Jimmy Scott on being financially exploited

Now, a Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "The Bluest Blues" CD: Everybody's Somebody's Fool, Decca GRD-669 (cut 13)

His biggest fans have included Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson.

MUSIC: same - post on vocal

But despite NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Scott's wide-reaching influence, his career has been a never-ending struggle.

Jimmy Scott: I had a rough time because everybody wanted to grab the money. It wasn't about how good they could make your career, it was who's gonna get the money.

Scott, who sank from enormous popularity in the 1950s to near obscurity for more than 20 years, was taken advantage of time and again... underpayed for both gigs and recordings.

Jimmy Scott: Everybody was telling the same story of what they were going to do or what they could do. And nobody did nothing. I had rent to pay. I had bills to pay. There were times I needed money to survive. But if you ain't getting no money, how can you survive? Simple as that.

MUSIC: punctuation

Jimmy Scott: I've worked in grocery stores, worked as a dishwasher, a porter... all for survival. I don't feel bad about doing it. I wished I could have done better, yes. And still do.

The remarkable Jimmy Scott who continues to make his comeback after years of near obscurity. This Jazz Moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts. I'm Delfeayo Marsalis.

Jimmy Scott on being financially exploited