Freddie Scott (April 24, 1933 - June 4, 2007) was an R&B/soul/pop singer and songwriter with a powerful and impassioned vocal style who became famous during the 1960s. He is best remembered for "Hey, Girl" (1963) and "Are You Lonely For Me" (1966).
Born in Providence, Rhode Island into a musical family, Scott began singing in his grandmother's gospel group, Sally Jones & The Gospel Keyes, and was touring with them by age 12. He studied medicine at the University of Rhode Island and then at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. While in Georgia, he sang with the Swanee Quintet Juniors and eventually left his medical career to pursue music full time. He began recording with J&S in 1956 and released his first single that year, "Running Home." He also began writing songs for other artists that included "Baby I'm Sorry" which was recorded by Ricky Nelson for his 1957 debut album, "Ricky." Soon after, Scott was called up for military duty where he worked mainly in Special Services and also served in Korea. Throughout his military stint and for the remainder of the 1950s, he recorded for several other small labels before joining the Aldon Music publishing company set up by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner in the Brill Building where he worked as a songwriter with Helen Miller. Among the many songs Scott and Miller co-wrote are "The Door Is Open" which became a hit for Tommy Hunt in 1962.
Scott made his debut in 1961 on the Pop/Rock charts with the ballad, "Lost The Right," which became a minor hit. He hit his stride as a performing artist in 1963 with the Gerry Goffin/Carole King-penned "Hey, Girl" which became a Top 10 hit on both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts. Scott was approached by Goffin and King for help putting together a lead vocal for this song which was originally intended for Chuck Jackson. Scott reworked the song into a bittersweet pop ballad and cut a demo in Jackson's place when he was unable to make the scheduled recording session. "Hey, Girl" was followed by "Where Does Love Go" (1964) and a slow version of the 1954 Ray Charles hit, "I Got A Woman" (1963). Scott had his most spectacular success with the Bert Berns-penned "Are You Lonely For Me." Released in December 1966, this song topped the R&B charts and became a Top 40 hit on the Pop/Rock charts the following year. Scott's hits, which continued through 1970 on both charts, also included his cover of the Berns-penned R&B standard, "Cry To Me" (1967), "Am I Grooving You" (1967), Van Morrison's "He Ain't Give You None" (1967), "(You) Got What I Need" (1968), and Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" (1970).
Scott also wrote commercial jingles, appeared in "Stiletto" (1969) and other movies, and continued working with his longtime songwriting partner, Helen Miller. He released a new album in 2001, "Brand New Man," and performed "Brown Eyed Girl" on the Van Morrison tribute album, "Vanthology" (2003). He was inducted posthumously into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
- Freddie Scott discusses his music and career in an interview by Soul Express (February, 1998).
- The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame remembers Freddie Scott.
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