Friday, March 11, 2005


The death has been announced of George Scott, one of the founder members of the Blind Boys of Alabama, making him the third of this year's Grammy Winners to die in the month after the ceremony.

Scott was a founder member of the band, which came together at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1936 - although he and his friends Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter didn't become commercially active until 1939 (Obviously, Scott was waiting until he hit the big 1-0 before deciding if he was going to be serious about this music thing). He played and toured with the band right up until 2003, making him one of the longest-serving active members of any group in musical history. He had been planning to rejoin the band next year for a 70th year of live work, but the illness which had sidelined him last year beat him; he did manage to record some of his trademark baritone for their next album Atom Bomb, released next week in the UK.

Fountain was one of the last people to speak to his colleague: "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.