Baby She's Gone : Jack Scott© JCMarion 2008


Giovanni Scafone Jr. was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada , on January 28, 1936. Soon after the end of World War II the family moved to Hazel Park, Michigan, across the Detroit River and a bit north of the center of the Motor City. Young Scafone was intrigued by the sound of Hank Williams and soon took to emulating the country singer. By the time of his teenaged years he was part of a small band called The Southern Drifters, perhaps influenced by one of Williams alter egos "Luke The Drifter". In any event the young singer/guitarist now known as Jack Scott soon had their first recorded effort with the songs "You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar" and "Baby She's Gone" released by ABC Paramount on # 9818 during the spring of 1957. The group followed that up with "Two Timin' Woman" and "I Need Your Love" on # 9860 released late in the year. Neither side did much of anything as far as sales or airplay were concerned. One good thing came out of Scott's short time at ABC Paramount-meeting up with record producer Joe Carlton.

By mid 1958 Carlton had moved on and founded his own independent label named Carlton Records. He brought Scott along with him and also his backing vocal group The Chantones consisting of Jim Nantais, Jack Grenier, Larry Desjarlais, and Roy Lesperance. The quartet, also from Windsor, Ontario, was originally known as The Teen Tones and had been vocalizing for about four years when they joined Scott. The first two tunes recorded by Jack Scott and The Chantones were "My True Love" and "Leroy". Carlton purchased the masters from Brill Records a small Detroit label for less than five thousand dollars. Almost immediately "Leroy", a straight ahead rocker was favored by radio djs and went into the top twenty five best sellers in the country. However as the summer of 1958 wore on, the ballad side "My True Love" began to take hold in a big way. The record on Carlton # 462 began to sell in all sections of the country. The dramatic ballad with its doo wop feel and short spoken recitation on the bridge of the song made it a huge favorite with record buyers and propelled it into the number three position on the pop music best sellers list. It also became a million seller for Scott and Carlton. During the promotion push for the record Jack Scott appears on the Alan Freed television show in New York, which is soon set for syndication nation wide. In late August Scott signs on for an appearance with Dick Clark at the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis, and then back with Alan Freed for his Labor Day week show at the Brooklyn Fox Theater in New York. In October Scott will be part of a huge national touring show promoted by Irving Felt and GAC. That same month "With Your Love" is released by Carlton on # 483. Another rocker "Geraldine" is on the flip side. The ballad side is a sequel to "My True Love" and is in the same style. However this time around the sales and airplay are not as widespread, as it tops out at number twenty eight nationally. Right around Christmas time, Scott and The Chantones change up a bit as they record "Goodbye Baby Bye Bye" and "Save My Soul" which is paired on Carlton # 495. "Goodbye" is a medium tempo tune with a hypnotic sound that hits on all cylinders and becomes a huge national hit record. Getting deep into the top ten best sellers, this record remains on the charts for an impressive three and a half months, well into the following year.

In March of 1959 a big BMI awards show at the Hotel Pierre in New York features Scott and up and coming Detroit music executive Berry Gordy Jr. picking up an award for Jackie Wilson's "To Be Loved". That month "Bella" and "I Never Felt Like This" on Carlton # 504 is released. This time Scott's recording gets lost in the shuffle and does not do well in sales or airplay. Jack Scott spends part of the year in military srvice and receives an early discharge for medical reasons. A few months later his label tries again with "The Way I Walk" and "Midgie" released on Carlton # 514. "Walk" does well in Detroit and other areas of the Midwest but does not catch fire nationally. However it does chart for four weeks getting into the mid thirties on the hit charts. In September "Baby Marie" and "There Comes A Time" is out on Carlton # 519. Again the record's impact is negligible, and Scott makes a career changing move, leaving Carlton Records and going with Top Rank International, an American branch of London, England based Top Rank Ltd. In late October Jack Scott appears with radio dj Scott Muni at a big CYO Benefit show at the New York Colisseum.

At the end of the year of 1959, Scott had his first recording for Top Rank released - "What In The World's Come Over You" backed with "Baby Baby" on # 2028. The brooding 'A' side was what fans were looking for and it became a huge hit all across the country and Jack Scott was back in the game. "What In The World" was a solid top ten seller getting up to number five on the national charts and remaining a top seller for three months. Three and a half months later, Scott hit again with "Burning Bridges" and "Oh Little One" on Top Rank # 2041. Another three month stay on the best seller charts for "Bridges" which also topped out at number three in the country matching his best position ever. Adding to the success of the record was the fact that the flip side "Oh Little One" made the top forty on its own (topped out at number 35). This turned out to be the most successful Scott recording ever.

During the summer of 1960 "It Only Happened Yesterday" and "Cool Water" was released by Top Rank on # 2055. The 'A' side got briefly into the top forty charts peaking at number thirty eight. This would be the last chart appearance for Jack Scott. During the year two records were released on the Guaranteed label (also owned by Joe Carlton) - "What Am I Living For?" and "Indiana Waltz" on # 209, and the wonderfully titled "Go Wild Little Sadie" and "No One Will Ever Know" on # 211 both of which were from earlier sessions while with Carlton Records. In October of 1960 "Old Time Religion" and "Patsy" were paired on Top Rank # 2075. That was an unsuccessful side for Scott as was "Is There Something On Your Mind?" and "Found A Woman" on # 2093.

In 1961 Jack Scott again changed labels, this time going to American major Capitol Records based in Hollywood. Through 1961 Scott recorded for the label with little national acclaim. "Now That I Know" and "A Little Feeling" on Capitol # 4554, "My Dream Come True" and "Strange Desire" on # 4597, and "One Of These Days" and "Steps One And Two" on # 4637 were all released during the year. Four more records were put out by Capitol in 1962, again without much in the way of successful sales. "Grizzly Bear" and "Cry Cry Cry" on # 4689, "You Only See What You Wanna See" and "The Part Where I Cry" on # 4738, "Sad Story" and "I Can't Hold Your Letters" on # 4796, and "Green Green Valley" and "If Only" on 4855. In 1963 Capitol gave Scott two more single records - "Laugh And The World Laughs With You" and "Strangers" on # 4903, and "Me Oh My Oh" and "All I See Is Blue" on # 4955.

As Beatlemania struck the U.S. and the world, Jack Scott kept plugging along recording now for RCA Victor. His first five recordings for the company were released on its subsidiary label Groove Records. "There's Trouble Brewing" and "Jingle Bell Slide" on Groove # 0027, I Knew You First" and "Blue Skies" on # 9931, "Wiggle On Out" and "What A Wonderful Night Out" on # 0037, "I Prayed For An Angel" and "Thou Shalt Not Steal" (also recorded by Dick & Deedee) on # 0042, and in 1965 "Flakey John" and "Tall Tales" on # 0049. Later on in 1965 Scott was moved off the Groove label which was discontinued and placed on the main label RCA Victor. "I Don't Believe In Tea Leaves" and "Separation's Now Granted" on RCA # 47-8505. During 1966 there were two additional sides released by RCA Victor - "Looking For Linda" and "I Hope I Think I Wish" on 47-8685, and "Don't Hush The Laughter" and "Let's Learn To Live And Love" on # 47-8724. The rest of 1966 found Jack Scott returning to ABC Paramount Records after alm ost a decade for a one shot - "Before The Bird Flies" and "Insane" on ABC # 10843, and a similar shot with Jubilee with a version of Bobby Helms "My Special Angel" and "I Keep Changing My Mind" on # 5606.

Jack Scott was not heard from on record until the next decade. In 1970 a show was held at the fondly remembered New York Academy of Music on 14th Street in downtown Mahhattan. It was sponsored by a local publication Rock Magazine. It was mostly a salute to the R & B doowop groups of years past like the Ravens, Cleftones, and Harptones. Somewhat out of place was Jack Scott-that is until he started performing. After "Leroy" and "My True Love" got the crowd's approval, he launched into an elongated version of "Goodbye Baby Bye Bye" that had the big crows mesmerized. Like most in the audience, I was there to relive the sound of the harmonious vocal groups. But the performance that Scott gave that night was really a revelation and in its way quite impressive. Perhaps that gave Scott the impetus to return to the recording studio. The rest of the decade he recorded for various (mostly independent) labels such as Dot, Ponie, Gusto, Panorama, and some live recordings in the late seventies by Canadian label Underground Records.

Scott continued to make sporadic performances in Canada and Europe where he is held in high regard. He had recorded a number of albums, some "greatest hits" types and a tribute to Hank Williams. Available cds by Jack Scott today are : "Greatest Hits" on Curb from 2004 with 15 tracks and "The Very Best Of . . ." a 2000 release from Collectables with 25 tracks cover all the essential hits. More specialized are "Jack Rocks" for Bear Family from 2006 with 26 tracks of all up tempo tunes, and "The Ballads Of . . . " with 25 tracks of all ballad tunes for Bear Family in 2007. A wider range is on "Baby She's Gone" on Castle (UK) with 49 tracks or the completist oriented "Classic Scott" from Germany's Bear Family with 140 tracks on five discs from 1994. From England's Beat Goes On (BGO) are a couple of two-fers of original LPs paired up on a cd. "I Remember Hank Williams / "What In The World" from 2002, and "The Spirit Moves Me" / "Burning Bridges" from 2004. One last cd is called "The Way I Walk" from Rollercoaster (UK) containing all the Carlton label recordings.

Jack Scott was a unique performer with a style all his own. He was one of the few that was a shining light of superior music in that dreadful period that we call 40 Miles Of Bad Road.

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