REMEMBERING A HIT MUSIC MACHINE: RIP SKIP SCARBOROUGH


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #blues2jazzguy

Clarence Alexander Scarborough wrote,co-wrote, or produced hit records for Earth Wind & Fire, LTD, Anita Baker, Blue Magic, and so on. How did he do all this, where most people never heard of him, nor did they recognize his face.

Ashford & Simpson wrote for people and you knew what they looked like. Yeah, they also recorded as a performing act too.  So did Lennon & McCartney, Johnny Bristol, McFadden & Whitehead, Isaac Hayes. This phantom like guy with the Hit Parade of songs is Skip Scarborough. He was one of the greatest, most successful Songwriter/Producers ever!

Okay. Let’s see if this list of credits impresses you. “Love’s Holiday” and “Can’t Hide Love” (Earth Wind & Fire), “Love Ballad” (LTD), “Giving You The Best That I’ve Got” (Anita Baker), “Side Show” and “Three Ring Circus” (Blue Magic), “Ffun” (Con Funk Shun), “Don’t Ask My Neighbor” (Emotions), “The Answer Is You” (Phyllis Hyman), “Love Changes” ( Mother’s Finest), “Love Or Let Me Be Lonely” (Friends of Distinction), “Lovely Day” (Bill Withers), “Lover To Lover” (Bobbie Humphrey), “It’s Alright With Me” and “Come What May” (Patti LaBelle), and “Sacrifice of Praise” (Edwin Hawkins).

All songs Skip Scarborough either wrote, co-wrote and/or produced. Most of these he did write singularly or with partners. Hard to believe all those hit songs came from someone who’s virtually unknown outside the music business. He was extremely well known in the business of music. You don’t get to write for the top acts or, write many smash hits and not be known by your colleagues.

Skip was born November 26, 1944 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the time of his death, July 3, 2003, he was married to singer, Alton McClain (Scarborough). He married her just as her singing group was breaking up in the 70’s. You may remember all female trio, Alton McClain & Destiny; they had that one big hit, “It Must Be Love. (Skip didn’t write this song.) Destiny also recorded Angela Winbush’s classic, “The Power of Love.” Stephanie Mills had the bigger hit of the three recordings of this song.

Shortly after their marriage, Alton McClain went into the Gospel field where she still shines.

We just wanted to acknowledge this masterful Songwriter/Producer who unselfishly contributed to all our lives with his wonderfully crafted songs. The best way we can celebrate his genius is by PLAYING /POSTING his music and talking to youth just entering the music business ,making them aware of his body of work. Enjoy Skip Scarborough’s classics.

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2 thoughts on “REMEMBERING A HIT MUSIC MACHINE: RIP SKIP SCARBOROUGH

  1. Funny how you casually think, and say to yourself: “I didn’t know that. . .” From the looks of the credits listed, not only was Skip a prolific artisan he also had longevity. Even I know that “longevity” in the music business is difficult to achieve and almost impossible to maintain. Just goes to show you that the seemingly unimportant/unfamiliar names listed on labels are achievers and successful artists in their own right. . . . .RIP SKIP

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