But it’s not a virtue you might associate with a guy who was so impatient to write and play music that he petitioned the court at the age of 16 to be emancipated from his parents. Musician, producer, and hit songwriter Rick Scott says he wanted to take control of his future and he couldn’t wait for adulthood.
Born into a musical family in Kentucky, Scott began playing the drums when he was five and had his first professional job at 14. Two years later his original song “Just Along For The Ride" was recorded by country singer Ed Bruce who was no slouch himself. He co-wrote the hit “Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.”
Scott, who told his story recently at the N.C. Gold Festival in Old Fort, N.C., has made the most of the four and a half decades since that first songwriting success. Included in his credits is the number one song “Why Lady Why" which he co-penned while drumming for the multi-platinum selling band Alabama. He is reported to have sales totaling more than 30 million as well as numerous prestigious awards.
Besides being part of Alabama, Scott has played with or worked with artists that include legendary country singer Earl Thomas Conley, Vern “The Voice” Gosdin, and country outlaw star David Allan Coe.
As for the patience part, that came as a result of writing for the late Johnny Cash’s publishing company in Nashville many years ago.
As Scott tells it, he was called into the studio when Cash was recording some tracks and was surprised to learn that two of those songs were written by Scott. “Tennessee” and "When I'm Gray" were laid down but not immediately released.
Scott said he was thrilled to hear two of his songs being recorded by the legendary singer and songwriter. But it was many years later that he learned one of those songs would actually appear on a Johnny Cash album.
“When I’m Gray" appeared on the album The Legend released in 2005, two years after the star’s death.
And 30 years after it was written, “Tennessee" finally showed up on the album Out Among the Stars released in 2014. That record debuted at the number one position on the Top Country Album and American Charts, and garnered a few awards as well.
Two years after that, Scott says he received a call from Southwest Airlines wanting to know how much he would charge to have the song used in a commercial.
It took decades, but Scott was finally cashing in (no pun intended) on his songwriting efforts.
His familiar advice to budding songwriters who expect to make a living in the music business: Don’t quit your day job.
It just goes to prove that even hit songwriters with cuts recorded by stars have to wait for the fruits of their labors to show up. Meanwhile it’s nice to have a steady income as few landlords will wait decades for a rent check, and it’s no secret to anyone that people need to eat on a regular basis.
Scott has been at this game a long time and he’s learned how to negotiate the ups and downs. He is still a major player in the industry and is currently working with songwriters to produce an album of original songs to help promote the North Carolina Gold Trail. His website is: https://www.debrickmusic.com