas, The Brecker Brothers, Molly Johnson, Bob Segar, Ringo Starr, Jake Langley, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, and Moe Koffman), both as Doug Riley and under his pseudonym Dr. Music. He also wrote numerous jingles, three ballets for the National Ballet of Canada, a concerto for flute, a string quartet for Moe Koffman, a piano concerto for Mario Bernardi's retirement from the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and much more. He was also the music director for various television, radio, and live productions, including JAZZ.FM91’s annual ‘Jazz Lives' (mid-2000s) and The Famous People Players. He continued to perform with his Doug Riley Quartet until his death. Throughout his life, he received many awards, including The Jazz Report ‘Jazz Organist of the Year’ Award (1993-2000), and, in 2003, he was named a member of the Order of Canada.

Archival history

Material was arranged by Doug Riley's family following his death in 2007 and was then donated to the University of Toronto Music Library in 2011. In 2016 the material was accessioned and a finding aid created. Materials were left in the order which they were in when presented to the University of Toronto Music Library.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Material donated to the University of Toronto Music Library by Doug Riley's son under the authorisation of his (Riley's son's) mother.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created, accumulated, and used by Doug Riley between the years 1966-2007. The majority of the records in this fonds is sheet music resulting from collaborations with other musicians, arrangements by Doug Riley, or original compositions. Although the fonds consists largely of jazz music, there is a wide variety of genres including classical music represented. Audio recordings could prove useful in the understanding of Doug Riley's performances or musical techniques.
Throughout his career Doug Riley collaborated in a variety of projects including composing music for theatre, television, awards shows, and social events. The fonds includes evidence of these projects including scripts, itineraries, storyboards, etc.
Also included in the fonds is correspondence between Doug Riley and other prominent figures in the music industry. Many set lists included in the fonds could provide insights into the performances of Doug Riley.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals expected.

System of arrangement

The original order that the material was presented in has been maintained and arranged into 10 series which reflect the major activities, work, and projects of the creator over the course of his musical career. Titles within the fonds reflect titles which were given by the creator. When no title was given a title was supplied based on series or file contents.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Doug Riley fonds is stored offsite at Downsview. To access these materials, please contact the Music Library at least two weeks in advance of your visit.

Conditions governing reproduction

University of Toronto Music Library does not own the copyright to this material. Copyright is retained by the artist.

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Notes area


Previously titled "Archives Collection 40: Doug Riley Fonds." Reference code (40) removed from the title of the fonds July 30, 2019.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entry prepared between 2016-2017 by a GSLA. Revised November 19, 2019.




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