Carl Bradychok, left; Jack Scott, center; and Rudy Varner play a concert while on tour. Scott, of Sterling Heights, died Dec. 12 at age 83. He grew up in Hazel Park and often performed in Warren.

Carl Bradychok, left; Jack Scott, center; and Rudy Varner play a concert while on tour. Scott, of Sterling Heights, died Dec. 12 at age 83. He grew up in Hazel Park and often performed in Warren.

Photo provided by Carl Bradychok

Musician Jack Scott remembered for rockabilly groove

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published December 20, 2019

METRO DETROIT — A steady stream of tributes have circulated social media since Dec. 12, when news of musician Jack Scott’s passing was announced.

From a “What a great voice” message posted on the YouTube page for the song “What in the World’s Come Over You” to “Love and enjoy your music. Your music will live on. RIP” written on the Jack Scott Facebook page, fans are remembering his influence on rockabilly, county, rock and pop music.

Scott, of Sterling Heights, reportedly died of a heart attack. He was 83. Family, friends and fans gathered Dec. 16 at D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home in Warren for a memorial service to remember the rock ‘n’ roll trailblazer.

“Jack was the beloved husband of Barbara Ann, dearest father to his daughters and their husbands, and his stepsons,” his obituary states. “Jack also leaves his grandchildren, and his loving siblings, to treasure his memory.”

Scott had a string of hits in the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including “The Way I Walk,” “My True Love,” “Goodbye Baby,” “Burning Bridges” and “Leroy.” He appeared many times on “American Bandstand” and was signed to several record companies during his career.

“Although he does not get very much recognition in this country, Jack is considered a major star in Europe and Asia, where the ‘rockabilly revival’ has once again put him in great demand,” the website michiganrockandrollleg once wrote about him.

According to the website, Scott was born Giovanni Sacfone Jr., on Jan. 24, 1936, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His father, an accomplished guitarist, gave Jack a guitar at age 8. Two years later, the family moved to Hazel Park. By age 18, Scott had his first band, Southern Drifters.

For many years, Scott was a main attraction at the city of Warren’s annual Birthday Bash held every August in front of City Hall. Harrison Township guitarist Carl Bradychok was one of Scott’s band members.

“It was always a good show,” Bradychok, 28, said. “There were a lot of regulars. They were excited to see him. There were a lot of new people as well.”

Bradychok first discovered Scott’s music when he was about 8. Around 2006 or 2007, Bradychok joined his band.

“Jack needed a guitar player. It turned into a steady gig,” Bradychok said. “We went out of state and went to Europe a few times.”

Playing onstage with Scott was “an honor.”

“I grew up with his music,” Bradychok said. “Looking over and seeing the guy I listened to my whole life was really humbling. A lot of times he would come up with ideas to rework older songs he hadn’t done. He would pull songs out of nowhere. It always made it interesting.”

Offstage, Scott had a good sense of humor.

“He was a good friend. He had tons of stories about Glen Campbell, Conway Twitty and Eddie Cochran,” Bradychok said, adding that it was typical to end up talking at a 24-hour restaurant, “sitting there until the sun came up.”

One thing Bradychok picked up from Scott was “to learn the music as best and as close to the record as possible. You’ll pretty much have a job forever.”

Bradychok was on tour in Europe performing with the Elvis Concert Band when Scott died.

“I was devastated,” he said. “He always seemed decades younger than he was. It was a total shock. It was unexpected.”

Upright bass player Keith Cady, of Romulus, met Scott through guitarist Al Allen and played plenty of jam sessions over the years.

“It was really a thrill,” Cady said of joining Scott onstage. “Jack was a solid player. Jack was world-renowned, but when you got to know him, he was so down to earth. He always took time to meet his fans.”

For example, Cady said, at the memorial service one of Scott’s daughters told a story how after a Las Vegas show, Scott stayed around signing autographs until 3 a.m.

“He didn’t want to leave until everyone was happy,” Cady said.

Cady believes “it was a combination of everything” that attracted dedicated followers to Scott’s signature sound.

“He wrote his own songs. He was very much involved in the recording process,” Cady said. “He had control of what his sound was. He had an amazing voice, great stage presence and was an amazing songcrafter as well.”

However, Scott didn’t get the credit many felt he deserved.

“He was always a star in Europe and all over the place,” Cady said. “What he contributed to the world of music, people kind of forgot that here.”

Still, he left a legacy, as Scott was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts offered a tribute to Scott on his Facebook page. Fouts said Scott’s daughter was a student in his government class at Sterling Heights High School years ago, and that he always looked forward to Scott’s performances.

“Jack had performed regularly at the Warren Birthday Bash every year since I became mayor in 2008, except for this year. He was a big draw and a local fan favorite,” Fouts said. “Our Birthday Bash will never be the same without Jack Scott and his many loyal fans who look forward to the Jack Scott event every year. He was a highly talented man who never let success affect his humanity.”

Staff Writer Brian Louwers contributed to this report.