This nice West Coast 45 has received a bit of attention on the Northern scene but none at all from the deep community. So it’s time it did. Lean On Me has some lovely chord changes and is set in a fine arrangement from Arthur “Sleepy” Wright but it is Scrugg’s vocal performance that lifts it up to a higher plane. At times he caresses the lyric and at times he cuts loose – but always he is full of gospel phrasing and with an excellent sense of timing. A really good production from Wayne Henderson and Lee Young as well.
UPDATE ~ I'm grateful to Alan Wheway for the update to the discography.
NEW UPDATE ~ My great friend and super sleuth Greg Burgess has found a lot more info on Jimmy. "In 1954 Jimmy 'Scrooge' Scruggs was a member of an Indianapolis harmony/doo-wop group called The Five Dots who also performed under the name of The Counts. They recorded for Note and Dot including the tracks 'Sweet Names' , ' I Guess I Bought It All On Myself' & 'The Other Night'.
Greg aslo kindly provided the pic of the Five Dots and has identified Jimmy as being on the front left of the group.
"In 1958 Scruggs was in Chicago where he briefly joined the Magnificients who were fronted by Thurston Harris and managed by the flamboyant Chicago DJ'The Magnificent Montague' a pseudonym for Nathaniel Montague. It appears that there was a problem with the continued use of The Magnificients name so they were renamed the Buds backing Thurston Harris on his 1958 Aladdin outing 'Be Baba Leba' b/w 'I''m Out to Getcha'. After the Aladdin 45 Scruggs teamed up with Thurston Harris' brother William Worm' Harris and later Jimmy Guilford to form the Four Sounds. I found a photograph of the group from 1959 published in an article on Guilford in 2007 in The Indianapolis Star (also attached). There's another picture of the Indianapolis based Four Sounds in The Jet magazine for September 1962 identifying Scruggs. He's on the left as you look at the picture. The picture is from a Ran-Dee label session in Chicago.
Ran-Dee was based on North Side and was owned by Roy Love, Udie Coffman and Phil Rifkin. The Four Sounds recorded one 45 'Nobody Wants Me' b/w' Mama Ubangi Bangi' in 1962. A novelty record there was no follow up and Scruggs next appears named on a record around 1966 with the Detroit cut 'Don't Let Me Lose it' on Solid Hits credited to Jimmy Gilford and Jimmy Scruggs' and to be found on the Goldmine CD Groovesville Review Volume 2 CD. I suggest that its from around 1966/67. I'm not sure if it ever got released.
Intriguingly there is still a Jimmy Scruggs Band performing around Indianapolis and this Jimmy Scruggs bears a strong resemblance to our man. Surely not the same guy? My guess is that it is a close relative."
Thanks very much again to Greg for all his work on this artist.
You don’t care for me anymore / Lean on me ~ WORLD PACIFIC 77924 (1969)
Indiana Pacers theme / WIBC Pacers ~ PICTURE 30311 (70s)