Jack Scott was born Giovanni Scafone in Ontario, Canada. After moving to the Detroit area, as seminal rockabilly singer "Jack Scott," he broke into the early rock and roll scene in the mid-to-late 1950s and scored a number of major chart hits. In fact with the exception of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and Connie Frances, Scott had more US hit singles, in a shorter period of time than any other recording artist of his era, which places him in pretty exalted company. He first charted in 1957 through 1961 and continued releasing singles up to 1974 with a bit of a comeback in 1992. Here are 10 of Jack Scott's best known and best-loved songs.
This track is enlivened by a string arrangement that sets the scene for a somewhat Elvis-like vocal performance by Scott along with a male chorus of background singers. Rhythmically the song's groove is tailor-made for the then-popular dance craze The Stroll. It reached number 65 on the charts in 1960.
A mid-tempo ballad, this tune is an example of the other side of the coin from the uptempo bravado that rockabilly artists also tend toward. Wistful and with a vibe of romantic longing, much in the mode of early tracks by Ricky Nelson, this one charted at number 34, also in 1960.
A self-penned ballad, this track comes off a little bit country and a little bit "easy listening." Strings and female backing vocals add to this tale of regret about a relationship that ended too soon. It charted at number 38.
This is a classic rockabilly track with lots of swagger. The backing vocals by The Chantones, (Dooby dooby dowah) along with a hot guitar solo and some sax thrown in as well, are a perfect setting for Scott's vocal attitude. This tune has been covered by a number of artists over the years, including punk band The Cramps and retro-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon.
The tale of ne'er-do-well Leroy ("Leroy's back in jail again") is an early rockabilly gem. It charted at number 25 in 1958 and is loaded with personality in the vocal and rock and roll energy in the instrumental track.
From 1958, this tune is a noteworthy example of the fine line that separated rockabilly ballads and doo-wop ballads. With The Chantones vocal group providing the doo-wop element, Scott emotes his devotion to his love. This reached number 28 on the charts.
This is a very dramatic ballad that features male backing vocals that include a droned bass part which heightens the vibe of romantic angst. It charted at number 5 in 1960 as a single release and was also the title track from Scott's album that year.
This track is well known as one of Jack Scott's signature songs. Released in 1958, it is a great example of his unique take on rockabilly. The tune is at once both bouncy and ominous. The chanted background vocals propel the song along as Scot emotes the story of "Johnny," who must go away. It reached number 8 on the charts
This ballad seems more like a country song, rather than a rock and roll or rockabilly ballad. The plaintive lead vocal is backed by female voices that heighten the mood of romantic regret. It was one of Scott's biggest hits topping out at number 3 in 1960.
Lots of backing vocals and saxophone tones are the underpinnings for this 1958 ballad that also charted at number 3. Scott had most of his top 10 single successes with slow tunes that were perfect for the tastes of the teen set at the time. Like most of his material. Scott also wrote the tune.