Boz Scaggs – Dave DiPaolo’s Deep Dive

Though he wasn’t known for a long list of hits like his 70s rock counterparts, singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs had a great deal of influence on more than just the success of his own solo career. Let’s take a deep dive into the musical life of Boz Scaggs:

  • Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, though he moved to Plano, Texas where he attended a private school. After learning guitar at age 12, Scaggs met Steve Miller while at St. Mark’s School in Plano. In 1959 he became the vocalist for Miller’s original band, the Marksmen
  • Later, the two would attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison and play together in blues bands like The Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains
  • Boz spent some time in London to work with other bands and start his first solo album, but eventually returned to the US to work with the Steve Miller Band on their first two albums
  • His second album had a decidedly San Francisco sound featuring the likes of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman, who later formed the Allman Brothers
  • In 1976, he recorded the album Silk Degrees which spawned his most famous singles, including Lowdown and the Lido Shuffle
  • The session musicians that helped make Silk Degrees with Boz apparently enjoyed working together so much, they eventually formed their own band: Toto
  • The producers of Saturday Night Fever asked to use the hit Lowdown in their movie, but Scaggs’ manager turned them down and instead used it in the movie Looking For Mr. Goodbar. Not a good move – Saturday Night Fever became one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. And the movie Looking For Mr. Goodbar was a relative dud
  • Though Lido Shuffle was a smash hit for Boz, he actually didn’t know it until more than a year after the Silk Degrees album was released. The single took that long to be released, but ended up helping the album top out at 5 million records sold
  • Scaggs wrote “Lido Shuffle” with David Paich, who was also his co-writer on “Lowdown.” In an interview with songfacts.com in 2013, Scaggs talked about how the song came about: “‘Lido’ was a song that I’d been banging around. And I kind of stole… well, I didn’t steal anything. I just took the idea of the shuffle. There was a song that Fats Domino did called ‘The Fat Man’ that had a kind of driving shuffle beat that I used to play on the piano, and I just started kind of singing along with it. Then I showed it to Paich and he helped me fill it out. It ended up being ‘Lido Shuffle.'”