It is hard to determine just how short the career of singer George "Fathead" Thomas was, since his date of birth never seems to have been established. Nonetheless, he was gone by the end of 1930, victim of a car accident in New Haven. He left behind a legacy as an innovator in scat singing, one of the few jazz singers of his era who did not chant along in unison with the faddish Louis Armstrong imitations of the day. The majestic R&B singer Jimmy Rushing -- who almost replaced Thomas in the popular McKinney's Cotton Pickers -- can be relied on for expert testimony on this subject: "George "Fathead" Thomas...was a good ballad singer and a scat man. A lot of singers tried to copy Louis Armstrong, but not very successfully. George Thomas was one of the notable exceptions. He was the first I heard sing 'I Want a Little Girl.' He did a marvelous job on 'Baby, Won't You Please Come Home' and 'If I Could Be with You,' too."