‘Burning Bridges’ Composer Walter Scott Dies At 89

Aug 19, 2015

Walter E. Scott.
Credit Provided by family

While on a break at the Evendale General Electric plant in 1957, Walter E. Scott wrote the country song “Burning Bridges” which would be sung  by Glen Campbell, George Jones, Roger Miller and Ray Price.

More than 60 artists recorded the song by Scott, a Colerain Township resident who died Aug. 15 at age 89. Campbell released an album titled "Burning Bridges" in 1967.

The royalty checks enabled him to buy “a new car and a few things,” Scott recalled in a 2013 YouTube interview with his great-nephew Gary Scott of Nashville.

“You don’t get real big checks right off the start. Now we still get checks for it, but they come from overseas mostly,” said Scott in the video shot in his Colerain Township home.

Walter Scott was one of eight brothers who grew up on a farm in Williamstown, Ky. The brothers played country music concerts in the area with their father, Raymond. One of Walter’s brothers was the late Ray Scott, a former WNOP-AM jazz DJ.

Among the first to perform “Burning Bridges” was Williamstown neighbor Kenny “Round Mound of Sound” Price and his trio, the Hometowners, he said in the 2013 interview. Jack Scott (no relation to Walter) hit No. 3 with the song in 1960, says Dusty Rhodes, Hamilton County auditor and long-time local radio personality.

Scott’s song-writing success inspired several generations of his family. Son David is a singer-songwriter. Walter’s nephew Rick Scott was a drummer for Alabama, and wrote “Tennessee” for Johnny Cash. Nephew Arliss Scott played guitar at the Grand Ole Opry. Arliss’s son is Gary Scott of Nashville, who has recorded “Burning Bridges” with his wife, Dalia Garcia, as the duo Garcia and Scott.

“I’m a fourth-generation musician. Walter’s influence trickled down to me,” said Gary Scott, who  was WMUB-FM news director from 2005 to 2009.

Walter Scott was a World War II veteran and a member of the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

In addition to his son, survivors include his widow Dolores Lorraine Scott;  daughter Jean Mueller; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at Neidhard-Young Funeral Home, 7401 Hamilton Ave. Mount Healthy. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.