Billy Eckstine

Knowledge Identifier: +Billy_Eckstine


Billy Eckstine

American singer of ballads and a bandleader of the swing era add

Category: Music (655)

Born in 1914.

Countries: United States (96%), Belgium (4%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker

Linked to: Howard University, Recording Industry Association of America, Peabody High School, Saint Paul's College




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Billy Eckstine was born in 1914 add something


In the 1930s, Eckstine had pop hits "Prisoner of Love" and "My Foolish Heart" as well as "I Apologize" add something


He left Howard in 1933, after winning first place in an amateur talent contest add something


Heading to Chicago, Eckstine joined Earl Hines' Grand Terrace Orchestra in 1939, staying with the band as vocalist and trumpeter, until 1943 add something


Eckstine recorded over a dozen hits during the late 1940s, including "My Foolish Heart" and "I Apologize add something


The collars were worn by many a hipster in the late 1940s and early 1950s add something


He married his first wife, June, in 1942 add something


Sarah Vaughan - Vaughan spent the remainder of 1943 and part of 1944 touring the country with the Earl Hines big band that featured baritone Billy Eckstine.


In 1944, Eckstine formed his own big band and made the finishing school for young musicians who would shape jazz future, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, and Fats Navarro add something


Tommy Potter - Born in Philadelphia, Potter had first played with Parker in 1944, in Billy Eckstine's band with Dizzy Gillespie, Lucky Thompson and Art Blakey


Gene Ammons - In 1944 he joined the band of Billy Eckstine , playing alongside Charlie Parker and later Dexter Gordon


Miles Davis - In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited East St. Louis, Illinois.


Charlie Rouse - Rouse began his career with the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in 1944, followed by the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band in 1945, the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1949 to 1950, the Count Basie Octet in 1950, Bull Moose Jackson And His Buffalo Bearcats in 1953, and the Oscar Pettiford Sextet in 1955


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" add something


Lena Horne - In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine's Orchestra


Sonny Stitt - Stitt played alto saxophone in Billy Eckstine's big band alongside future bop pioneers Dexter Gordon and Gene Ammons from 1945 until 1956, when he started to play tenor saxophone more frequently, in order to avoid being referred to as a Charlie Parker imitator.


Eckstine became a solo performer in 1947, with records featuring lush sophisticated orchestrations add something


Eckstine's recording of "I Apologize" was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1999 add something


Frank Sinatra - By the end of 1948, Sinatra felt that his career was stalling, something that was confirmed when he slipped to No. 4 on Down Beat's annual poll of most popular singers (behind Billy Eckstine, Frankie_Laine, and Bing Crosby).


Hugo Winterhalter - Winterhalter arranged and conducted sessions for singers including Dinah Shore and Billy Eckstine, and in 1948 he was named musical director at MGM Records


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. 22 success in the UK Singles Chart add something


As a black man, Eckstine was not immune to the prejudice that characterized the 1950s add something


His 1950 appearance at the Paramount Theatre in New York City drew a larger audience than Frank Sinatra at his Paramount performance add something


After their divorce he married actress and model Carolle Drake in 1953, and they remained married until his death add something


Sarah Vaughan - Vaughan was reunited with Billy Eckstine for a series of duet recordings in 1957 that yielded the hit "Passing Strangers".


Count Basie - In 1959, Basie's band recorded a "greatest hits" double album The Count Basie Story and "Basie and Eckstine, Inc.": album featuring Billy Eckstine, Quincy_Jones and the Count Basie Orchestra.


He recorded albums for Mercury and Roulette in the early 1960s, and appeared on Motown albums during the mid to late 1960s add something


The 1960 Las Vegas live album, "No Cover, No Minimum", featured Eckstine taking a few trumpet solos and showcased his nightclub act add something


Quincy Jones - In the 1960s, Jones worked as an arranger for some of the most important artists of the era, including Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Dinah Washington


After recording sparingly during the 1970s for Al Bell's Stax/Enterprise imprint, the international touring Eckstine made his last recording, the Grammy-nominated "Billy Eckstine Sings with Benny Carter" in 1986 add something


His friend Duke Ellington recalled Eckstine's artistry in his 1973 autobiography "Music is My Mistress": "Eckstine-style love songs opened new lines of communication for the man in the man-woman merry-go-round, and blues a la B were the essence of cool add something


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 add something


In 1984 Eckstine recorded his final album, "I Am a Singer", arranged and conducted by Angelo DiPippo and featuring Toots Thielemans on harmonica add something

Billy Eckstine died in 1993 add something


In 2013, Hal Leonard Books published "Mr. B. - The Music and LIfe of Billy Eckstine" by Cary Ginell, the first full-length treatment of Eckstine's career add something