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Scatman John's Motivational Success Story "From Stuttering To Scatting"

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Scatman John, Motivational, Success Story, "From Stuttering To Scatting", Inspirational, Stuttering, Scatting, "Scatman's World", "I'm Scatman", Scatland, Life

Today we bring you the success story of american musician, John "Scatman" Larkin better know as "Scatman John". This man created a new music style that mixed scat singing with dance music, and was very popular musician in the mid 90s

What's so motivating about Scatman's life is that he became successful doing just the thing he was most afraid of, stuttering.

Scatman left us in 1999, but his life story and legacy, are so inspirational and motivational, truly worthy of being celebrated. Get inside the "Scatman's World" as we approach Scatman John's success story and give you motivational tips based on the life events of this great man:

Scatman John's Motivational Success Story "From Stuttering To Scatting"

1. A Traumatic Childhood Because Of Stuttering 

Since the days he learned how to speak, Scatman John suffered from severe stuttering. His school days were a very traumatic experience. By 6th his teacher ask for him to stand in front of the class to recite on a given issue, he wasn't even able to get the first word out, he just brook into tears and got back to his seat. Besides that, he was frequently mocked by his colleagues and friends, they would do some grotesque sounds making an exaggerated version of Scatman stuttering. It was just devastating for a kid just growing up. 

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: A traumatic childhood doesn't have to translate into an traumatic life. You have to look for the good in situations, hold on to it, and make the best you can with it. Of course, Scatman didn't knew this at the time, like any kid wouldn't, but later, as you're about to see, in adult life he made something of it, like we can make something about it too. The bad stories we retain from our childhood don't have to be forever our life story! When you retained them, you though like the kid you were, but now being older, you think like an adult, you really can and should do something about it.

2. Music Was The Other Side Of The Coin

Music was always part of Scatman John's life. Growing up, his mother sang, his brother sang, they had a piano at home. He developed the skill to played the piano. Although he stuttered, music was a place were he could actually use his voice, being somewhat of melodic with unusual skills. He was introduced to scat-singing by the works of Elsa Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. He actually got quite good at it. 

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: Like we previously said, there is always something good we can hold on to. For Scatman John it was music, what's the thing for you? We all have our talents and skills, get to know yourself really well. See what you're good doing, develop those skills from that point on. Anything is possible, who knows? Since Scatman stuttered, normal singing wasn't the thing for him, but he didn't abandoned music despite that, he managed to find a way to actually sing something. Don't give up just because of a setback, there's is always room for a comeback if you really want it.

3. Alcohol As A Short Term Relieve 

At age 14, Scatman John took his first drink. He liked it, he liked the taste, but what attracted him the most, was the fact that alcohol made him talk better and he could hide from his own stuttering, for a while. He found an immediate solution to his problem, but it was a short effect and damaging one. 

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: Usually quick fixes do this, they surely help in the short term, but the majority, hurts you on the long run. In today's world we're filled with quick fixes, you should avoid them. We all have our addictions, there's no shame in it, but you have to acknowledge the price you're paying for not stopping that habit, remember.

4. Hiding For Majority Of His Life

Scatman John hide from his problem for decades. He made it to be a modest professional musician, playing the piano in jazz clubs. But he was in fact, hiding his stuttering behind the piano, not having to sing to the crowd, until he was 45! By 1992 he made it to play in European hotels, but still be hiding there. Either or without the stuttering he struggled for years as a jazz musician, it was a hard ride!

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: Despite his problem, Scatman saw a little success when he decided to engage in a professional career as a musician. Despite your problems, you can always follow your passions and improve your skills, again, there's always room for it if you really desire it. But of course, hiding isn't a good thing, and Scatman paid the price, and saw the doors of a successful music career closing to him, ironically not because of the stuttering, but because of the complexity of the business and, we can speculate also, because he wasn't facing the real problem. Stay true to your roots, Scatman learned this as you're about to see in a minute.

5. Enough Is Enough Getting Treatment

By this time, Scatman began to be depleted physically and spiritually. To add to the mix, a close friend had died from cancer a few years before. All this situations led him to be fed up, and enough was enough! He made the decision that changed his life, he decided to get help! He joined an outside group, he worked on his stuttering, and, as soon as he owned it, the stuttering stopped on the minute. 

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: One decision is all it takes for you to change your life. The decision that has to be made, it's not hard, what is hard is the time it takes you to make that decision. That's why it's so important, to constantly revise your life and your goals. Don't be ashamed of your problems, acknowledge them and work on them as soon as possible. You can wait for that decision to come to your mind (it can take a lifetime...), or you can push yourself and chase the best you can be (decisions will come on the spot!). Also, don't be ashamed to ask for help when you need, people are here for you, believe or not. Some went trough the same problems you're facing, and found out a solution, go talk to them, get that help so you can find a solution.

6. Turning Stuttering Into His Biggest Asset 

One day, Scatman scat-sang to his manager, Manfred Zähringer, the man responsible to book him to play in European hotels. His wife also gave the manager a tape where Scatman was scating to known songs. The manager just loved it and saw the opportunity to do something great based on Scatman's scatting skills. The idea was to mix scatting with dance music

Another crucial decision Scatman made by this time, was to stop hiding his stuttering problem, as he decided to talk directly about it in his song lyrics. He wanted to be free from the traumatic experience that marked his childhood, and instead of hiding he was about to show the world his truer self, if he stuttered no problem! That's who he was. This took the message in his music to such a high level that he would become an inspiration to anyone who stuttered.  

"Turning my biggest problem into my biggest asset." - Scatman John

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: If there's will there's a way! But if there's skill and will, you can become an unstoppable force! That's what Scatman had, and he and his manager took advantage of it. Suddenly, stuttering went from being his biggest problem, to be his biggest asset. Another lesson here it's on the second part of the text, you can have your problems, find a way to solve it, and that's fine! But if you ad to it, the ability to help others solving similar problems, you amplify your message, it's great for others, and it's huge to you too! Stay true to who you are, no shame about it, help yourself by helping the world.

7. Welcome To Scatman's World

By 1995, Scatman released is debut single "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)", followed by a second song "Scatman's World" they were huge successes. He then released his debut album also titled "Scatman's World", it was a concept album with a strong inspirational message. He created "Scatland" an imaginary land, he explained where it was with his own lyrics:  "it's between your deepest dreams and warmest wishes". It was amazing display of how he turned his problem into an asset, he created a new imaginary world, where anyone could break free from her/his traumas. Stuttering was a wonderful thing now, no shame about it. Scatman John went to sell eight million CDs, and earn 14 gold and 18 platinum records throughout his career. By inspiring other stutterers John won  the Annie Glenn Award from the National Council of Communicative Disorders in 1996. Scatman John became a truly great success motivational story.

"It's only because scatman stutters that scatman is happening." - Scatman John

"Scatting gave me a way to stutter freely," he said. "I'm a star . . . not although I stutter, but because I stutter.” - Scatman John 

“I know how absurd it can sound for a stutterer to be told that it's ‘okay’ to stutter. For me, now it is okay to stutter. I don't like to stutter, but it has become okay. It kept me in the closet when I was a jazz player. Stuttering had control of me. I was a victim of my stuttering. Today I'm not the victim anymore. It doesn't sabotage my life anymore.” - Scatman John

Motivational Tip About Scatman John's Success Story: You can create your own world, you can create your own things. Maybe your problem, it's just the thing you need to be successful in a unique and amazing way. Think about it! Analyze your problems and see how you can turn things around by addressing them. Scatman adressed the problem, he broke free, he became successful, and most importantly he took the opportunity to inspire others like him, showing them they can also break free from past traumatic experiences. You can also do it! If a man that stuttered throughout his whole life made it to be a singer, anything is possible! If you deeply believe in you and your dreams you can also...


Some of the facts from Scatman John's life in this article were taken from the YouTube video bellow. This is a great video where you can see Scatman talking first hand about his life, please like the video and support the author for his great research work.

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