Jazz singer “Little” Jimmy Scott has died. He was 88. Born James Victor Scott in Cleveland, Ohio, the singer was considered by some to be the “father of falsetto” soul and jazz. His distinct contralto voice was a side effect of Kallmann’s syndrome, a rare genetic condition that kept him from ever reaching puberty.
Scott released several albums in the ’50s and ’60s before fading into semi-obscurity. But his career was reinvigorated in 1991, when he sang at the funeral of Doc Pomus, a friend and fellow singer. Shortly thereafter, he was seen singing “Sycamore Trees” on the series finale of Twin Peaks; the song was also featured on the soundtrack of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Scott was asked to sing back-up on “Power And Glory,” a track on Lou Reed’s Magic And Loss in 1992, by which point he had already released his own record, All The Way, which received a Grammy nomination. He also sang “Why I Was Born” at Bill Clinton’s 1993 presidential inauguration—40 years after he sang the same cut at Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration.
Scott continued to perform until shortly before his death. A new record, I Remember You, has been in the works since at least 2012.