Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Everybody stutters one way or another, so check out my message to you..."

John Paul Larkin (March 13, 1942December 3, 1999), better known as Scatman John (sometimes credited as Scatman internationally), was a famous American stuttering jazz musician who created a unique fusion of scat singing and Euro Dance, best known for his 1994 hit "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)". As he liked to say, this was a process of "turning my biggest problem into my biggest asset." He has sold millions of recordings world-wide and was also named "Best New Artist" in the Echo Awards in both Japan and Germany. He was a recipient of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Annie Glenn Award for outstanding service to the stuttering community and was inducted into the National Stuttering Association Hall of Fame. He died of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 57.
(taken from

I love the Scatman. As I get ready for Fluency class on Friday and scramble around doing Traumatic Brain Injury homework, Scatman John is running on loop through my head. I like to try to sing the scat parts of his songs along with him, and find myself utterly unable to keep up. Sometimes, I think the people with so-called "impairments" teach and help me more than I shall ever be able to teach and help them. They are truly gifts from God.

1 comment:

Marla said...

I worked one on one with a man who had a traumatic brain injury for six years. We became quite close despite his inability to use many words. He could however sing song after song clearly and with great gusto. I miss him.

We are all fortunate that most of our communicatioin is through body language instead of words.