Bishop Leonard Scott and Pastor Craig Tyson, The Men behind the Label

Art & Entertainment

By: David Johnson/ BNC Digital Reporter

Indianapolis (BNC) – You may not know their names, but chances are you know their music.Tyscot Music and Entertainment is the oldest black owned gospel recording company in the world, and home to some of the biggest names in gospel music.


The recording company’s origins began in Indianapolis, Indiana where Scott and Tyson began writing music in the mid 70’s. By 1976, the pair was well on their way to making gospel music history.


To finance the label Scott, a dentist, took his salary and joined with Tyson to record music in Tyson’s father’s church.


Scott became the marketing and business leader while Tyson was the driving force behind producing the label.


“My brother was a musical prodigy and genius! He was one of the greatest keyboard players that ever lived, and some of his compositions are still sung to this day. He was a brilliant musicologist.”, said Craigs brother James L. Tyson.


Pastor Craig Tyson would leave Indianapolis, and the company in the mid-1980s to pursue his music career, and later died in 2006.

“My brother’s contribution to Tyscot was believing in the dream that he and Dr. Scott had. They trusted God would bless their efforts if they stayed faithful to God and committed their gifts to and for his Glory.  Their collaboration still resonates and is manifested in the fact that Tyscot is the oldest African-American Gospel Recording Company still in existence.” , said Craigs brother James L. Tyson


Early success was hard to come by for Tyscot Records. Even among the gospel community, Tyscot had to fight for their recognition.


“There were very few places at that time where you could go and readily obtain information on the recording process and industry. Most of the information that was available was centered in areas such as New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. We gleaned most of our education from reading books, industry magazines, and attending music conferences.”, said Bishop Scott.


In 1983, Reverend Bill Sawyer of Cleveland, Ohio chose Tyscot to release the live recording of his Christian Tabernacle Choir featuring the song, “Something Old, Something New”. The door was now open for others to follow.


“Our first big break came when a new artist we had signed in the late 1980s  became a hit. Rev John P. Kee and his New Life Community Choir would rise to be one of the premier gospel artists of that era, reaching gold status in the gospel genre.” , said Bishop Scott.

Photo by Leonard Scott


The Label would go on to work with numerous decorated gospel recording artists including Deitrick Haddon & Voices of Unity (V.O.U), Fred Hammond, Lamar Campbell, Reverend John P. Kee, Lucinda Moore, The Rance Allen Group, and Ann Nesby.


Currently, Bishop Leonard Scott serves on the board as the primary Owner/Chairman of Tyscot Record with Brian Scott (President) , Jeff Hargrove (VP of Marketing and promotions), Sidney Scott (Director of A&R/Promotions/Corporate Liaison) , Bill Carpenter (Publicist) , and Claudius Craig (Marketing and Promotions Manager).


Outside of the Label, Bishop Scott is known as Dr. Scott, lead dentist of Scott Dentistry.  

Leonard Scott, lead dentist at Scott Dentistry. (Photo By Leonard Scott)

After attending Indiana University school of dentistry, Bishop Scott opened Scott Dentistry in 1973.


“As long as he has done it, he has an amazing work ethic even outside of the dental industry. In the face of adversity, I’ve seen him remain calm and composed always, and that’s what makes him an amazing leader,” said son and Office Manager Kieno Scott.


Currently, the office is a family run operation that has three generations of Scott’s family involved.


Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is an organization that Bishop Scott holds dear to his heart due to his daughter being a Leukemia survivor. Bishop Scott has raised over $10,000 to the “Man and Woman of the Year Campaign”.


In 2017, Scott received the highest honor at the Stellar Awards winning the Hall of Fame, and Gospel Music Association Legacy Awards.


Scott is expected to receive the “Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award” on August 14-16 at the 2020 annual Stellar Awards.


The award is given to an individual that displays a strong impact for both the gospel music industry and their community.


Though Pastor Tyson is no longer with Bishop Scott too see what Tyscot Records would’ve become, he is smiling down on the gospel music legacy of Bishop Leonard Scott.