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Scatman Crothers

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Benjamin Sherman “Scatman” Crothers (May 23, 1910 – November 22, 1986) was an American actor, singer, dancer and musician. By the age of 8 he was singing and dancing and playing drums. His recording career included stints with Slim Gaillard, and a solo stint signed to Capitol.

Crothers got the name Scatman when he auditioned for a radio show in 1932 at the former WSMK (now WING) in Dayton, Ohio. The director didn’t think his given name was catchy enough, so Crothers told the director to call him Scat Man because of his talent at scat singing. He continued to enjoy this talent throughout his career, even teaching scat singing to college students. Later, the nickname was condensed to Scatman by Arthur Godfrey. (Crothers should not be confused with Scatman John, who had the hit “Scatman” in 1995.)

Crothers started his musical career as a 15-year-old drummer in a speakeasy band in his home town of Terre Haute, Indiana. He played a variety of instruments including drums and guitar on jazz club band circuits in his early days as an entertainer. He formed his own band in the 1930s and finally traveled to California, and had joined Slim Gaillard’s combo in 1946. He split off with Riff Charles, and made a short film with Nat ‘King’ Cole before moving into television.

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  • ChesterWhelks

    If, during his lifetime, he never said: "I'm Scatman Crothers, motherfuckers." - you'd have to admit his entire life was in vain.

    11 Nov 2011 Reply
  • TheVileViolater

    Unknown Territory

    11 Aug 2011 Reply
  • philmfan

    Scatman's cover of Ghost Riders in the Sky may be the best version ever recorded, and that includes Roy Rogers'!

    24 Feb 2009 Reply

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