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BILLY ECKSTINE SIGNED 8 X 10 PROGRAM PHOTO FOR BILLY ECKSTINE'S DAY 1987

$195.00

Description

BILLY ECKSTINE SIGNED 8 X 10 PROGRAM PHOTO, "To Dr. Scott, My best, Billy Eckstine", b/w, smiling portrait. The program, 8.5 x 11, 6 pages, honoring "Billy Eckstine's Day" and celebrating Saint Paul's College Centennial, (the private historically black college was located in Lawrenceville, VA), November 10, 1987. In fine condition.

William Clarence Eckstine (July 8, 1914 – March 8, 1993) was an American jazz and pop singer, and a bandleader of the swing era. He was noted for his rich, resonant, almost operatic bass-baritone voice. Eckstine's recording of “I Apologize” (MGM, 1948) was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.  

 In 1944, Eckstine formed his own big band and it became the finishing school for adventurous young musicians who would shape the future of jazz. Included in this group were Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, and Fats Navarro, as well as vocalist Sarah Vaughan. 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”. Both were awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.   

 Eckstine was the subject of a three-page profile in the 25 April 1950 issue of LIFE magazine in which one photograph showed Eckstine with a group of white female admirers. The publication of the image caused letters of protest to be written to the magazine, and singer Harry Belafonte subsequently said of the publication that "when that photo hit, in this national publication, it was if a barrier had been broken". The controversy that resulted from the photograph had a seminal effect on the trajectory of Eckstine's career. Tony Bennett would recall that "It changed everything...Before that, he had a tremendous following...and it just offended the white community, coverage and that picture just slammed the door shut for him". He went on recording, appearing on television variety shows, and performing until his heart attack in 1992.

 $195   #10551