JIMMY SCOTT: If You Only Knew

Jazz & Commerce

The Songs

1969 The Source album cover featuring black woman with Afro hairstyle 1992 All the Way album cover featuring Jimmy Scott singing into microphone

Jimmy Scott’s musical career has spanned not only decades, but also styles. During the 1940s he performed as a regular on the vaudeville circuit, while the 1950s and ‘60s saw him recording vocals for jazz greats like Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles and Charlie Parker. Today, his career resurgence includes collaborations with rock artists like Lou Reed and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Scott’s fragile vibrato and unique use of timing and phrasing have influenced singers from Billie Holiday to Madonna, and his heartfelt delivery in songs such as “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” resonate with his own life experiences of tragedy and loss.

Jimmy Scott singing “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”

From his timeless jazz covers to recent R&B renditions, Jimmy Scott remains one of the most distinctive vocalists of our time.



Jimmy Scott’s extensive recordings over the decades include these albums:

Little Jimmy Scott/The Paul Gayen Band: Regal Records: Live in New Orleans!
(Specialty, 1951, re-released, 1991)

If You Only Knew
(Savoy, 1956; CD release, 2001)

The Fabulous Songs of Jimmy Scott
(Savoy, 1960; CD release, 2003)

Falling in Love is Wonderful
(Tangerine, 1963; re-released by Rhino, 2002)

The Source
(Atlantic, 1969; CD release, 2001)

All the Way
(1992, Warner Brothers—Scott’s “comeback album”)

Lost and Found
(Atlantic, 1993—recorded in 1969 and 1972)

(Sire, 1996)

Holding Back the Years
(Artists Only!, 1998)

Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool
(Universal Music, 1999)

The Savoy Years and More
(Atlantic, 1999; re-issue)

Mood Indigo
(Milestone, 2000)

Over the Rainbow
(Milestone, 2001)

But Beautiful
(Milestone, 2002)

Moon Glow
(Milestone, 2003)

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