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Soul's Survivors: Little Jimmy Scott's Influence Pervasive In Music Industry

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Little Jimmy's lack of recognition in the music industry frustrated him at times but it does not take away from his legacy and influence on other artists. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Little Jimmy Scott had a voice full of emotion. His high notes could send chills through your bones.

Jimmy Scott first started singing professionally back in the 1940s. He quickly was snatched up by the big bands.

Although most of his music is considered jazz, it clearly touches on the blues, R&B and soul.

At 88 years old, he's still true to the music and performing for fans.

Recently, at the Bluenote in Greenwich Village, he spoke about his love of Jazz and hopes the music style lives on forever.

"My legacy would be that we did something to maintain the version of music that we portray," he says. "We portray jazz. We want to maintain that."

It wasn't easy for Little Jimmy Scott in the music industry despite an amazing voice, according to Bob Slade, a radio host and music historian.

"He sang with the Lionel Hampton band," Slade says. "'Everybody Is Somebody's Fool' was a big record but it was Lionel Hampton Band and his singers, not Jimmy Scott. He never got the recognition."

That lack of recognition happened various times, causing Little Jimmy to get discouraged with the music industry. But he would return to what he loved: music. He was a major influence for many other artists, including Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

"Everybody wanted to work with him," Slade says. "He had a great voice, hit high notes. You name it, he could sing his behind off."

Unfortunately, he never had the hit record success. But the fact he's been performing his style of music for nearly 70 years is a success in itself.

"When you offer it to the public, you hope that they will accept it in that manner," Little Jimmy says.

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