Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Billy Eckstine 100 -- July 9, 2014

Yesterday would have been the 100th birthday of Mr B, Billy Eckstine.  What a voice. 

He sang and played trumpet with Earl Hines.  He met Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, who had some new ideas about music.  When Mr B left the Hines orchestra to start his own, he brought them along and hired other progressive jazz players.  Mr B didn't like the word, but they were the first bebop big band. 

As the big band era ended, Billy Eckstine performed as a solo act.  He was very successful until he ran into racist attitudes, but he carried on. 

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