Jack Scott (January 24, 1936 - December 12, 2019) was a highly acclaimed and versatile Canadian-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist who became famous during the late 1950s and early 1960s. He first made his mark in rockabilly and early rock and roll, and over his long career, he has also covered country, gospel, and pop/rock. He has two distinctive performance styles depending on the song: one as a swaggering, tough guy rocker, and the other as a country crooner.
Born Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, he moved with his family in 1946 to Hazel Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He learned to play the guitar as a child and began to pursue a music career in his teens, changing his name to Jack Scott. At 18, he formed a band known as The Southern Drifters, and in 1957, he landed his first recording contract with ABC-Paramount, later moving to Carlton. His career got off to a running start the following year when he scored the first in what would be a long string of top hits through 1961. Over a 41-month period beginning in June 1958, Scott scored an impressive 19 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, making him one of the top recording artists at that time.
Scott made his debut on the Pop/Rock charts in 1957 with "Baby, She's Gone," which became a minor hit. His fame took off the following year with the double-sided self-penned hit, "My True Love/Leroy," with "My True Love" topping out at #3 and "Leroy" reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. This smash, which became Scott's first gold record, was followed by a long string of hits, most of which he also wrote, that included "With Your Love" (1958), "Goodbye Baby" (1958), "The Way I Walk" (1959), and "What In The World's Come Over You" (1960), the latter of which also went gold. Scott's long string of hits, which continued through 1964, also included the Walter Scott-penned country ballad, "Burning Bridges" (1960, not to be confused with the same-titled 1971 hit by the Mike Curb Congregation), "Oh, Little One" (1960), "It Only Happened Yesterday" (1960), "Patsy" (1960), "Steps 1 And 2" (1961), and "Blue Skies (Moving In On Me)" (1964). Scott continued to record and perform throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he had a hit on the Country charts in 1974 with "You're Just Gettin' Better."
Jack Scott's many honors and accolades include being inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He released his final album in 2015, "Way To Survive."
- For more information about Jack Scott's career and life, visit rockabillyhall.com.
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