Jazzin’ it up with Dr. Tone

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Posted Sun, Apr 29, 2018

Dr. Tone (Milton Larry) reminiscing over the highlights of his career.  [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

AURORA, Colo. — Milton Larry, aka Dr. Tone, was born in New York City in 1938, growing up on the sounds of smooth jazz and old school funk like James Brown, Nat King Cole and The Moonglows. Forming a love for music early on, he taught himself how to play the guitar, piano and bass by ear.

Larry has played in numerous bands over the decades, his most current being a jazz and blues band, “Dr. Tone and the Notes.” The band was formed about 20 years ago, consisting of Dr. Tone (vocals/guitar), Myles Q. King (keyboards), Henry Hudson III (alto saxophone), Larry W. King (bass/background vocals), Steven Dunn (drummer/producer) and Tree King (narrator/voiceover and project manager). They performed for the Governor Inaugural Ball for Mayor Wellington Webb, who became the first African American mayor of Denver in 1991.

Jazzing it up with Dr. Tone, doing what he does best. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

“It was just beautiful,” Dr. Tone said. “It was always lovely playing for the dignitaries in the office of Colorado.”

During the ‘60s, Dr. Tone and the Notes opened for the Casino Ballroom Saturday night dance. They also performed at the Owl Club Debutante Ball for several years. Some musicians he performed with were Al “Hammond” Moore, Neil Bridge 7 plus band and The Monterey’s.

“I call him Al Hammond Moore because he’d always play the Hammond organ,” Dr. Tone said. “At that particular time, I was just singing. I was just a singer with his band, and he played some organ. He burned organ up.”

In 1956, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he became involved with a special service vocal group called “The Four KP’s,” which stands for “kitchen police.”

“The KP’s were on kitchen duty,” Dr. Tone said. “That’s how we came up with the name. We were a four piece vocal group. That’s how it started, and we performed all over the United States.”

Dr. Tone demonstrating one of his blues numbers. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

His latest adventure is a song called “Please, Please, Please, Please, Please Don’t be a F.O.P. (Fool on the Phone),” which is a social commentary about the dangers people face of constantly being on their cellphones. All too often, he witnessed people walking and driving, distracted by being on their cellphones. This concern inspired his new song “Don’t Be A FOP,” produced by Steven Dunn at Dunn4U Studios in Denver.

“I wrote this song to help keep the world safer,” Dr. Tone said. “Check the statistics. Everyone you know has a cellphone and can’t leave home without it.”

When asked about the challenges of having a career in the music industry, Dr. Tone said the hardest part is the competition and keeping his band relevant. In contrast, he said the rewards outweigh the difficulties and is well worth it.

“Stay with your music,” Dr. Tone said. “It’s good for your body and soul.”

Watch Tok’s video coverage of Dr. Tone’s interview and music:

For more information visit: Dr. Tone and the Notes

 

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Kavann Tok

About Kavann Tok

Kavann Tok is a freelance Denver-area journalist. Website: https://issuu.com/kavanntok

View all posts by Kavann Tok

2 Responses to “Jazzin’ it up with Dr. Tone”

  1. Lonewolf Says:

    Great article, well written.

    Reply

  2. Hirschy Says:

    Very thorough interview. This article shows interest in the subject and depth of knowledge of his background. I enjoyed the article….It makes you want to meet Dr Tone!

    Reply

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