Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine ( born July 8, 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as William Clarence Eckstein, † March 8, 1993 ) was an American jazz singer and bandleader who also played trumpet, trombone and guitar. Also known as Billy X. Stine, he appeared briefly. His nickname was Mr. B. With his band he exercised great influence on the development of modern jazz, especially on the emerging bebop from.

Life and work

Billy Eckstine grew up in Washington, D.C., attended Howard University and worked as a chorister in the local theaters and later in various small clubs. His career began when he won a local singing contest with an imitation of Cab Calloway. Another early model was Herb Jeffries; he also later title from the repertoire of Russ Colombo ( "Prisoner of Love " ) and Bing Crosby ( " I Surrender Dear", 1947). He played briefly in the Big Band by Tommy Myles, but initially continued his education. After a year he left the university final.

His performances have taken him to the west to Chicago, where he was Budd Johnson 1939 recommended to Earl Hines; this put him in his Grand Terrace Orchestra as a singer and trumpet player a; he had success with " Stormy Monday " and " Jelly, Jelly " with which he made ​​significant contributions to the development of black baritone school - a combination of Post- Crosby'schem singing the blues. He could also reach that Earl Hines called young talent Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan in the band.

After he had worked until 1943 in the Hines band, he first started his solo career as a singer. Finally, on the advice of Dizzy Gillespie, he founded his own band, which was from 1944 to 1947 and many young musicians from the Hines band won it. There played important jazz musicians like the saxophonist Gene Ammons, Dexter Gordon, Lucky Thompson, Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, Budd Johnson, Leo Parker, the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro, drummer Art Blakey and the singers Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan. In October 1945 he succeeded with " A Cottage for Sale" the first of 28 hits on the Billboard charts.

Eckstine later formed an octet, performed solo, then became a popular ballad singer and was successful with titles such as A Cottage for Sale and Prisoner of Love. He was considered the first major successful African-American singer. In 1947 he received a contract with the newly formed MGM label. This year he had a hit with the default Everything I Have Is Yours by Burton Lane and Harold Adamson. He composed the classic Blue Jelly, Jelly, and together with the Earl Hines Stormy Monday Blues ( 1942). Among his greatest achievements include recording of Caravan (1949 ), My Foolish Heart (1950), I Apologize, No One But You and Gigi. At the beginning of the 1950s, its popularity declined; His last hit was Passing Strangers in duet with Sarah Vaughan in 1957. During his further career Eckstine moved from label to label and has predominantly been on at live concerts.

Eckstine always returned briefly to his jazz roots, and took, except with Vaughan, also with Count Basie and Quincy Jones. On the live album from 1960 No Cover, No Minimum Eckstine played a few trumpet solos. He then recorded several albums for the Mercury label and roulette; in the mid-1960s he played on the Motown label a few titles. In the 1970s, emerged a few plates; his last was the Grammy-nominated album Billy Eckstine Sings with Benny Carter in 1986.

Eckstine is honored among others on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.