A-to-Z Challenge Day Five: Everybody Jam!
I was introduced to the music of Scatman John when I was still in middle school. My friend, Ben, brought a CD he had burned from copied music. Scatman John’s music covered a lot of different genres and sometimes fused them together in unconventional ways. As a kid I found the music fun and energetic, and now it makes me nostalgic for the ’90s. But more than that, his music had a pretty big influence on me as a kid. A lot of his songs had good messages embedded in them.
John Larkin suffered from a stutter since childhood, but with the invention of Scatman John turned what was a detriment into a boon, and used his stuttering to fuel his scat singing. He used his visibility as an artist to bring awareness to speech impediments and the ways that the impact people (especially children, who can be tormented for it as he was).
The first song I heard by Scatman John was “Everybody Jam!” from his second album of the same name, released in 1996. Scatman John’s music videos tend to be a bit…cheesy and over-the-top, but they are fun.
Perhaps the most famous of all of Scatman John’s songs is “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Da-Bop).” I think this is the song that showcases his scat singing.
Scatman John even did a pretty good cover of a Queen song called “Invisible Man,” adding scat and a more pop sound to the music. It’s actually a really good song. It’s in my writing playlist along with another of his songs…
…called “Su Su Su Super Kirei.” I first discovered this song in 2006 when I was a freshman in college. I was taking an elementary Japanese language class and was searching the internet for some instructional videos on speech (I had accidentally said to my professor: “Watari-sensei wa kirei desu” and boy, was my face red. Oh? A translation? Watari is beautiful.) when I came across “Su Su Su Super Kirei.” It was released as a bonus track in Japan, where Scatman John was the most successful, on “Everbody Jam!”
Of course, there are a number of other great songs by Scatman John, and I’ll put up a list of them. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go get nostalgic with his music.
1. Scatman’s World
2. Everything Changes
3. Let It Go
4. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word