Artist picture of Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine

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Artist's top tracks

Christmas Eve Billy Eckstine 03:03
Christmas Eve Billy Eckstine 03:05
Moon River Billy Eckstine 02:38
Passing Strangers Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan 02:36
All of my life Billy Eckstine, Hal Mooney Orchestra 03:16
Passing Strangers Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan 02:40
Passing Strangers (Remastered 2014) Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine 02:41
Blue Christmas Billy Eckstine 02:55
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To Billy Eckstine, Benny Carter, Helen Merrill 05:24
Passing Strangers Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine 02:40

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Everything I Have Is Yours
Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)
Blue Moon
Mr. B's Blues

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The Pittsburgh-born singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine started his career in 1939 with the influential Earl Hines playing trumpet and singing with Hines' Grand Terrace Orchestra. He played on the orchestra's version of 'Stormy Monday Blues' and from there his reputation began to grow.

By 1944 Eckstine felt confident enough to start his own big band - The Billy Eckstine Orchestra, an ensemble widely credited with being the first bop big band and served as a springboard for the careers of many notable jazz performers including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Charlie Parker.

Eckstine's Orchestra went on to have a number of top ten hits including the million-selling 'A Cottage for Sale' and 'Prisoner of Love'. Eckstine became a hugely successful solo performer after disbanding the orchestra in 1947 even outselling Frank Sinatra when he played the Paramont Theatre in New York. He remains one of the USA's most influential jazz artists and continued performing until shortly before his death from a heart attack in 1993. He was 78 years old.