Jimmy Scott, the jazz singer, who entertained the world for decades with his gentle voice and romantic phrasing and composition, died this week at the age of 88. According to Scott’s biographer, David Ritz, via the Washington Post, Scott died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.

Jimmy Scott
Despite limited comercial success, "Little" Jimmy Scott left a distinct mark on jazz music.


James Victor Scott, born on July 17, 1925, managed to carve out his success out of a his unfortunate genetic condition and difficult situation. One of ten children, born to Arthur and Justine Scott in Cleveland, Ohio, Jimmy shared a rare hormonal deficiency called Kallmann’s Syndrome with his brother Kenny. The condition caused them both to remain in a state of physical pre-adolescence. Scott owed the unique pitch of his voice to the condition.

With the trademark sensitivity of his songs, Jimmy managed to turn his voice into a remarkable musical instrument, the driving force behind his successful career. He got his first taste of fame in the distant 1949, when Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra but it wasn’t until January 1950 that Jimmy and the Hampton band recorded Scott’s one and only hit, Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool.

More: Jazz Great Jimmy Scott Dead At 88

Listen to Jimmy Scott's Holding Back The Years below.


His career went up and down from there, but he remained one of the greats of 20th century jazz music, on par with talents like Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. Since 2007, Scott had been based in Las Vegas for health reasons