Linda Scott and Steve Alaimo on Where the Action Is, 1966
Linda Joy Sampson|
June 1, 1945
Queens, New York, U.S.
Linda Scott (born Linda Joy Sampson; June 1, 1945) is an American pop singer and actress who was active from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Her biggest hit was the 1961 million-selling single, "I've Told Every Little Star". She went on to place twelve songs on the charts over the next four years, the last being "Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed," inspired by the film and written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. In 1962, she portrayed a fictionalized version of herself in the musical film Don't Knock the Twist.
Born in Queens, New York, Linda Sampson was 11 years old when she moved with her family to Teaneck, New Jersey. She was still in school (Teaneck High School) when she auditioned to appear on Arthur Godfrey's popular CBS Radio show in 1959. After having won a place on the show, Scott and other young performers became regular guests. During the show's run, the young singer came to the attention of Epic Records, and Scott made her recording debut (singing as Linda Sampson) with the single, "In-Between Teen".
Though still in high school, in 1961 she signed with Canadian-American Records, which had struck gold with the Santo & Johnny's "Sleep Walk". The label changed her performing name to Linda Scott, producing and releasing the hit "I've Told Every Little Star," a standard written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern for their 1932 production Music In The Air. The track sold over one million copies, earning a gold disc for Scott.
Scott's three biggest hits came in that first year, with "I've Told Every Little Star" (U.S. #3), "I Don't Know Why" (U.S. #12), and "Don't Bet Money Honey" (U.S. #9). The first two were standards, while the third was one of Scott's own compositions. Scott also charted with a song that peaked at #44 on the Billboard charts with Starlight, Starbright, which peaked on August 28, 1961. It was mostly a regional song played in the Northeast.
Scott was the showcase artist when Canadian-American started a subsidiary label, Congress Records, in 1962, and in fact both labels released new material of hers simultaneously. The following year, she sang her hit "Yessirree" in the Chubby Checker film, Don't Knock the Twist. Scott's final U.S. chart appearance was "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed," released in January 1964, the same month that The Beatles made their first chart appearance. In 1965, she became a cast member of the variety show Where the Action Is, which she co-hosted with singer Steve Alaimo. Her last U.S. recording, "They Don't Know You", was released in 1967 on RCA Records. She continued to record as a backing vocalist (most notably on Lou Christie's 1969 hit, "I'm Gonna Make You Mine") before finally quitting show business in the early 1970s.
Scott was an army laboratory technician for two years, stationed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and received a degree in Theology from Kingsway Christian College and Theological Seminary in Des Moines, Iowa, according to an interview she gave to Goldmine in 1987. During her time in the army, she met and married a fellow serviceman. The marriage produced one child in 1973 and ended in divorce. She later taught music at the Christian Academy in New York City.
The compilation CD, The Complete Hits of Linda Scott, was released by Eric Records in 1995; while her recording of "I've Told Every Little Star" was included in director David Lynch's film, Mulholland Drive.
|1961||Starlight, Starbright||Canadian-American Records|
|1962||Great Scott!||Canadian-American Records|
|1965||Hey, Look At Me Now!||Kapp Records|
|1959||"In-Between Teen" (as Linda Sampson)||—||—||—||—||Epic Records||"Lover of the Year"|
|1961||"I've Told Ev'ry Little Star"||3||—||22||7||Canadian-American
|"Three Guesses"||Starlight, Starbright|
|"Don't Bet Money Honey"||9||3||—||50||"Starlight, Starbright" (US #44)|
|"I Don't Know Why"||12||2||—||—||"It's All Because" (US #50)|
|1962||"Yessiree"||60||—||—||—||Congress Records||"Town Crier" (US #116)||Linda|
|"Lonely for You"|
|"Count Every Star"||41||10||—||—||"Land of Stars"||Starlight, Starbright|
|"Never in a Million Years"||56||15||—||—||Congress Records||"Through the Summer"||Linda|
|"I Left My Heart in the Balcony"||74||—||—||—||"Lopsided Love Affair"|
|"I'm So Afraid of Losing You"||—||—||—||—||"The Loneliest Girl in Town"|
|1963||"Ain't That Fun"||—||—||—||—||"Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"|
|"Let's Fall in Love"||108||—||—||—||"I Know It, You Know It"|
|1964||"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"||100||—||—||—||"My Heart"|
|"Everybody Stopped Laughing at Janie"||—||—||—||—||"I Envy You"|
|"That Old Feeling"||—||—||—||—||Kapp Records||"This Is My Prayer"||Hey, Look At Me Now!|
|1965||"Patch It Up"||135||—||—||—||"If I Love Again"|
|"Don't Lose Your Head"||—||—||—||—||"I'll See You in My Dreams"|
|"You Baby"||—||—||—||—||"I Can't Get Through to You"|
|1966||"Take a Walk, Bobby"||—||—||—||—||"Toys"|
|1967||"They Don't Know You"||—||—||—||—||RCA Victor||"Three Miles High"|
|1962||Don't Knock the Twist||Linda Scott||Musical|
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 139. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Murrells, Joseph. Million Selling Records from the 1900s to the 1980s: An Illustrated Directory, p. 156. Batsford (publisher), 1984. ISBN 0-7134-3843-6. Accessed July 23, 2011. "Linda (real name Linda Joy Sampson) was born on 11 June 1945 in Queens, New York and has been performing as a singer since she was four. She moved to Teaneck, New Jersey when 11 and enrolled at the high school there."
- Cotten, Lee. The Golden Age of American Rock 'n Roll, Volume 3, p. 298. Pierian Press, 2002. ISBN 0-9646588-4-4. Accessed July 23, 2011. "She was a sophomore in high school when she was discovered by talent scouts for Godfrey's nationally aired morning radio show. This led to a lone 1959 single by Linda Sampson, In-Between Teen, on Epic."
- Kleiner, Dick. "The Record Shop: Zing in Songs in Four Languages", Altus Times-Democrat, June 26, 1961. Accessed July 23, 2011. "The next young girl star, in the Connie Francis mold, may well be a high school sophomore from Teaneck, N.J., named Linda Scott. Her recording of I've Told Every Little Star on the Canadian-American label was a spring seller among the teenage set, and she's looked on as a definite comer."
- From the liner notes of her album The Complete Hits Of Linda Scott
- Scott, Linda. "I've Told Every Little Star." Mulholland Drive Soundtrack. By Jerome Kern Oscar Hammerstein II. 2001. CD.