Tom Scott (musician)

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Tom Scott
Scott at a Beatles convention in 2013
Scott at a Beatles convention in 2013
Background information
Birth nameThomas Wright Scott
Born (1948-05-19) May 19, 1948 (age 74)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • composer
  • arranger
Years active1965–present

Thomas Wright Scott (born May 19, 1948)[1] is an American saxophonist, composer, and arranger. He was a member of The Blues Brothers and led the jazz fusion group L.A. Express.

Early life, family and education[edit]

Scott was born in Los Angeles, California, US.[1] He is the son of film and television composer Nathan Scott, who had more than 850 television credits and more than 100 film credits as a composer, orchestrator, and conductor, including the theme songs for Dragnet and Lassie.[2]


Tom Scott's career began as a teenager as leader of the jazz ensemble Neoteric Trio and the band Men of Note.[1][3] After that, he worked as a session musician. In 1970, Quincy Jones said of him: "Tom Scott, the saxophonist; he's 21, and out of sight! Plays any idiom you can name, and blows like crazy on half a dozen horns."[4]

Scott wrote the theme songs for the television shows Starsky and Hutch and The Streets of San Francisco.[5] In 1974, with the L.A. Express he composed the score for the animated movie, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat.[6] He played the soprano saxophone solo on the number-one hit single "Listen to What the Man Said" by the band Wings. In 1976, he played the theme "I Still Can't Sleep" in Taxi Driver.[7] Scott also composed the soundtrack for 1980's Stir Crazy.[8] In 1982, he collaborated with Johnny Mathis on "Without Us", the theme to the 1980s sitcom Family Ties.[7] He also played the lyricon, an electronic wind instrument on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", as well as lyricon and saxophone on The Grateful Dead's album Terrapin Station.

Scott was a founding member of the Blues Brothers Band, despite his absence in the two films, The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000. According to Bob Woodward's account in Wired, a biography of John Belushi, Scott left the band after their 1980 tour over a salary dispute. However, he reunited with Dan Aykroyd and the Blues Brothers Band in 1988 to record a few tracks for The Great Outdoors.[9]

Scott led the house band on two short-lived late-night talk shows: The Pat Sajak Show in 1989 and The Chevy Chase Show in 1993. From 1995 to 1998, Scott provided the main title arrangement and additional music for the television series Cybill.[10] He was music director for the 68th Academy Awards in 1996, several Emmy Awards telecasts from 1996 to 2007, Ebony's 50th Birthday Celebration, and the People's Choice Awards telecasts.

He has dozens of solo recordings for which he collected 13 Grammy nominations (three of which he won). He has numerous film and television scoring credits, including composing and conducting the score for the movie Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and appeared on records by the Beach Boys, Blondie ("Rapture"), Grateful Dead, George Harrison, Whitney Houston ("Saving All My Love for You"), Quincy Jones, Carole King, Richard Marx ("Children of the Night"), Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Eddie Money, Olivia Newton-John, Pink Floyd, Helen Reddy, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan ("Black Cow"), Steppenwolf, and Rod Stewart ("Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?").

He produced two albums for tenor vocalist Daniel Rodriguez. The Spirit of America has sold over 400,000 copies. Scott is also a member of the Les Deux Love Orchestra and has conducted over 30 symphony orchestras around the U.S. as music director for Rodriguez. His song "Today" is credited as the sample for the hip-hop classic "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth.


As leader[edit]

With The L.A. Express

With The Blues Brothers

With the GRP All-Star Big Band

As sideman[edit]

With Don Ellis

With Joan Baez

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

With Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies

With Tim Buckley

With Victor Feldman

  • Seven Steps to Heaven (Choice, 1973)

With Paul Williams

With The Carpenters

With Robbie Williams

With Jimmy Webb

With Tom Waits

With Carole King

With Eric Carmen

With Lulu

  • Lulu (Polydor, 1973)

With Juice Newton

With Alphonse Mouzon

With Dalbello

With Johnny Rivers

  • New Lovers and Old Friends (Epic, 1975)
  • Outside Help (Soul City, 1977)

With Richie Havens

  • Mirage (A&M, 1977)

With George Benson

With Stephen Bishop

  • Bish (ABC Records, 1978)

With Tina Turner

With Michael Franks

With Michael Bublé

With Peter Allen

With Eddie Money

With Barry Manilow

With Joe Cocker

With Neil Diamond

With Sara Bareilles

With Josh Groban

  • Awake (143 Records, 2006)

With Rickie Lee Jones

With Frankie Valli

With Kenny Rankin

  • Professional Dreamer (Private Music, 1995)

With Barbra Streisand

With Billy Preston

With Rod Stewart

With Dan Fogelberg

With Aretha Franklin

  • You (Atlantic, 1975)

With Donovan

With Art Garfunkel

With Glen Campbell

With Oleta Adams

With Peggy Lee

With Randy Newman

With Diane Schuur

  • Love Songs (GRP, 1993)

With Oliver Nelson

With George Harrison

With Thelma Houston

With Michael McDonald

With Bill Plummer

  • Cosmic Brotherhood (1968)

With Phoebe Snow

  • Something Real (Elektra, 1989)

With Minnie Riperton

With Jaco Pastorius

With Al Jarreau

With Richard Marx

With Joni Mitchell

With Howard Roberts

  • The Magic Band – Live at Dontes (1968, released 1998)
  • The Magic Band – Vol. 2 (1968, released 1998)

With Natalie Cole

With Bernie Taupin

With Deniece Williams

  • Hot on the Trail (Columbia, 1986)

With Sarah Vaughan

With Helen Reddy

With Lalo Schifrin

With Olivia Newton-John

With Otis Spann

With Christopher Cross

With Boz Scaggs

With Ringo Starr

  • Ringo (Apple Records, 1973)

With Dolly Parton

With Gábor Szabó

With Bob Thiele Emergency

  • Head Start (Flying Dutchman, 1969)

With Steely Dan


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2210. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Burlingame, Jon (March 3, 2010). "Nathan Scott, 94, scored TV shows". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Valley Teen-Agers Win Sweepstakes". Valley Times Today. July 2, 1963. p. 9. Retrieved July 9, 2022 – via
  4. ^ Feather, Leonard (January 25, 1970). "Nine Lives of a Cat Named Jones". Los Angeles Times. p. 40-Calendar. Retrieved July 9, 2022 – via
  5. ^ Nowlin, Rick (April 21, 1999). "All about sax". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. E-5. Retrieved July 9, 2022 – via
  6. ^ "THis Week's Movies". The Paris (Texas) News. December 5, 1976. p. 13C. Retrieved August 3, 2022 – via
  7. ^ a b "TV Line". Newsday. December 30, 1984. p. TV Book-1. Retrieved August 3, 2022 – via
  8. ^ "'Stir Crazy' advertisement". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 24, 1980. p. 5C. Retrieved August 3, 2022 – via
  9. ^ Woodward, Bob (1987). Wired. Simon & Schuster.
  10. ^ "Cybill (1995–1998) Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved February 20, 2021.

External links[edit]