Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More about LJS

It seems to me that two of the heroes of Little Jimmy Scott's comeback have been given scant attention in the enormous coverage in the aftermath of his death. One was Ruth Brown who helped get him booked into the Hollywood Cinegrill in 11/91, a performance to which nearly tout music Hollywood turned out during his several days run there, including Ms. Brown, Phil Spector (surrounded by a veritable Wall of bodyguards), Nancy Wilson (who sang with Jimmy opening night), and Bonnie Raitt. Everywhere you looked there was someone famous. It was a career-changing event of the first magnitude. The other major figure of assistance was journalist Jimmy McDonough who penned a gigantic article about Jimmy Scott published in the Village Voice in late 1988 when the common wisdom was that Scott was long-deceased. Both Betty Carter and Gerald Wilson laid that postmortem on me when I went looking for him a few years earlier. How McDonough managed such a high profile placement for the (then) recherche article I can no longer recall. Maybe just because it was so damned well-wrought. I got dozens of copies of the piece and sent it everywhere. Didn't want to take a chance on anyone who was anyone missing out on it. Yesssss, Jimmy's latterly much discussed appearance at the 3/91 funeral of songwriter Doc Pomus was not without its impact. But those double dominoes of Brown and McDonough also played an enormous part. I was with Jimmy opening night at the Cinegrill and YOU or no one else has EVER seen anyone as spiffed out as he was that evening. Talk about your tux w/o a wrinkle and blindingly shiny patent leather shoes!! ("Hey," he told me as we moved down the hallway arm-in-arm to the showroom on opening night, "that's how we were brought up in show business.") With Jimmy shouting out as we strode along, 'IT'S SHOW TIME!" Betcha Bonnie Raitt still remembers that, too.

No comments: