Two weeks ago we lost one of the most admired vocalists in jazz, “Little” Jimmy Scott passed away June 12th in Las Vegas at the age of 88. Scott was a favorite of beboppers like Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker and adored by vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles just to name a few.
“As singers, we all deal in pain,” said Ray Charles. “We’re all trying to push the pain through the music and make it sound pretty. Jimmy Scott has more pain and prettiness in his voice than any singer anywhere”.
Ray loved his singing so much that he signed Scott to his Tangerine label and in 1963 released the brilliant lp, Falling In Love is Wonderful which is now considered one of the best vocal jazz albums of all time.
“Ray advanced me $2,500,” says Jimmy. “which was ten times more that I was getting from Savoy. He hired the best arrangers in Hollywood – Gerald Wilson and Marty Paich – and let me pick out the ten love songs I thought best suited my voice. Ray played piano behind me on every track.”
This week we bring you one of the cuts from the album, Scott’s rendition of the classic Cy Coleman/Joe McCarthy ballad, “Why Try To Change Me Now”. Prettiness through pain indeed, here’s to you Jimmy!
Contact & Licensing Info
Written by Cy Coleman & Joseph A. McCarthy. Published by Notable Music Co. Inc (ASCAP) contact: Damon Booth firstname.lastname@example.org, Administered by Downtown Music Publishing contact: email@example.com and Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP). Master controlled by Ray Charles Enterprises.