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Founding Blind Boy George Scott dies

Traditional gospel group formed in 1936
/ Source: Billboard

George Scott, founding baritone of gospel vocal group the Blind Boys of Alabama, died Wednesday  at his home in Durham, N.C., according to a statement. He was 75.

“We’re grateful to the Lord for letting us have George for as long as we did,” said Blind Boys leader Clarence Fountain, who was one of the last people Scott spoke to before his death. “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.”

Born George Lewis Scott in Notasulga, Ala., the artist met Fountain and Jimmy Carter in 1936 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. Three years later they formed the traditional gospel singing group, which Scott also accompanied on guitar.

In recent years, the group enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and recently won the Grammy for best traditional soul gospel album for “There Will Be a Light” (Virgin), recorded with singer-songwriter Ben Harper. The set featured Scott singing lead on the album’s opening track, “Take My Hand.”

Though Scott retired from touring last year, he continued to record with the group and will be heard on its new album, “Atom Bomb,” due Tuesday  from Real World Records. No changes are planned in the Blind Boys’ touring schedule, which picks up again with a March 18 showcase at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday  at Monumental Faith Church in Durham. His family has asked that mourners make donations to the American Diabetes Assn. ( or send flowers to the city’s Holloway Funeral Home.

Scott is survived by his wife, Ludie Lewis Mann Scott; his mother, Hassie Lou Scott; and his sister, Benzie Jackson.