Jimmy Scott, a jazz singer famous for his falsetto voice, died in his sleep Thursday in his Las Vegas home, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He was 88.
Scott was often referred to as “Little” Jimmy Scott and rose to fame with the late 1940s hit “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” while he was singing with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra. He performed with jazz legends including Charles Mingus, Lester Young and Charlie Parker.
Though he continued recording, he stopped performing in the 1960s after becoming frustrated with the music business, working in Cleveland hotels and other jobs.
His career was revived when he caught the attention of record exec Seymour Stein when the 65-year-old Scott sang at the funeral of Doc Pomus in 1991. He went back on tour and his 1992 comeback album “All the Way” was nominated for a Grammy.
He released several more recordings, sang on Lou Reed’s “Magic and Loss” album and performed with REM’s Michael Stipe. But his most prominent gig came when he appeared in the series finale of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” singing the song “Sycamore Trees.” He was also featured in the follow up film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.”
Scott had been diagnosed with Kallmann’s syndrome, a rare genetic condition that prevented him from reaching puberty. The condition stunted his growth at four feet eleven inches until he grew another 8 inches at the age of 37. The condition also left him with a high, undeveloped voice.
The singer was born on July 17, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio.
He performed at Dwight Eisenhower’s and Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugurations and was inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University on Aug. 17, 2013.