Artist Details

Little Jimmy Scott

Singer Jimmy Scott (aka Little Jimmy Scott) had an unusual career conditioned by his physical limitations and record company machinations that sometimes prevented him from being heard, but he mounted a major comeback late in life. He was born one of ten children to Arthur and Justine Scott in Cleveland, OH, on July 17, 1925, and he first sang in church. His mother was killed in a car accident when he was 13, leaving him to be raised by foster parents. He suffered from a rare hereditary condition called Kallmann's Syndrome that prevented him from experiencing puberty, such that he stopped growing when he was less than five feet tall and his voice never changed from a boy soprano's. He began singing professionally during the 1940s, touring in tent shows. In 1948, he joined Lionel Hampton's band, and he made his recording debut in with Hampton for Decca Records in January 1950. One of the songs from those sessions, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," entered the R&B charts in October 1950 and became a Top Ten hit. Scott left Hampton in 1951 and went solo. An appearance with Paul Gayten's band at Rip's Playhouse in New Orleans that year was recorded by Regal Records, but went unissued for 40 years until Specialty Records released it in 1991 as Regal Records Live in New Orleans From 1951 to 1955, Scott recorded singles for Royal Roost, Coral, and Roost Records. Then, in 1955, he moved to Savoy Records, which issued his first LP, Very Truly Yours, that year. In 1957, he switched to King Records for a series of singles, but in 1959 he returned to Savoy, which issued his second LP, The Fabulous Little Jimmy Scott, in 1960. In 1962, he signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine label and recorded his third album, Falling in Love Is Wonderful, but it had to be withdrawn shortly after its release when Savoy claimed he was still under contract there. This debacle led Scott to leave the music business (he eventually took a job as a shipping clerk at the Sheraton Hotel in Cleveland). In 1969, he recorded his fourth album, The Source, for Atlantic Records, and in 1975, he returned to Savoy for his fifth LP, Can't We Begin Again. But neither effort achieved commercial success, and he continued to work outside music.