Music video brings musician back to roots

Tammy Rollie, Western Wheel

A Calgary musician tapped into her hometown connections to help push her singing career to the next level.

In preparation for the release of her first full-length album Gold on May 29, pop-jazz singer/songwriter Ellen Doty hooked up with her Okotoks area connections to film a ’50s-themed music video for her song No Good Men. The video was filmed in the Harmony House Bed & Breakfast in Okotoks and Marv’s Classic Soda Shop in Black Diamond and will be showcased as part of a compilation show called Press Record on Telus Optik Local on Demand starting June 13.

“It looks really amazing,” said Doty of the music video. “It was even better than I thought. I love it.”

The video was shot over three days in April, funded by a $7,500 grant from Public Records in Vancouver and Telus.

The video brings to life Doty’s emotional song No Good Men about a ’50s housewife mistreated by her husband who steals his Cadillac and leaves him.

“We thought it would make a really interesting story for a video because it’s very generic to do one when you show a band playing in a garage,” she said. “To actually tell a story and show it on film is very interesting. We thought that one would be the best story. It’s moving, but it’s also pretty light and playful in a way.”

After posting on Facebook that she was looking for a ’50s themed place to shoot her video, Doty said a number of people suggested Marv’s.

The setting was perfect for the scenes in the music video where a group of young people dance and her band performs. The filming was done in just one night and shot in black and white, said Doty.

“We had swing dancers,” she said. “Everyone was dressed in ’50s stuff.”

Restaurant owner Marv Garriott was glad to offer his restaurant for the music video. He said Doty is a family friend and one of his in-laws suggested the singer use his restaurant for the video.

“I was glad she chose the place,” he said. “It was a good experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing the video.”

Although some people have taken professional photographs in the ’50s style soda shop, Garriott said this was the first music video shot in his store. Marv had his own role playing a soda jerk, cleaning counters and serving pop to customers.

Doty’s video was also shot at the Victorian-style Harmony House Bed & Breakfast, featuring the scene where the wife, played by Doty, leaves her husband.

We were looking for an older style home that would have the décor that would fit the style that we were looking for, she said.

The car scenes were shot in a Quonset using a green screen because it was snowing the day of the shoot, said Doty.

Doty said the video will help promote her new album. The band will also tour across Canada in the fall, visiting 45 communities, she said.

“I really believe it’s the beginning of things and I’m very excited to see where they go,” she said. “One of our goals with this record is to get nominated for a Juno.”

Doty’s love of music began at an early age. She recalls her first performance in the Grade 1 talent show at Good Shepherd School where she played the piano and sang Elton John’s Can You Feel Love Tonight.

Her talent led to her singing O Canada at Holy Trinity Academy, participating in the Calgary Stampede’s youth talent show and studying jazz at Carleton University in Ottawa.

“I love all kinds of music, but jazz has always been something I’ve loved,” she said.

Doty began writing for Gold last summer, which features 11 songs - one about her father called Lullaby and another a tribute to legendary jazz musician Nat King Cole.

“Whether it’s about my personal experience or something I want to share with people, I always want people to connect with my music both lyrically and the songs themselves,” she said. “Some people find music really comforting or soothing or they can relate to the story or lyrics. That gives them hope or strength.”

To purchase tickets to attend Doty’s CD release party at the Ironwood Stage and Grill in Calgary on May 29 at 7:30 go to

Gold is available on iTunes and as of May 29.