“Greg Dokes’ life is a Musical waiting to be written. It has all of the elements: humor, adversity and love” - Gisele Caver
Greg Dokes made a remarkable impact on the music industry and has performed with many multi-platinum artists around the world. To explain where he comes from, Columnist and Radio Personality Gisele Caver sat with Greg Dokes for a heartfelt and sincere interview. Here is where Dokes spoke of his life as a musician, father, friend, and husband.
Gregory Dokes passed away in August of 2012 after fighting a battle with cancer. To honor his legacy, Gisele took to paper and pen and transformed Dokes interview into a mock scrip entitled: “Greg Dokes The Musical.” What a clever and creative homage to such a great man. We hope reading this will give you the reader a greater insight into his life as well as feel the love and joy it has given to our family.
“I will forever be inspired by Dokes unmatched vigor for living life with passion, discipline and love” - Gwen Foxx- Dokes
Greg Dokes The Musical
ACT 1: Beatrice Henderson, Dokes’ grandmother saw his potential when she sat him on the piano stool at Christ Temple Church. Before long, 5-year-old Greg Dokes was playing the keyboard and directing the choir.
ACT 2: Central High School: Jep Smith, the band teacher saw something special in young Dokes and hired him to play in his band. They performed at weddings, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs. First pay check $40!
ACT 3: As a young man, Dokes formed his own group Empulse and had local success with a single release. “Don’t Let This World Turn Cold” A ‘45’. Remember those two-sided discs with the hole in the middle. Greg went from an Afro to a Jheri Curls as R&B tangled with the Disco Era. He performed with C.J. and Company, The Floaters, The Dramatics, Ortheia Barnes, Norma Jean Bell, The Five Special, Gene Dunlap, David Myles and Mylestones and local favorites.
He has toured with national acts that include all of the Temptation groups, The Temptations (Otis), Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review, Damon Harris’ Temptation Experience and Ali Woodson’s Emperors of Soul.
ACT 4: Going back to my roots –Gospel: Dokes performed, recorded and/or toured with Commissioned, Vicki Winans, the Rev. Rance Allen, TheClark Sisters, and Lynette Hawkins. He also went on the road as Musical Director with the hit Gospel Plays: Momma Don’t and A Good Man Is Hardto Find.
ACT 5: The Jazz Cats—Dokes has performed and toured with James Carter, Ronnie Laws, Craig T. Cooper and Marion Meadows.
Act 6: It’s all music! – Dokes ventured into the ‘Rap Game’ with Warren G and Snoop Dog.
Act 7: The lessons: There have been many ups and downs. Dokes’ bestfriend and musical mentor Andre’ Arnestro Wilson died tragically in the 1990’s. Andre’ had so much music in him. His loss gave Dokes the incentive to make the best of his talent.
Act 8– The blessings: So many of the musical masters that mentored Dokes have made their transition. Folks like Harold McKinney, Dr. Teddy Harris, Jr., Rudy Robinson and Dr. Beans Bowles made sure he could play all kinds of music. They would say, “You have to know the music to play if from the heart”. Each time Dokes sits at a keyboard he channels their spirit into the melody.
ACT 9: The love: Mama, Lurlene Dokes was smiling more than crying the first time she saw her baby boy in concert. Her love surrounds and protects him as he performs around the world. Dokes’ says, “Ay, Ain’t no love like Mama’s love”.
ACT 10: Home: Greg Dokes married his soul mate, Gwen Foxx. Gwen is his best friend, his partner, his lover and mother of daughter P’Aris Milan Dokes. Dokes’ said “When life is crazy it is always good to know that home is where the heart is”.
ACT 11: The Finale:
Greg Dokes sits at the keyboard. As the lights dim, he starts to play. He says, “Life hasn’t always been easy..“ I worked hard to master my craft. My musical abilities and reputation have put me in some great company. I played for Aretha Franklin, Will Downing, Jean Carne, Keith Washington, Althea Rene and Kem. Wow! They asked for me, Greg Dokes. Each night, I give the performance of my life. Right here at this keyboard. It’s magic.
It is always good to have friends, the ‘Cats’. The bass man, TMoneyGreen got me the gig with The 5 Special, The Dramatics and Warren G. Trumpeter, Rayse Biggs referred me to Dennis Edwards.
Dokes’ smiles, “ I married my best friend. She is the power and strength that guides and leads me. Gwen’s voice completes my music. It’s a great vibe to have so much fun with someone you love. Yeah, her love and the music make my life worth living. With her I found my rhythm my melody.”
That is a good way to live. Musically speaking, I hope you find your rhythm and melody. In the Key of Gee. As the curtain falls – Dokes tickles the ivories -- FADE TO BLACK
© Gisele “Gee” Caver