Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Airmail Special by Billy Eckstine, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Airmail Special

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

This Drive Archive budget CD reissues an Alamac LP, material that has also appeared on the English Spotlite label. Singer Billy Eckstine led one of the first bebop big bands and this set of 1945 broadcasts features such important modernists as trumpeter Fats Navarro, the tenors of Gene Ammons and Budd Johnson, drummer Art Blakey and singer Sarah Vaughan. The arrangements of the instrumentals (particularly "Airmail Special" and "Opus X") are a bit futuristic, Eckstine takes four fine vocals and Sarah Vaughan's two features ("Mean to Me" and "Don't Blame Me") are among her earliest appearances on record. The recording quality overall is just decent but the fire of the music makes these performances worth acquiring (in one form or another) by bop collectors.


Born: July 8, 1914 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Billy Eckstine's smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big band, then as the first romantic black male in popular music. An influence looming large in the cultural development of soul and R&B singers from Sam Cooke to Prince, Eckstine was able to play it straight on his pop hits "Prisoner of Love," "My Foolish Heart" and "I Apologize." Born in Pittsburgh but raised in Washington, D.C., Eckstine began singing at the age...
Full Bio