|Jack Scott, Canadian Born Italian Hillbilly
Jack Scott was born Giovanni Scafone Jr., on January 24, 1936 in Windsor Ontario, Canada. His father, an accomplished guitarist, gave Jack a guitar around the age of eight. At the age of ten, the family moved to Hazel Park, MI. At that time Jack already began signing and performing on a local radio station. At the age of 18, he formed the Southern Drifters. After leading the band for three years, in 1957, at the age of 21, he signed a solo contract with ABC-Paramount Records. His first sides for ABC-Paramount in 1957 exhibited a profound country-rock synthesis. Three 1957 singles (including the hot "Two Timin' Woman") for that label died dismal deaths.
In 1958, he signed with Carlton records and recorded a song about a friend who was always getting thrown in jail. "Leroy" was a moderate hit. All Scott's friends and his father knew Jack had it, it was a question only of getting the big break. That break came a few months later when some deejay flipped "Leroy" over and "My True Love" became a national hit reaching the #3 spot and staying on the top fourty for 15 weeks. Thus developed the melting-pot miracle: A Canadian born, Italian hillbilly who worshipped Hank Williams and who soon sparked his own teen age band, Scott played the guitar lead and vocals.
His first album was entitled simply "Jack Scott". This album contained 10 of Scott's own compositions. Scott's pronounced emphasis on acoustic guitar distinguishes atmospheric rockers like "Goodbye Baby," "Go Wild Little Sadie," "Midgie," and "Geraldine" that he recorded while at Carlton. "Goodbye Baby" was Scott's final hit on Carlton. Late in 1959, he switched labels, signing with Top Rank. His first single for the label, "What In the World's Come Over You," became a number five hit early in 1960. It was followed a few months later by another Top Ten hit, the number three single "Burning Bridges." The pair of singles were his last major hits, and over the next two years, his singles progressively charted at lower positions than their predecessors. But, after late 1960, Jack Scott never had another major hit.
Early in 1961, he signed with Capitol Records, but none of his three singles made the Top 40. Mike Curb, a long time Jack Scott fan, signed Scott to the Curb label in 1990. The result was country single "Cooper Cagney and Gable", a "Greatest Hits" package featuring highlights from the Carlton and Top Rank label years with the bonus of a new recording of the Roy Orbison song "Running Scared" and a guest appearance singing Burning Bridges on Ronnie McDowell's "Unchained Melody" album released on Curb in 1992.
-- Excerpts from a biography by DK Peneny --
Courtesy of the Jack Scott Homepage: