Scatman Crothers was a true star of the stage, motion pictures, television and recording. Born Benjamin Sherman Crothers (May 23rd 1910 in Terre Haute, Indiana and passed away November 22nd, 1986 in Van Nuys, California), he started performing in the speak-easy circuit of Chicago in the latter part of the “Roaring ‘20s”. In 1931, he got his own radio show on WFMK Dayton, Ohio; billing himself: Scat Man. In 1935, he made his first appearance in a film, a short called “Symphony In Black” with Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. He would go on to act in 45 more motion pictures including “The Shining”, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Bronco Billy”, “Aristocats”, “The Shootist”, “Silver Streak”, “The Lady Sings The Blues”, “Scavenger Hunt”, “Twilight Zone: The Movie” and “Transformers: The Movie”. In 1943, Scatman moved to Hollywood, California and hired an agent. In 1948 he was one of the first African Americans to land a recurring role on a network TV show: “Dixie Showboat”. Over the next three decades, Scatman appeared in hundreds of TV programs including 65 episodes of NBC’s sitcom “Chico and the Man” as Louis the garbage-man, 18 guest appearances on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”, and “Colgate Comedy Hour”, “The Jack Benny Show”, “Nat King Cole Show”, “The Steve Allen Show”, “Casablanca”, “Roots”, The Super Globetrotters”, and “Sanford and Son”.
Starting in 1948, Scatman recorded individual tracks and several albums for various record labels. In 1975, he met record producer/songwriter Andrew A. Melzer with whom he would collaborate between 1977 and 1979. Melzer wrote a dance tune for Scatman: “Scoot On Over To Scat’s” and produced it in August of 1979 at the legendary Kendun Recorders in Burbank, California. The original track has never been released, and the original and remixed versions of “Scoot On Over To Scat’s” along with ring tones are now available as downloads. Scatman Crothers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it is located in front of the Egyptian Theatre.