EJazzNews > Founding Blind Boy George Scott Dies
Founding Blind Boy George Scott Dies
George Scott, founding baritone of gospel vocal group the Blind Boys of Alabama, died Wednesday (March 9) at his home in Durham, N.C., according to a statement. He was 75.
"We're grateful to the Lord for letting us have George for as long as we did," said Blind Boys leader Clarence Fountain, who was one of the last people Scott spoke to before his death. "He and I grew up together and sang together from little boys to old men. George was a great singer, he could sing any part in a song. We loved him and he was one of the 'Boys.' He lived a life of service and now he's gone on to his reward."
Born George Lewis Scott in Notasulga, Ala., the artist met Fountain and Jimmy Carter in 1936 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. Three years later they formed the traditional gospel singing group, which Scott also accompanied on guitar.
In recent years, the group enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and recently won the Grammy for best traditional soul gospel album for "There Will Be a Light" (Virgin), recorded with singer-songwriter Ben Harper (news). The set featured Scott singing lead on the album's opening track, "Take My Hand."
Though Scott retired from touring last year, he continued to record with the group and will be heard on its new album, "Atom Bomb," due Tuesday (March 15) from Real World Records. No changes are planned in the Blind Boys' touring schedule, which picks up again with a March 18 showcase at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday (March 15) at Monumental Faith Church in Durham. His family has asked that mourners make donations to the American Diabetes Assn. (http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp) or send flowers to the city's Holloway Funeral Home.
Scott is survived by his wife, Ludie Lewis Mann Scott; his mother, Hassie Lou Scott; and his sister, Benzie Jackson.
WE REMEMBER GEORGE SCOTT: Blind Boys of Alabama vocalist dies at 75.
*George Scott, a founding member of the Blind Boys of Alabama gospel group, died in his sleep Wednesday morning at his home in Durham, NC. He was 75.
Scott was the booming baritone of the group, which formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s. While Scott retired from touring in 2004, he continued recording with the group and sang lead on several key tracks for the Blind Boys' forthcoming album 'Atom Bomb' (Real World Records).
Born George Lewis Scott in Notasulga, Alabama, on March 18, 1929, George met the other founding members of the Blind Boys, Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1936. They formed a singing group in 1939, for which Scott also played guitar, their only instrumental accompaniment in those early days. The group became a gospel sensation in the 1940s and '50s, and spent more than 40 years working mostly in the traditional gospel circuit.
Just last month they won their fourth consecutive Grammy award in the Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album category for the CD they recorded with Ben Harper, entitled ?There Will Be a Light.? Scott sang the lead along with Harper on the opening track to that album, and later performed the song live with Harper and the Blind Boys on ?The Late Show with David Letterman.?
One of the last people George Scott spoke with before his death was the group's leader, Clarence Fountain.
"I spoke to him last night," Fountain said Wednesday, "and he was feeling fine. It just goes to show you never know when you may be talking to someone for the last time, so always be thankful for the people you have in your life. We're grateful to the Lord for letting us have George for as long as we did. He and I grew up together and sang together from little boys to old men. George was a great singer, he could sing any part in a song. We loved him and he was one of the 'Boys.' He lived a life of service and now he's gone on to his reward."
Scott is survived by his wife Ludie Lewis Mann Scott, his mother Hassie Lou Scott, and his sister Benzie Jackson. The funeral service will be held at 1pm on Tuesday, March 15 at Monumental Faith Church. The family has asked that mourners either make donations to the American Diabetes Association or send flowers to Holloway Funeral Home in Durham.