Songwriter/producer/writer/performer Dennis Scott has had his songs performed by artists as diverse as Faith Hill, Tanya Tucker, The Muppets, Trisha Yearwood, Ray Charles, Gilbert Gottfried, and Ben Vereen. He’s won a Grammy, an Emmy and a Parent’s Choice Award and has been nominated for countless other honors. You hear his work on radio, television, stage, audio books, home videos, recordings, and even on CD ROM. He writes, produces, and composes custom songs and music for all aspects of the entertainment industry.
“I’ve always been an ideas person and music has always played a prominent role in my life,” says Scott. “I enjoy the creative process, so I’m constantly generating new ideas. At the same time, I like doing new projects for clients to which I can contribute my own particular style of music.”
For the outgoing and animated Scott, who began his entertainment career at the age of 7 as an actor on Broadway and in television commercials, those challenges–and successes–come from the highly-specialized and lucrative field of children’s entertainment.
In his first serious foray into the genre, Scott scored with a Grammy for his work as producer on Sesame Street Country (1981), a collection of country-flavored kid’s tunes. He has had nonstop assignments since, including projects for Quaker Oats, Sony Kids, Walt Disney Records, Random House and the National Child Safety Council. His work is also featured on video games and other interactive toys.
Scott-penned songs have been featured on television shows ranging from “Who’s the Boss” and “The Guiding Light” to “Fame” and “Hee Haw.” His “Always a Friend,” performed by Ray Charles on an episode of ABC-TV’s “Who’s the Boss,” generated an overwhelming number of inquiries to the show’s producers and Scott continues to receive mail from brides asking to use the tune in their weddings.
Scott wrote and produced the soundtrack for 1993’s “Trollies Radio Show Sing-A-Long,” which was released as both an audio cassette and video and resulted in combined worldwide sales in excess of one million units. The follow-up video, “The All New Trollies Musical Adventure” (for which he also provided the voice of Trollie king “Rock `n Troll”), garnered him an Emmy Award (Music Composer/Arranger with Lyrics). Scott also earned a Parent’s Choice Award for Best Video for Children for his “Ben Vereen’s Sing- a-Long.”
Scott’s “Before You Grow” was personally chosen by Kathie Lee Gifford for inclusion on her 1997 Dove Award-nominated album “Lullabies for Little Ones.” The song is an example of the versatility and crossover appeal exhibited by many of Scott’s tunes, having also been performed by country songstress Faith Hill on last year’s all-star album “Big Country for One and All.” That project also featured The Charlie Daniels Band performing another Scott song, “Playing in the Same Band.”
Dennis and the Sesame Street Muppets
A native New Yorker, Scott relocated to Nashville following his work there on his Grammy-winning “Sesame Street Country.” “Nashville has such a creative and closely-knit music community,” he says. “It has great recording studios, great talent and there’s always a parking spot. Who could ask for more?”
Scott’s own studio serves as the command center for the controlled chaos you would expect from a man whose assignments can have him creating for a soap, a troll and a major recording artist, all while he might be working up parodies for a prominent corporation’s roast.
Dennis has served a music director for several children’s TV shows including the PBS series “Noddy” for which composed and produced over a hundred original songs. Drawing on his experience in the theatre, Dennis enjoys writing music and lyrics that helps develop the show’s characters and move the action forward. Hal Leonard Music commissioned Dennis to write both the script and songs for a new kids musical called “Motion of the Ocean.” He is also a contributing writer for “Sesame Street Live” and composed a new score for the live touring show of Scholastic’s “Magic School Bus.”
‘When your childhood heroes are people like Danny Kaye, Jack Benny and Jerry Lewis, you can’t help but have a silly side to you. Creating and producing music, particularly children’s music, allows me to be as silly and creative as I want to be… “Now that’s my kind of job description!”