Jack Scott, ’50s Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dead at 83

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Jack Scott

Canadian rock ’n’ roll pioneer Jack Scott, who placed four singles in the Billboard top 10 in the U.S., has died, according to several posts on his Facebook page. Wikipedia lists Dec. 12, 2019, as the date of his death, but a Facebook post from a friend claimed that Scott’s wife, Barb, announced his passing two weeks earlier. No place or cause of death were cited. Scott was 83.

Scott’s biggest hits in the U.S. were “My True Love” (#3, 1958), “Goodbye Baby” (#8, 1958-59), “What in the World’s Come Over You” (#5, 1960) and “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960). The first two of those were released on the Carlton label and the other two on Top Rank.

Related: Which first-generation rockers are still with us?

Another one of Scott’s hits, 1959’s “The Way I Walk,” only reached #35 in the U.S. but found favor with several bands of the punk-new wave era: it was covered by both the Cramps and Robert Gordon.

Scott’s success was much greater in his native Canada, where he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011.

Jack Scott was born Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr., on January 24, 1936, in Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit. He absorbed American country music and early rock ’n’ roll and began performing after his mother gave him his first guitar.

Scott made his first single, “Baby She’s Gone,” for the ABC-Paramount label in 1957, but it did not chart in the U.S. Neither did the followup, “Two Timin’ Woman,” and he then signed with Carlton, which put him on the map with “My True Love.” He logged 19 chart singles in America into 1961, before the success began to fade, but he remained popular in his homeland and regained some success in the States when the ’50s rock ’n’ roll revival kicked in during the 1970s.

He released several albums from 1959-64, none of which charted in the U.S.

Scott was also inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame, in 2007.

Related: A farewell to those who left us in 2019

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Al Nyquist
    #1 Al Nyquist 13 December, 2019, 05:40

    “The way I walk” was used in the movie Natural born killers. Critical scene

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  2. Hubert
    #2 Hubert 13 December, 2019, 07:49

    Jack Scott was a great friend and customer at Huber Breese Music. Great voice and songwriter ! Many people don’t know his legendary legacy in the rock a billy world . Many tunes on the charts in the late 50s and he toured with many of the greats from that era . Ever on Jack we will miss you !

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  3. Luis
    #3 Luis 14 December, 2019, 05:57

    A massive heart attack. There´s a mistake regarding his wife´s letter. She didn´t confirmed his death in it; it was just a letter. Jack had the attack on Sunday 8 according to his niece Rio and died four days later.

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  4. Geezer classic rock
    #4 Geezer classic rock 14 December, 2019, 08:08

    My band “GEEZER” warmed up for jack for 5 years at the warren birthday bash, sad to see another legend go, we will miss you jack!!

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  5. 57Chevy
    #5 57Chevy 20 June, 2020, 14:31

    Jack was one of the Greatest. I have 6 of his LP’s & 30 45’s. (Many w/Picture Sleeves) Great article about Jack, however nothing mentioned about his short time with Groove or Guaranteed. The Chantones really gave him a Great Boost. A Super backup group!!! Been a collector since 1956 & a dealer since 1965!

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