Helm, Merry. "Frank
Scott." Dakota Datebook, 21 June
Today would be musician Frank Scott's 85th birthday. He was born
and Alice Scott, the youngest of three sons, on this date in 1921
Scott graduated from Fargo Central High in 1939 and then entered
engineering program at what was then the North Dakota Agricultural
College. But he lasted only a year. Engineering wasnt Franks calling.
When he was 8 years-old, Frank started taking piano lessons. Four
later, at the tender age of 12, he was already leading a band that
playing music he, himself, composed and arranged. In addition to
piano, he also learned to play the harpsichord, guitar, banjo and
After leaving NDAC, Frank and his new wife, Jeanette Daniels Scott,
moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he joined the Paul Simms Orchestra.
Four years later, they came back to Fargo, where Scott began a 12-year
career playing piano and acting as the music director for WDAY radio.
During those twelve years, he scored an astounding 2,500 arrangements
for WDAY while simultaneously producing ice shows and writing songs
for community theater groups.
Scott relocated his family to southern California in 1956, where
piano and arranged music for the Lawrence Welk Show. In addition
working with the shows regulars, such as Myron Floren and Norma
also assisted the production staff with programming and worked with
stars as Pat Boone, Debbie Reynolds, Glen Campbell and one of the
flamboyant pianists of his time, Liberace.
While working with the Lawrence Welk Show, Scott arranged thousands
songs, but he also continued composing. His two most famous songs,
and Bananas and The Moment of Truth, were written while he was with
In 1969, Scott and his family returned to Fargo, due, in part,
illness in the family. He continued arranging, composing and performing
there, and also taught an arranging course at his alma mater, NDSU.
fact, his orchestra performed in the colleges beautiful wooden structure,
Old Main, the night before it was torn down in 1982. But that was
return visit to Fargoin the late 1970s, he and Jeanette moved back
southern California, shortly before Jeanette passed away.
Sometime during the 1980s, Frank put together a new band that included
players such as Art Depew, Don Shelton, and Arnold Fishkind. Then,
1985, he brought a touch of North Dakota to California; he hired
Remme-Roseland to be the bands vocalist. Roseland was a Fargo native
worked for him at WDAY in the 1940s. Frank and Audrey were married
1993, two years before he died.
Frank Scotts legacy lives on, howeverduring his career, he arranged
than 7,000 songs.
Written by Merry Helm