Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
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he signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine label and recorded his third album, Falling in Love Is Wonderful, but it had to be withdrawn shortly after its release when Savoy claimed he was still under contract there.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.
Scott began performing in clubs again in 1985. In 1990, backed by the Jazz Expressions, he returned to the recording studio for J's Way Records. One of his long-time supporters was songwriter Doc Pomus, and when Pomus died on March 14, 1991, the by-now 65-year-old Scott sang at his funeral. The performance was heard by Seymour Stein, the head of Warner Bros. Records-distributed label Sire Records, who signed Scott to a contract. This led to a major comeback. In June 1991, Scott (billed as James V. Scott) appeared in an episode of director David Lynch's off-beat television series Twin Peaks. (Scott later appeared in the films Scotch and Milk  and Chelsea Walls .) He sang on Lou Reed's Sire album Magic and Loss, released in January 1992. His own new album All the Way (the first on which he was billed simply as Jimmy Scott) was released by Sire/Blue Horizon/Warner Bros. later in 1992 and reached number four on Billboard's jazz album chart, also earning a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. The same year, he sang on the soundtracks for the films Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Glengarry Glen Ross. In 1993, Rhino Records delved into the Atlantic Records archives to assemble Lost and Found, containing some unreleased material from sessions in 1972; the album reached number 14 in the jazz charts. Scott's next album of new material, Dream, was released by Sire/Blue Horizon/Warner Bros. in 1994 and reached number eight in the jazz charts. Heaven, an album of gospel and spiritual songs, appeared in 1996 and reached number 19 in the jazz charts. That concluded Scott's Warner Bros..contract, but he recorded Holding Back the Years, for the Artists Only! label in 1998, and it reached number 14 in the jazz charts. In 2000, he moved to Milestone Records, and Mood Indigo reached number 17 in the jazz charts. Despite passing his 75th birthday, he continued to record frequently, releasing Over the Rainbow in 2001, But Beautiful in 2002, and Moon Glow in 2003. All of Me: Live in Tokyo appeared in 2004. Savoy Jazz issued All or Nothing at All in 2005.
Jimmy Scott (born July 17, 1925, also known as "Little" Jimmy Scott) is an American jazz vocalist famous for his unusually high contralto voice, which is due to Kallmann's syndrome, a very rare genetic condition. The condition stunted his growth at four feet eleven inches until, at age 37, he grew another 8 inches to the height of five feet seven inches. The condition prevented him from reaching puberty, leaving him with a high, undeveloped voice, hence his nickname "Little" Jimmy Scott.
Early life and career 
Scott was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Authur and Justine Stanard Scott, the third in a family of ten. As a child Jimmy got his first singing experience by his mother's side at the family piano, and later, in church choir. At thirteen, he was orphaned when his mother was killed by a drunk driver.
He first rose to national prominence as "Little Jimmy Scott" in the Lionel Hampton Band when he sang lead on the late 1940s hit "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", recorded in December 1949, and which became a top ten R&B hit in 1950. Credit on the label, however, went to "Lionel Hampton and vocalists", so the singer's name did not appear on any of the songs. This omission of credit was not only a slight to Scott's talent but a big blow to his career. A similar professional insult occurred several years later when his vocal on "Embraceable You" with Charlie Parker, on the album One Night in Birdland, was credited to female vocalist Chubby Newsome.
Lionel Hampton gave him the stage name of "Little Jimmy Scott" because he looked so young, and was short and of slight build. However, it was his extraordinary phrasing and romantic feeling that made him a favorite singer of fellow artists such as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson.
In 1963, it looked as though Scott's luck had changed for the good. He was signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine Records label, under the supervision of Charles himself, creating what is considered by many to be one of the great jazz vocal albums of all time, Falling in Love is Wonderful.
Owing to obligations on a contract that Scott had signed earlier with Herman Lubinsky, the record was yanked from the shelves in a matter of days, while Jimmy was honeymooning. Forty years later this cult album became available to the public again. Scott disputes the "lifetime" contract; Lubinsky loaned Jimmy out to Syd Nathan at King Records for 45 recordings in 1957–58. Another album, The Source (1969), was not released until 2001.
Scott's career faded by the late 1960s and he returned to his native Cleveland to work as a hospital orderly, shipping clerk and as an elevator operator in a hotel.
Comeback and later work 
Scott eventually resurfaced in 1991 when he sang at the funeral of his long-time friend Doc Pomus, an event that single-handedly sparked his career renaissance. Afterwards Lou Reed recruited him to sing back-up on the track "Power and Glory" from his 1992 album Magic and Loss, which was inspired, to an extent, by Pomus's death. Scott was seen on the series finale of David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks, singing "Sycamore Trees", a song with lyrics by Lynch and music by Angelo Badalamenti. Scott was featured on the soundtrack of the follow-up film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
Also in attendance at Pomus's funeral was Seymour Stein, founder and operator of Sire Records, who released Scott's 1992 album All The Way, produced by Tommy Lipuma and featuring artists such as Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and David "Fathead" Newman. Scott was nominated for a Grammy Award for this album.
He followed this up with the album Dream in 1994 and the jazz-gospel album Heaven in 1996.
His next work, a critically acclaimed album of pop and rock interpretations entitled Holding Back The Years was produced by Gerry McCarthy and Dale Ashley. Released in the US on Artists Only Records in October of 1998, it peaked at #14 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. In Japan, it won the prestigious Swing Journal Award for Best Jazz Album Of The Year (2000). The title track marked the first time in his career that Scott overdubbed his own harmony vocal tracks. Holding Back The Years features cover art by Mark Kostabi, liner notes by Lou Reed, and includes critically acclaimed versions of "Nothing Compares 2 U" written by Prince, "Jealous Guy" written by John Lennon, "Almost Blue" written by Elvis Costello and "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
In 1999, Scott's early recordings on the Decca label were re-released on CD, as were all of his recordings with the Savoy Label between 1952 and 1975 in a three-disc box set. In 2000, Scott signed to the Milestone jazz label, and recorded four critically acclaimed albums, each produced by Todd Barkan, and featuring a variety of jazz artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Renee Rosnes, Bob Kindred, Eric Alexander, Lew Soloff, George Mraz, Lewis Nash, as well as Jimmy's own touring and recording band "The Jazz Expressions". He also released two live albums, both recorded in Japan, featuring the Jazz Expressions.
For some years a new album entitled I Remember You has been mentioned via various official channels, including Jimmy's official website; however, any solid news on the album's release date is yet to be revealed.
Scott's career has spanned sixty-five years. He has performed with Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Fats Navarro, Quincy Jones, Bud Powell, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis, and Peter Cincotti. He has also performed with a host of musicians from other genres of music, such as David Byrne, Lou Reed, Flea, Michael Stipe, and Antony & The Johnsons. Scott performed at President Dwight Eisenhower's (1953) and President Bill Clinton's (1993) inaugurations, where he sang the same song, "Why Was I Born?". Most recently Scott has appeared in live performances with Pink Martini, and continues to perform internationally at music festivals and at his own concerts.
In 2007, Scott received the 2007 NEA Jazz Master Award. Scott also received the Kennedy Center's "Jazz In Our Time" Living Legend Award, and N.A.B.O.B.'s Pioneer Award in 2007. In September 2008 he did a "two-day video interview" at his Vegas home with the "Smithsonian Institute for the National Archives". Scott and his wife Jeanie have been living in Las Vegas, Nevada since 2007, after living in Euclid, Ohio, for 10 years.
Little Jimmy Scott's "If I Ever Lost You" can be heard in the opening credits of the HBO movie Lackawanna Blues. He was also mentioned on The Cosby Show, when Clair and Cliff Huxtable bet on the year in which "An Evening In Paradise" was recorded.