Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All Apologies: I Apologize

Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine : I Apologize


This 1950 hit for bop big band leader cum vocalist Billy Eckstine is a cover of an earlier Bing Crosby song. It showcases his smooth-as-butter baritone with a lush orchestra. And damn, does he ever sound sincerely sorry! I'd forgive him, wouldn't you?

Eckstine broke a lot of musical ground, both in the bop jazz world (working with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey…) and as one of the first black romantic singers interpreting American standards. His 1942 rendition of Skylark introduced the first black vocalist ever heard on US network radio. If not for the overarching racism in America at the time, he probably would've been as popular as Frank Sinatra, who recommended Eckstine as his replacement when his voice failed during the late 40's.

And now I'll offer my own apologies for not being able to post again for the next week – I'm headed for the east coast.

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