Even before folding his band, Eckstine had recorded solo to support it, scoring two million-sellers in 1945 with "Cottage for Sale" and a revival of "Prisoner of Love". Available with an Apple Music subscription. , Dizzy Gillespie, in reflecting on the band in his 1979 autobiography To Be or Not to Bop, gives this perspective: "There was no band that sounded like Billy Eckstine's. Eckstine made numerous appearances on television variety shows, including on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Nat King Cole Show, The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show, The Art Linkletter Show, The Joey Bishop Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and Playboy After Dark. Most of his success as a singer came with ballads, including "Everything I have is Yours", "Blue Moon", "Caravan," "Prisoner of Love," "You Go to My Head," and "That Old Black Magic". His last hit was "Passing Strangers", a duet with Sarah Vaughan released in 1957. A new version of Last.fm is available, to keep everything running smoothly, please reload the site. The Billy Eckstine Orchestra is considered to be the first bop big-band, and had Top Ten chart entries that included "A Cottage for Sale" and "Prisoner of Love". Born in Pittsburgh but raised in Washington, D.C., Eckstine began singing at the age of seven and entered many amateur talent shows. Eckstine's paternal grandparents were William F. Eckstein and Nannie Eckstein, a mixed-race, married couple who lived in Washington, D.C.; both were born in 1863. He also performed briefly as Billy X. Stine.
After their divorce in 1952, he remarried shortly after to actress and model Carolle Drake in 1953, and they remained married until his death. Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. He also performed as an actor in the TV sitcom Sanford and Son, and in such films as Skirts Ahoy, Let's Do It Again, and Jo Jo Dancer. born on , Among Eckstine's recordings of the 1950s was a 1957 duet with Sarah Vaughan, "Passing Strangers", a minor hit in 1957, but an initial No. He was famous for his "Mr. B. Collar"- a high roll collar that formed a "B" over a Windsor-knotted tie. Though white bands of the era featured males singing straight-ahead romantic ballads, black bands were forced to stick to novelty or blues vocal numbers until the advent of Eckstine and Herb Jeffries (from Duke Ellington's Orchestra).Though several of Eckstine's first hits with Hines were novelties like "Jelly, Jelly" and "The Jitney Man," he also recorded several straight-ahead songs, including the hit "Stormy Monday." (The title character bears no resemblance to Eckstine.). His 1950 appearance at the Paramount Theatre in New York City drew a larger audience than Frank Sinatra at his Paramount performance.
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He was famous for his "Mr. B. Collar"- a high roll collar that formed a "B" over a Windsor-knotted tie. An influence looming large in the cultural development of soul and R&B singers from Sam Cooke to Pr….
~ John Bush. Although there are better and more representative compilations out there, the Savoy Timeless series is a nice place for curious listeners to start. Eckstine was the subject of a three-page profile in the 25 April 1950 issue of LIFE magazine, in which the photographer Martha Holmes accompanied Eckstine and his entourage during a week in New York City.
Eckstine was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a State Historical Marker is placed at 5913 Bryant St, Highland Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to mark the house where he grew up.
Although best known as a singer, his openness to new music made him a strong influence on modern jazz, particularly bebop, as he gave employment to many of the musicians who founded the style. Connect your Spotify account to your Last.fm account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform. By 1943, he gained a trio of stellar bandmates -- Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan.
He was noted for his rich, resonant, almost operatic bass-baritone voice.
Billy Eckstine's smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big band, then as the first romantic black male in popular music. Far more successful than his band recordings, these prefigured Eckstine's future career. Eckstine suffered a stroke while performing in Salina, Kansas, in April 1992, and never performed again.  The controversy that resulted from the photograph had a seminal effect on the trajectory of Eckstine's career. |
Eckstine's recording of "I Apologize" (MGM, 1948) was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999. His nickname was Mr. B. After singing with the Earl Hines band from 1939 to 1943 he led his own band from 1944 to 1947.  Eckstine made his final recordings for Motorcity Records, a label for ex-Motown artists founded by Ian Levine. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Feel free to contribute! Despite the group's modernist slant, Eckstine hit the charts often during the mid-'40s, with Top Ten entries including "A Cottage for Sale" and "Prisoner of Love."
 Billy's sister, Maxine (married name Whedbee), was a well-respected Spanish teacher at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh.
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