|By M.McLeanTech (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 04:56 pm:|
A week ago, I had never heard of Jimmy Scott. In other words, last week I couldn't even spell "Jimmy Scott Fan." Now I are one.
Last January, Bobby Eli ("Phillysoulman") introduced me to Annie, my dear sweetheart. We have fallen totally in love, and are going to get married and move to a beautiful new home in North Carolina. She has flown out to spend a month with me, and I picked her up at Los Angeles International Airport last Monday.
We had hardly arrived at my home when I discovered an email from Bobby Eli. Bobby and his sweetheart Vonnie very strongly urged us to attend a concert by some fellow that I had never heard of, at a place that sounded like it might be on Skid Row, in downtown Los Angeles. My first reaction was: "Oh Hell! Here we are all tired out, and now we have to drive down and park on a street where my truck will have all the windows busted out, so we can see some funky blues act in some dump!"
I went into a blue funk about the matter for a couple of days, and then Bobby and Vonnie called us on the telephone. They came on strong about how colossal an evening this promised to be, and wanted to know if we were going to attend. I started whining about how I had new tires, and I didn't want them slashed. Vonnie started coming unglued and passionately urged us to reconsider. She added that she had made arrangements for us to meet Jimmy Scott and his wife Jeanie backstage, after the concert. My Annie knows Jeanie too, and so this setup was a natural. I thought: "Oh Brother! I suppose that we will have to step out into the alley to conduct this meeting."
At any rate, I promised Vonnie that I would look up the address and make an evaluation of the location on an objective basis. Further, I would look into this "Jimmy Scott" and see if I could get an idea of his stature.
I discovered that the concert was being held at a very elegant place:
THE WATER STAGE
350 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 687-2159 (concert line)
This is a fantastic setting on the plaza at the base of three magnificent skyscrapers, with a beautiful pond in front of the stage, and gorgeous computer controlled water fountains behind the stage. All in the open night air, with first rate theatre lighting. The sound system is provided by the California Plaza, and was absolutely superb! I have never heard any public musical performance, ever in my life, with such fine quality sound. I was astounded by the total lack of flaws.
Most important of all, admission is free. This helped offset the kick in the teeth of the eight-dollar fee for parking right in the basement of the plaza. We only had to walk about fifty feet from my truck to the elevator, and about two hundred feet from the elevator to our seats.
I decided that I had formed a false impression about the location for the concert.
Next I looked up the artist, Jimmy Scott. It only took me about five minutes of reading to learn that he is a legendary icon in his field. It looked like there was a good chance that the music might be enjoyable.
I felt trapped by Bobby and Vonnie anyway, because they would have been embarrassed if we did not show up backstage, after the meeting had been set up. There was no way that I would do that to them, after they flooded my life with infinite happiness by introducing me to darling Annie.
With great reluctance, I decided that we would attend the concert.
Annie did a beautiful job of doing her hair herself, and I finally found a polo shirt with no holes in it. At last we were ready to take off for downtown in the truck, on which I had just installed a new set of Bilstein premium quality gas charged shock absorbers. Oh, Baby! Does it handle beautifully now!
Traffic was moderate, and we breezed downtown in just a few minutes. We pulled right into the parking garage right under the plaza, and found a space, right next to the elevator, in no time. The elevator car was waiting, and it whisked us up to the plaza level. We strolled over and found two excellent seats with no difficulty. Very nice people who were lifetime fans of Jimmy Scott surrounded us. The overall atmosphere was relaxed, gracious and elegant. The evening air was at an ideal temperature, and the moon was almost full. Just a few steps away was a Starbucks Coffee Shop, where I purchased a wonderful espresso coffee to share with Annie. The aroma of the coffee was heavenly.
The concert opened with a number by THE JAZZ EXPRESSIONS, who consist of:
Drums: Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax
Bass: Hilliard Green
Piano: Jon Regan
Tenor Sax, Flute: T.K. Blue
At once we were thrilled by the wonderful performance by the group. The audience kept bursting into applause, and the sound quality was fantastic. This was truly a first rate musical extravaganza. By the time the number concluded, I was hooked!
Then they welcomed Jimmy Scott to the stage. Dressed in an elegant black suit, this short, thin, elderly, and very appealing fellow limped onto the stage with a warm smile that made us feel at ease. The audience went wild with a standing ovation. I was astounded to discover how elegant, in reality, the "funky blues act” that I had imagined, turned out to be.
After listening to the many beautiful classic songs that Jimmy performed, with wonderful backup from his combo, we felt that he is a unique, heart-warming, soulful entertainer from the "old school." He sang with great emotion and feeling, and a unique style of his own. The songs chosen by Jimmy were all old-fashioned, romantic, and heart-warming in character. This, combined with the unique Jimmy Scott style, resulted in a powerful, uplifting, and heavenly effect.
After the concert we went backstage and met Jimmy and Jeanie. They were very warm, and we got a picture of the four of us. Annie gave Jeanie a picture of Bobby Eli and Vonnie. When the film is developed, we will put the picture up on the forum.
The dressing rooms are along a hall, which has on the opposite side all the dozens of fancy electrically controlled water valves that control the fountain show behind the stage. Fancy wiring and copper pipe plumbing combine to produce a most impressive panorama of high technology complexity.
We were overjoyed by the concert, and went home in a very romantic mood, to say the least! Annie and I feel strongly that any chance to attend a Jimmy Scott concert is a special privilege, and that enjoyment is guaranteed.
Mike McLean and Annie
|By SisDetroit (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:07 pm:|
CONGRATULATIONS MIKE on your pending marriage. I am happy for you. Sounds like you had a Jimmy Scott awakening.
|By David Meikle (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:18 pm:|
Congrats too, Mike and Annie.
You are both real characters in every sense of the word.
Thanks for a real nice story too about Jimmy Scott.
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:59 pm:|
GEEZ MIKE!!!!...YOU'RE DESCRIPTION OF THE EVENING ALMOST SOUNDS LIKE THE INTRO TO "DRAGNET"...BUT I'M JUST A LITTLE JEALOUS...BECAUSE...DUE TO WORK OBLIGATIONS...I COULDN'T ATTEND THE CONCERT...BUT HOPEFULLY...NEXT TIME!!!...BY THE WAY MIKE...LUNCH???????????...........STUBASS
|By Ralph (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:46 pm:|
I received a very nice phone call from Jeanie inviting me to the concert. Unfortunately I'm 300 miles fom L.A. and was unable to attend. Thanks anyway Jeanie and thank you Mike for the great report of this event.
|By Vonnie (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 10:17 pm:|
Mike and Annie,
I am so glad that you enjoyed the show, I knew you would. Jimmy is a living legend and Bobby and I dearly love him and Jeanie. The Jazz Expressions are top notch and Jimmy's voice is even better as he ages.
I'm sorry that Stubass and Ralph could not make it to the show, but we do have Jeanie and Jimmy as part of the Soulfuldetroit family.
Bobby and I are planning on spending a week with Jimmy and Jeanie the end of this month. It will be a working vacation for Bobby and a time for Jeanie and I to get our picture collection together. Hopefully we can post some of our pictures on the forum for all to see.
|By Lonnie Cook (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 06:45 am:|
Do you know why Jimmy has dropped the Little from his public persona? Whatever the reason it may well mean that he will fail to get some of the attention that he truly deserves. In my case I had heard that he was deceased and paid no attention to the Jimmy Scott posting, as a result. Had it read Little Jimmy Scott I would have known that the rumor was false, it was the one and only, and I would have been there.
There is another singer with the same name and he has the url: http://www.jimmyscott.com/
Did you guys ever hear about how Jimmy is said to have been the primary influenece on Nancy Wilson?If you have a 45 by her, play it at 33&1/3 rpm and you'll hear Jimmy from years gone by. I would love to know if he was aware of this. I once played a 45 on the air at 33&1/3 and received a lot of calls asking when he recorded that song.
|By M.McLeanTech (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 12:06 pm:|
I lost your contact information. Do you have mine? If so, please contact me to set up lunch.
You should be jealous. You missed a great event!
It sounded like "Dragnet" because I was so negative about the prospects for the concert that they almost had to drag me there in a net. How wrong I was!
|By Vonnie (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 01:41 pm:|
When Jeanie and Jimmy get back I will have them post the reason he dropped Little from his name.
But I can tell you that he has not lost recognition, his recognition is much greater today than it was years ago. Jimmy has a fan base of young kids that just adore him. Mike McLean told me that he sat next to a young man of 30 who was a big Jimmy Scott fan. I know for a fact that the shows that I have attended have had fans ranging in age from early teens to seniors, who love Jimmy's music. Jimmy appeared at the Zanzibar Blue Club in Philly and I spoke with a young guy who told me he was twenty-two, and he had never heard of Jimmy before seeing him perform there. This young man worked at the club and told me he never stayed after work, but when he heard Jimmy sing, he was compelled to stay. He heard Jimmy sing "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"(original hit of Elton John)and he was hooked. He brought a friend of his another young twenty something to hear Jimmy and he also is now an avid Jimmy Scott fan.
Jimmy has a unique style of phrasing that I can only explain as singing behind the beat. Jimmy knows that he influenced the singing style of Nancy Wilson. Nancy herself has told Jimmy that his singing was her model. Madonna also has been influenced by Jimmy's singing,she said "he is the only man that has ever made her cry".
As for Jimmy receiving attention, he is more renowned now than he ever was. He and Jeanie just returned from Japan, where he is an icon. All of his shows are sold out and they clamored for more. In Italy his fans can't get enough of his singing. He is recording and touring all the time here in the states. His book "Faith In Time", is a must read. Jimmy will appear in an issue of Vogue Magazine sometime soon, when I get the exact date I will post on the forum.
Jimmy Scott is a true legend and his stature has become even larger by his unique style and continued success.
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 02:11 pm:|
MIKE!!!...IT WAS COOL THOUGH...BROUGHT BACK ALL THOSE MEMORIES OF SGT JOE FRIDAY!!!...I'VE GOT A WEDDING IN THE FAMILY THIS WEEK...BUT NEXT WEEK SHOULD BE COOL!!!...CLICK ON MY HEADING FOR MY E-MAIL!!!...STU
|By Brother Love (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 02:11 pm:|
I have to say you truly discribed that night to a tee, I'm the guy who spoke to you backstage.
I heard about the concert at the very last minute and I was so glad that I attended the show.
I've seen Jimmy countlest times and this night was extra special with the great sound and beautiful surroundings. I had just spent the day with singer Nnenna Freelon and had just walked in the door from having dinner with her when I was told about the concert, so talk about a day of Jazz. It was so good to see Jimmy again he is always so kind and personal. The last time I saw him I had the pleasure of spending the day with him and David Ritz, it is a day I will always treasure. This time around I had him sign his autobiography which is something that really ment a lot to me.
Jimmy is truly a class act and there is no one that comes close to his unique style.
|By 65memories (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 03:12 pm:|
Hey, Mike. I'm jealous. As a Jimmy Scott fan, I wish I could have attended. Congrats to you and Annie on your upcoming marriage.
|By Vickie (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 03:21 pm:|
Hey Jeanie & Jimmy
I AM SOOOOOO SORRY I MISSED THIS SHOW!!
and more sorry i missed hooking up with you..I am swamped beyond swamped since I came back from Philly..
so please, please - when you are here in LA again..please be in touch
|By 1Wicked (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 03:21 pm:|
The show was everything Mr. McLean said it was...I cannot add another word, other than to say that it was my first time enjoying the Jimmy Scott experience...and I was amazed. And... wait....OMG...Mr. McLean....that was you and Annie ?? My friend and I were finding out about backstage access at the same time the two of you were....and I heard your name, but not realizing you lived locally...thought it was a coincidence. I'm quite sorry I missed out on shaking the hand of someone I genuinely respect AND co-stars of my favorite S-D love story. (BTW...the pics posted to her no justice...she's simply beautiful !)
|By Soul Sister Jeanie & Jimmy Scott (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 02:22 pm:|
Jimmy would like to thank everyone for their kind words and is happy everyone enjoyed his show.
We are back home a little tired, busy, and coping with the blackout in many ways!
Mike & Annie it was our pleasure to meet the two of you in person, so glad you could attend and come backstage. I found out there were people on my backstage list that didn't get in and others that were not on the list that did, I wasn't too pleased when I heard that! Glad you two made it back and we finally got to meet in person, as Bobby & Vonnie told me so much about you and your great love affair! I congradulate you both and wish you all the best. And YES, Jimmy's love songs can really put the romance in any relationship (smile)!!! You two make a lovely couple together, my friends Mike & the beautiful & wise Annie!!
We were really pleased with this venue, first time on the water stage, it was amazing, the light & water show that went on behind Jimmy and The Jazz Expressions while he crooned those emotional ballads, the atmosphere was just gorgeous.
We haven't located a house yet but still looking and hoping, the neighborhoods we liked were way too expensive. Yes, the prices of property in & around Hollywood area are thru the roof!
Vickie, wish we could have gotten together but perhaps next time out, same goes for Ralph & Stu.
1Wicked, It was great to see you, glad you enjoyed yourself, and made it backstage too!
Thanks everyone for your support of my Jimmy, after 60 years in the business its good too see him still being appreciated for his own uniqueness, he's tuly one of a kind.
|By Soul Sister Jeanie & Jimmy Scott (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 03:01 pm:|
RE: Little Jimmy Scott...The title "Little"was given to Jimmy by Lionel Hampton in 1949 as partly a gimmick, partly because of Jimmy's small stature & very young look at the time, when Jimmy was 23, he looked 13 due to Kallman's syndrome, he was only 4ft.11in. tall, so "Little" became his stage name until around 1962 at age 37 when he grew 8 inches taller and became a little more mature looking, he dropped "Little" because he was no longer little and was called simply Jimmy Scott,, until his re-emergence in 1985 when the media started to referring to him as "Legendary Jimmy Scott" as he's now known all over the world.
Yes, Jimmy & most people are aware of Nancy Wilson's style being paterned exclusively on Jimmy's phrasing & style. Even the arraingements she covered on the Jimmy songs she recorded are identical, Nancy herself has often stated publicly "Ïf it were not for Jimmy Scott there would be no Nancy Wilson, I owe everything Iam and have to this man's singing style." You see when Nancy was a child her father would bring home Jimmy Scott records and Nancy would go in her room, lock the door and listen to Jimmy's records and study his phrasing style.
There are countless of other name artists who have tried to patern themselves or took something of their idol's style for their own and have been at the right place at the right time and became a bigger name than Jimmy himself,, sadly he became known as a singer's singer, the one they wanted to sing and phrase like. Billie, for one said, he was her only favorite singer, to a New York Times reporter. I won't name everyone, the list is long, I have previously mentioned some without the stories in a past thread. Jimmy's take on all this, "Baby, If they got something out of it that helped move them foward, Iam happy for them and their success and glad I could be of help." I hope I've answered your question Lonnie, thanks for the inquiry. S.S.
BrotherLove, Please refresh my memory, did we meet? S.S.
Hi David M. and 65memories, good to hear from you too!! S.S.
I hope I didn't miss anyone?!S.S.
|By SB (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 04:51 pm:|
"Soul Sister - Soul Sister - Soul Sister - Soul Sister." Lady Marmalade Sister. I'm so glad you, Mr. Scott and all made it back safely across the Pacific Ocean SoulSister. God gets all the praise indeed.
|By paulie3shoes (220.127.116.11) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:17 pm:|
eh..its paulie(over here)
eh..i wuz dare but i had sumtin under my jacket wit a bulge dat triggerd da metal detecter, catch my drift an dey told me dat i cuddent cum in , capice
i only wanted to hear jimmy scott sing dat mudderless child t'ing cuz it makes me t'ik about my dear mudder, but i am on da witnes pertekshun peogram an ya never know who is on yer back so i hadda pertekt myself, capice??$%^&*(
|By Soul Sister (18.104.22.168) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:15 pm:|
Thanks for the welcome back, yes indeedy God gets all the praise, I am grateful for all the blessings he bestows. It's good to read your always interesting threads again! Good to be back tho' I miss the climate of L.A.
|By Soul Sister (22.214.171.124) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:35 pm:|
Please don't follow Bobby on the 27th., don't want feds or gangsters tagging along(he-he)! You can hear "Motherless Child" in N.Y. on Sept. 30th. thru Oct. 5th. at The Iridium, Broadway & 51st. Street. Capice?
|By Eli (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 11:04 pm:|
i got sum conexshuns in youngstown cuz dey got a lot of goombas dare, capice,???
dis guy ant'ney da fish pescatore, he got a coupla tings fell offa truk and den i gotta go an fix a fite, catch my drift???$%^&*(
|By Soul Sister (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 11:14 pm:|
Jimmy & I are sitting here having a good laugh off of your Youngstown thread, he lived there for the short time when he was in a foster home as a teenager and gets your drift! (he-he)!
|By paulie3shoes (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 11:24 pm:|
scusa..dat wuz supposta be frum paulie..i got carried away, catch my drift??%^&
|By Brother Love (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 09:41 pm:|
Dear Soul Sister,
In answer to your question about meeting you, no I did have have the pleasure of being introduced to you. I came in the dressing room said hi Jimmy who was kind enought to sign my book and I said my thanks and good nights. There were so many people that I wanted to give him his space, I know how it can get back stage, you see I work in the business. I just got home a few hours ago from working with Etta James in Las Vegas, I'm her personal makeup artist.
While in Vegas I got to speak with a longtime friend of Jimmy's, a lady that I love and respect so much, Miss Ruth Brown. A few weeks ago I did a photo shoot of her for a book I'm putting together, Ruth looks like a million bucks in these photos. I told Jimmy about this shoot and shared with him the fact that I was able to do some beautiful photos of Hadda Brooks before her passing. At the age of 86 she was still holding court, what a beautiful sister. I told Jimmy if he wanted one I would be glad to send him a copy. My friend Alan Mercer is shooting most of my photos for my book and he is the same photographer that shot the picture of Jimmy with David Ritz in his book, I was there that day.
Well Soul Sisters that's it for now I do hope we have a chance to meet real soon.
Be well and please give my very best to Mr. Scott.
|By Soul Sister at Js Way Jazz (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 10:07 pm:|
We'll see you again next time we are on the coast. Don't know if Jimmy told you but we're looking for a house in Hollywood area or Santa Monica area.
Were you the cute cat with the cool hat on?
David Ritz is a very dear friend of ours and my cheif confidant.
Speaking of Ruth Brown, she called Jimmy a couple of weeks ago, she phones every now and then.
The photos you mentioned sounds great and we'd love to read the book when its finished.
Etta is one of my favorite female artists. David did a very intimate and revealing book on her, it was awesome digging. We've got an old photo of Etta with her boyfriend in the 1950s Little Willie John. Also one of Jimmy with Hadda, yes beautiful till the end.
What is your first name so Jimmy knows whom I'm talking about?
Well got go check on him, take care Brother Love !
|By Brother Love (22.214.171.124) on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 04:21 pm:|
Hey Soul Sister,
I'm thrill to know you are looking for a place out here on the coast, know that you have family that loves you both. Santa Monica is a beautiful place, lots of nice fresh air, your close to the water and there are many great sights.
I think I did have a hat on that night, I'm really into cool hats and hip glasses.
Speaking of Little Willie John, Mabel John is another of my friends that we shot for the book and she too looks amazing.
Jeanie my first name is Rudy, let Jimmy know that I'm the guy that came with him and David to do the radio interveiw while he was appearing at The Jazz Bakery. It is a day I will always treasure, to think I spent the day in Jimmy's company, it really ment a lot to me.
|By Soul Sister (126.96.36.199) on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 06:18 pm:|
Hi Brother Love;
Jimmy is right here, he says Hello, and Quote: "Ï sincerely thank you Rudy for your attention and look foward to your book coming out, again thank you" Jimmy Scott.
Look foward to meeting with you next time we are on the coast.