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  1. #1

    Billy Eckstine _ Motown Collection

    pent an enjoyable day compiling a CD-R on Billy Eckstine . I wanted to concentrate on Motown only songs, leaving the standards alone. I was worried that I would not have enough tunes to fill a CD-R.
    In the end , I ran out of room.....had to leave a few off, which was a shame.
    I really enjoy MR. B's Motown material. What a shame the company didn't find the right platform/promotion for him...I'm sure there were some potential hits here....possibly they chose the wrong 45s?

    ROAD TO HAPPINESS
    I HEAR A RHAPSODY
    I'LL BE LOVING YOU
    LOST
    DOWN TO EARTH
    HAD YOU BEEN AROUND
    LOVE IS GONE
    JUST LOVING YOU
    FANTASY
    MAYBE TODAY
    TOGETHER TILL THE END OF TIME
    I WONDER WHY ( NOBODY LOVES ME)
    I'VE BEEN BLESSED
    THANK YOU LOVE
    ANYONE HERE GOING MY WAY
    MY CUP RUNNETH OVER
    ASK THE LONELY
    OH HOW HAPPY
    THE LOVE LINE
    KICKIN' STONES
    UMBRELLA MAN
    I JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME
    LOVE IS LIKE AN OLD MAN
    LOOKIN' DOWN
    IF YOU ARE REALLY HAPPY
    I WISH YOU WERE HERE
    THE ANSWER IS LOVE

  2. #2
    Maybe the fact that he was born in Pittsburgh, PA instead of the Motor City, that might have worked against him. To my knowledge the only other Motown artist who was from Pennsylvania was the one and only Tammi Terrell. Does anyone know of any others?

  3. #3
    I think a lot of plans Motown had in 1965...such as a few MOR signings... were blown out of the water by the DRATS explosion.....they had to ride that train whilst it was hot.

  4. #4
    Syreeta also was from Pittsburgh.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Maybe the fact that he was born in Pittsburgh, PA instead of the Motor City, that might have worked against him. To my knowledge the only other Motown artist who was from Pennsylvania was the one and only Tammi Terrell. Does anyone know of any others?
    What happened to Mr. B is the same thing that happened to Peggy Lee (about whom I'm now reading), The Mills Brothers, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill, Yes, Van Halen... in every era are artists who hit the expiration date as tastes change. They can and usually try to keep up with the times, but at some point people loose interest no matter how good the music may sound. Denise Williams didn't run out of talent, but her audience more or less moved on.

    I think when Billy Eckstein signed with Motown, he may have been an artist from a generation before Motown's core audience. Today, we just hear good music and embrace it, but back then, kids would have just thought it was "some old guy" trying to sing our music. It's exactly the same problem Peggy Lee faced with her record company from the 60s on. They recorded her with young, contemporary songwriters and producers but they just couldn't sell her to the young Top 40 audience. Such a shame because Billy Eckstine did some incredible things at Motown.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 06-03-2020 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Good points WWLFAC
    He made some great tracks at Motown but got lost in the shuffle...and tastes change very quickly.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Good points WWLFAC
    He made some great tracks at Motown but got lost in the shuffle...and tastes change very quickly.
    Yeah that's the shame of it. Both Billy and Barbara McNair made some amazing music at Motown but nobody was paying much attention at the time. I don't think Billy Eckstine got much success at Stax either.

  8. #8
    No but his "Stormy" is great. In fact I'm sure he appeared on UK TV promoting it. Can't remember the show but I recall being very surprised.

  9. #9
    My favourites from your list Snake are I Wonder Why andAsk The Lonely, probs because they don’t fit into Billy’s standards bag. I used to have Had you been around on UK TMG. I only picked it up (very cheap) because it was on TM, but sold it for many times what I paid for it.
    BTW, Billy’s album for Stax’s Enterprise label, produced by Isaac Hayes, with the same instrumentation as Isaac’s solo albums, is excellent

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Hi Soulwally
    I had his TMG on white demo..lov both sides.
    Sold it for a few bob.
    Not heard his Stax stuff..only Stormy.
    Did you see that UK tv show?

  12. #12
    I like "Lookin' Down" from Motown Unreleased 68. Jolly tune but actually quite depressing words. Play it quite a bit.

  13. #13
    The 1968 unissued tracks were very good . I think Umbrella Man would have done well with promotion.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    And the album it is from + 1 more

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...xg4FJ3wm0M9Wxg

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyluckyme View Post
    Many thanks Lucky luckyme
    will look into that 2fer on Stax

  17. #17
    I was just reading about him and came across this article. I'm sure many of you are already aware of this but I had never heard about it before - a photo published in Life magazine in 1950 of Billy Eckstine with white female fans that some say had an adverse effect on his career:

    http://behindthescenes.nyhistory.org...illy-eckstine/
    Last edited by calvin; 06-04-2020 at 10:41 AM.

  18. #18
    Calvin,

    interesting article...sad that the views expressed by some at that time are still around.
    Seems Mr. B was quite a big star in the 40s.

  19. #19
    I'm just listening to his "The Prime of My Life" LP... The cover artwork and album title remind me of Frank Sinatra's "September of My Years" album, which also came out in 1965 (Sinatra's LP in September, Eckstine's in November). I don't think this could be a coincidence, the Sinatra LP was very popular. Both LPs have the song "This Is All I Ask" (though according to DFTMC, the Eckstine song was recorded in March 1965).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_of_My_Years

    Compare the covers:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/September-Y.../dp/B012UW4SF8

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...phy/2920156360
    Last edited by calvin; 06-04-2020 at 11:56 AM.

  20. #20
    That's interesting...it does look as though Motown were looking at getting BE to be in the Sinatra style.
    Whilst I think the standards were well done, I prefer BE's Motown original tracks.
    I'm a Nat King Cole man myself.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Hi Soulwally
    I had his TMG on white demo..lov both sides.
    Sold it for a few bob.
    Not heard his Stax stuff..only Stormy.
    Did you see that UK tv show?
    No I didn’t wonder what it could have been. Of course the album is called Stormy and that’s the lead track

  22. #22
    Hes of an earlier era from the usual artists they cover but eckstine definitely should have an unsung episode

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyluckyme View Post

    Played a few tracks of the 2fer on Stax and enjoyed what I heard. I will return to again.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Maybe the fact that he was born in Pittsburgh, PA instead of the Motor City, that might have worked against him. To my knowledge the only other Motown artist who was from Pennsylvania was the one and only Tammi Terrell. Does anyone know of any others?
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    Weren't The Stylists from Philadelphia?

  25. #25
    Might never happen (the Japanese would be the only hope) but I'd still buy Billy's Motown albums as individual CDs. Come to that I'd also buy Barbara McNair's, Diahanne Carroll and Sammy Davis Jr's too. Well they did release Brenda Holloway and Chuck Jackson's. Official releases only though preferred.

  26. #26
    ...I purchased a Longines LP of Motown songs eons ago ...Soul Supreme Vol 2

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Soul...elease/1927073

    ...which contained one Billy Eckstine song which I've loved ever since ...The Answer Is Love

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTqdOWNArrg

    ...up until that point ...I'd never heard of him...!!!

    Grape

  27. #27
    Grape
    Don't you remember "Passing Strangers" duet with Sarah Vaughn...an unlikely UK hit in about 1969?
    That track you like is a gem from Smokey.
    It's great I agree.

  28. #28
    Some more photos you might like ....

    His 3 UK Tamla Motown albums
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...-XEYpmm-Road9Y

    Comparison of UK and US cover for "Gentle On My Mind/For Love Of Ivy"
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...-Road9Yhttp://

    The Billy Eckstine Story
    5C 052-93364
    Tamla Motown LP Holland

    A1 Had You Been Around
    A2 Gentle on My Mind
    A3 My Way
    A4 I Wish You Were Here
    A5 Together 'til the End of Time
    A6 Maybe Today
    B1 Love Is Gone
    B2 Feeling Good
    B3 I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her
    B4 Talk To Me
    B5 Nothing But Trouble
    B6 You Better Believe It

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...9BEKUJ-9BBPFH/

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Weren't The Stylists from Philadelphia?
    The Stylists were a Detroit group (not to be confused with Philadelphia's Stylistics or even another Motown group The Stylers).

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Grape
    Don't you remember "Passing Strangers" duet with Sarah Vaughn...an unlikely UK hit in about 1969?
    ...must have passed me by Snake ...I was just getting into Ska and reggae then...!

    I'm very glad I bought Billy Eckstine's The Motown Years when I did...!!

    https://www.discogs.com/Billy-Ecksti...release/933732

    Grape

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    The Stylists were a Detroit group (not to be confused with Philadelphia's Stylistics or even another Motown group The Stylers).
    Name:  av-5.jpg
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    No I remembered an early '70s group who were produced by Thom Bell, or some other Philly-Sound producer, singing a Philly-Sound song, which I had thought was one of the last V.I.P. records, but is not listed on the discography. I had mixed up the Stylists with them, because their release was one of V.I.P. releases. Maybe it was Courtship on Tamla? Was Courtship from Philadelphia? Didn't Thom Bell produce some records for Motown? Maybe Gamble and Huff recorded some Philadelphia artists?
    must have

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Grape
    Don't you remember "Passing Strangers" duet with Sarah Vaughn...an unlikely UK hit in about 1969?
    That track you like is a gem from Smokey.
    It's great I agree.
    Actually "Passing Strangers" was from 1957, and was a reasonable hit back then (#82 BB Hot-100, #22 UK), somehow it got caught up in the 1969 UK reissue boom and got as high as #20. Great record!!

    Roger

  33. #33
    Yes I aware it was an "oldie" in 1969 but didn't.know the details
    A great tune .

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