George Scott, a founding member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, died in his sleep yesterday (March 9) at his home in Durham, N.C. The 75-year-old baritone had retired from touring with the famed gospel group in 2004 but had contributed vocals to its new album, “Atom Bomb” (Real World), which streets next Tuesday.
Born in 1929 in Notasulga, Ala., Scott met the other founding members of the Blind Boys, Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, in 1936 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. Three years later they formed the group. Scott sang and played guitar, the only instrumental accompaniment in the early days. The Blind Boys went on to become one of the most popular gospel groups of the ’40s-’60s. They enjoyed a resurgence when they signed with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records in 2001, and have won four Grammy Awards, including one last month for “There Will Be a Light,” a collaboration with Ben Harper.
Scott is survived by his wife, Ludie Lewis Mann Scott; his mother, Hassie Lou Scott; and his sister, Benzie Jackson. Funeral services will be held March 15 at Monumental Faith Church in Durham.