Jimmy Scott (James Victor Scott)
BiographyCleveland, Ohio, USA
Often called "Little Jimmy Scott", he was one of ten siblings born to Arthur and Justine Scott. All ten sang in church with their musician mother. Both Jimmy and his brother Kenny suddenly stopped growing while in their early teens. It was later discovered that they both suffered from a rare and inherited condition known as Kallmann's Syndrome which causes hormone imbalances that render its sufferers into a perpetual state of pre-puberty. Because Scott refused treatment out of fear that he might damage his voice, he has remained a vocalist widely known for his boyish soprano. Read more... "I Wish I Knew" in 1949, a song he later re-recorded with Jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. Later he recorded and performed with the Paul Gayten Band. By 1963 he recorded a critically acclaimed album called "Falling in Love is Wonderful" produced by the legendary Ray Charles. Unfortunately, the album was pulled from record store shelves and radio stations due to a contractual obligation to Savoy Records, his former label. The litigation claimed Scott was legally bound to record exclusively for Savoy Records. Subsequently, his career suffered and for several years he did not perform at all, making a living working in a shipping room at a Cleveland Sheraton Hotel. It would not be until 1971 when he would enjoy a return to the music scene with the album "All the Way" for Sire Records. Seymour Stein of Sire had the good fortune of hearing Scott's emotion-filled vocals at a funeral for Doc Pomus, a man that had severely and publicly criticized record companies that mismanaged Scott's career. Stein signed Scott to a long-term recording contract immediately. As a vocalist, Scott is noted for an androgynous voice, impeccable phrasing, and unbelievably slow and emotional tempos that have influenced recording artists as diverse as Frankie Valli, Mikki Howard, and Nancy Wilson. (One listen to "Little Jimmy" and you'll understand where Nancy Wilson gets much of her unique phrasing.) While his voice today has lost some of its original luster due to the ravages of time and age, he is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity that all who hear him agree is long overdue. All would additionally agree that his decision to forego treatment for Kallmann's Syndrome was a blessing for us all.