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 Post subject: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:56 pm 
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Unfortunately, it is all too possible that Tee Scott, an innovative DJ and producer/remixer who began impacting New York's underground dance scene in the early '70s, will never get the due that he deserves. A shy, humble, soft-spoken individual who passed away in 1995, Scott is just as much a key figure behind the evolution of dance music as François Kevorkian, Frankie Knuckles, and Larry Levan -- if not more so. His legendary sets at infamous clubs like Better Days and Zanzibar continue to be talked about by those who were present for them, and his often reconstructive remixes -- including Northend's "Tee's Happy," a club hit that Madonna more or less appropriated as the basis of "Holiday" -- trail blazed the art with methodologies that inspired peers as well as followers.

A cousin of Scott's introduced him to clubbing in the late '60s, first at a club called Stage 45. For a few years, Scott occasionally sneaked into the regularly packed place, which featured jukebox music and not a DJ. After that club closed, Scott and his cousin moved on to Willy's, and then they eventually hit a place called the Candy Store, where Scott got his first taste of club music that was played in a mixed fashion. One night in 1972, an otherwise shy Scott inadvertently talked his way into auditioning for a DJ spot at the club. At the time, Scott had no experience with mixing records, although he had studied radio broadcasting and electronic engineering. After several failed auditions, he was finally given a last-minute nod for a 15-minute spot while the club was open. With a handful of his own records and a feverishly self-taught crash course in figuring out the ways of the club's DJ booth, Scott winged it a little and did so well that he earned himself his first DJ'ing gig; for approximately three months, he spun at the club once or twice each week.

One of Scott's fans at the Candy Store told him about a club called Better Days that was in need of a DJ. After some propagandizing from his cousin, Scott went down to the club and discovered that the club wasn't looking for a new DJ. However, the resident there had just upset the owner by refusing to play a request made by his wife. Scott was granted an audition and eventually won the job. What hamstrung Scott was the club's low-budget setup, in terms of both sound and vision. Scott used his knowledge of electrical engineering to improve the technical capacities of the club's primitive sound system; not only did he have to make his own mixer to start off, but he also furnished and financed better lighting. Eventually the club's management kicked in with the financial support. All the while, Scott was holding down a 9-to-5 job.

The DJ single-handedly improved Better Days immensely from the ground up and won over its hard-to-please clientele to the point of earning their deep admiration and respect. The club was 100-percent black and mostly gay, which Scott made efforts to shake up a little by being openly receptive and supportive to enthusiastic dancers of all types; not just one or two. Through his legendary work at Better Days, his stature increased significantly and he eventually spun at several other hot spots around the country, including New Jersey's Zanzibar, DC's Clubhouse, and Detroit's L'uomo, just to name a select few.

Scott became known as a master of blends -- he would often play two records (featuring live drummers, not an easy thing to do) simultaneously, such that the beats would match up. He could ride out a blend much longer than the average or even excellent jock. One night, Scott started a trend with the addition of a third turntable to his deck. He began using the third turntable for sound effects (booms of thunder, cackles from the witch from The Wizard of Oz) that would go in and out throughout his sets, aiding in an experience that no jukebox -- let alone any other DJ -- could provide.

Scott was also one of the first DJs to hop into the remix game. By his own count, he ended up working on nearly 150 tracks before he quit (and quite possibly more); he was a very prolific figure. First Choice's "Love Thang" was his first job, and before all was said and done, he had extensive work for labels like Salsoul, West End, and Emergency under his belt. Many times, Scott was so unhappy with the material he had been given to work with that he would completely rewrite and reproduce the song, turning tin into gold and affecting crowds in another way.

As much as gossip attempted to pit Scott against so-called rivals like Larry Levan (a pointless rivalry was conjured in an attempt to place Better Days and Levan's Paradise Garage against each other), there was no actual animosity; quite the opposite. Levan and Scott would often dance at each other's clubs, and the two would go record hunting together with the Gallery's Nicky Siano. He was extremely tight with peers and up-and-comers as well; he gave Frankie Knuckles his first big break by offering the future Warehouse overlord two nights a week at Better Days, and he helped Tony Humphries get a spot at Zanzibar.

For a number of reasons, Scott more or less stopped DJ'ing in the early '90s. One of the factors was cancer, which he was diagnosed as having at the age of 41. Though he put up a valiant fight for several years and remained active, studying electronics and attempting to keep himself afloat financially (he made occasional trips to Japan to DJ), the Bronx-born legend passed away on December 12, 1995, at the age of 47. TCI in Manhattan, the school Scott was attending, posthumously awarded him with an associate's degree in electronics.

Selected 12" discography

Emergency records

EMDS 6520 Northend f. Michelle Wallace 'Happy Days''Tee's Happy' (1981)
EMDS 6524 Michelle Wallace 'It's Right/Tee's Right' (1982)
EMDS 6530 Michelle Wallace 'Jazzy Rhythm' (1982)
all 3 produced by Arthur Baker
EMDS 6522 Style 'Movin' On' (19xx)

West End records

WES 22139 Stone 'Time' (1981)
WES 22141 Sparque 'Music Turns Me On' (1982)
WES 22142 Al McCall 'Hard Times' (1982)
Keyboards by Fred Zarr
WES 22147 Stone 'Girl I Like The Way You' (1982)

Salsoul records

Gold Mind GG 502 First Choice 'Love Thang' (1979) Tee's first mix!
Cameron 'The Funk Is On'
The Salsoul Orchestra My Number's Up (on How High LP)

Becket records

Becket 501 Archie Bell 'Any Time Is Right' (1981)
One Way rds
One Way 002 Brooklyn Express 'Love Is The Message'
One Way 003 Brooklyn Express 'Sixty Nine'/'Change Position(88)'
which is essentially J.B. Horne's 'Spank' with sirens, wild!
One Way 004 Hi Voltage 'Somewhere Beyond'/'Let's Get Horny'
remake of 'Relight My Fire'

Jump Street

JS-1001 Russ Brown 'Gotta Find a Way' (1986)

Various labels

Elektra 067963 Columbus Circle 'If You Read My Mind' (1982)
RFC/WB (pro-a1-817) Venus Dodson 'Shining', produced and written by Leroy Burgess(co produced by Patrick Adams) (19xx)
Quality QRFC003 Mona Rae 'Do Me' (1982)
Mercury UK 6400578 Junior 'Mama Used To Say' (1981)
Mercury UK 6400680 Junior 'Let Me Know'/'I Can't Help It' (1982)
Tee also mixed Roberta Flack
Atlantis Keep On Movin' and Groovin'' (1982)
RCA PD-13448 Chocolate Milk 'Who's Getting It Now' (1982)
Brass rds BRDS2511A 'Get Up, It's Party Time'
WB rds0-20515 Anthony and The Camp 'How Many Lovers' (1986)
Tee mixed the B-side: 'What I Like'
Harlem International
Whatnauts - Help is on the Way

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Great bio Mikey!
Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:17 am 
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Great bio for the legend Tee!!!
Many thanks Mikey :D


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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:19 am 
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Cheers for the info Michael. :D

A great story about a fantastic pioneer dj/producer.

I listed another article on Tees' work with bootlegger Began Cekic.

Here's a link to it.
http://dollarbinjamsonline.blogspot.com

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:24 am 
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pflext wrote:
Cheers for the info Michael. :D

A great story about a fantastic pioneer dj/producer.

I listed another article on Tees' work with bootlegger Began Cekic.

Here's a link to it.
http://dollarbinjamsonline.blogspot.com


Many thanks Paul!
Any added extra info on Tee Scott is most appreciated..
Great to see you back, missed your input buddy!
My Best!

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:27 am 
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Thanks Michael !

Great piece on Tee...
Paul - great to see you around and thanks for the additional info !

Disco-on !

// Discoguy

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:25 pm 
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That is a fairly damn good bio you put together. Tee was a fun guy, pleasant and always with a smile. He was a memorable member of "For The Record" and one of Judy's favorite people.
Thank you for your time in posting this.
Pooch

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:08 am 
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Dynomite article Mikey---Tee was one of my favorite DJs.
I'll never forget a remix-edit he did at Better Days on "Plain Out Of Luck" by Gayle Adams.
He repeated the break over & over till everyone screamed!!!!


"...you must think I'm a fool--let me tell you something--things have changed--tables turned---oooo you just plain, plain outta luck...in other words bye-bye"

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 Post subject: Re: TEE SCOTT
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:29 pm 
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Tee Scott's work was pure heaven as a remixer!

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