KCRW DJ Jason Kramer:
Little Jimmy Scott. He was heading into the studio, just before going on air.
He stopped, introduced himself and had a few words with me. I was frozen.
This is a man who I have admired for years. One of the most beautiful jazz vocalists I have
ever heard and he is now standing in front of me. Picture those images of the girls screaming when the Beatles arrived in the US for the first time before the Ed Sullivan show- that is how I felt.
That night I was able to see Jimmy Scott play at the House Of Blues. Wow..what a show.. Fast forward to a few years ago when I was asked to introduce a few bands at the Echoplex. I looked down the list and boom!…there it is! Little Jimmy Scott.
That night again was magic.. I felt like the first 10 minutes of my Bar Mitzvah. I had a
crackling voice and these lights blaring in my eyes as I introduced a legend.
On July 17 this year, Jimmy turned 86 years old. He has worked with such giants as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Fats Navarro, Quincy Jones, Bud Powell and Ray Charles, but also with David Byrne, Lou Reed, Flea, Michael Stipe, and Antony & The Johnsons.
Jimmy Scott performed at bothPresident Dwight Eisenhower’s (1953) and President Bill Clinton’s
(1993) inaugurations where he sang the same song — “Why Was I Born.”
Needless to say there are reasons why he has received National Endowment of the Arts jazz masters Award as well as the Kennedy living legend award. With no new recordings in years, he still packs the houses across the world. Jimmy Scott is what every music collector should have on their wall.
Please come join me, KCRW DJ Jason Kramer, as we celebrate his birthday on stage at the Echoplex this FRIDAY July 22. This is a night you will not forget…I mean it.