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Billy Stewart

Pianist and singer Billy Stewart was a distinctive and influential R&B vocalist whose stuttering delivery and word-repetition technique borrowed liberally from the jazz practice of scat singing. Born in Washington, D.C., in 1937, Stewart started singing publicly with his mother's group, the Stewart Gospel Singers, as a teenager. He moved into secular music by filling in occasionally for the Rainbows, a D.C.-area vocal group led by future soul star Don Covay; like fellow Rainbows substitute Marvin Gaye, Stewart never recorded with them. Despite winning a local talent contest with a unique rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime," Stewart was first discovered as a pianist, not a singer -- while passing through on a tour, Bo Diddley heard him playing backstage and offered him a job as a backing musician. Thanks to his connection with Diddley, Stewart cut his first solo single, "Billy's Blues," for Chess in 1956. He moved to Okeh in 1957 and recorded "Billy's Heartache" backed by the Marquees, another D.C.-area group featuring Gaye.

Stewart would not return to his solo career until 1962, when he returned to Chess and cut a song called "Fat Boy," a nickname he'd acquired for straightforward reasons. He scored his first charting single on the R&B side with "Reap What You Sow," recorded at the same session, and began to hit his creative stride with the warm "Strange Feeling" in 1963. The following year's "Count Me Out" was only a regional hit, but Stewart broke through in 1965 with two lovely R&B ballad hits, "I Do Love You" (which became the title track of his first album) and "Sitting in the Park." Stewart toured heavily behind those two successes, and also charted the following year with "How Nice It Is" and "Because I Love You." Later in 1966, he returned to the Chess studio to cut an album of jazz and pop standards, Unbelievable. Stewart's unique vocal stylings were in full flower, earning him the new nickname "Motormouth," and his revisitation of "Summertime" landed in the Top Ten on both the pop and R&B charts; it still ranks among the more radical reinterpretations of the oft-recorded warhorse. A waxing of Doris Day's "Secret Love" just missed the R&B Top Ten. However, the hits subsequently dried up, and Stewart's weight problem had worsened into diabetes. In 1969, he suffered minor injuries in a motorcycle accident, but the real tragedy struck on January 17, 1970, when the car Stewart was driving went off the road and plunged into the Neuse River in North Carolina, killing Stewart and the three bandmembers riding with him. He was not quite 33. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Billy Stewart

1. I Do Love You

2. Fat Boy

3. Reap What You Sow

4. Sitting In The Park

5. Love Me

6. Strange Feeling

7. Secret Love

8. Cross My Heart

9. Every Day I Have The Blues

10. Tell Me The Truth

11. Summertime

x

Track List: I Do Love You

1. I Do Love You

2. Fat Boy

3. Reap What You Sow

4. Strange Feeling

5. Love Me

7. Cross My Heart

8. Tell Me The Truth

9. Every Day I Have The Blues

10. Sitting In The Park

x

Track List: One More Time

1. Billy's Blues, Part Two

2. Fat Boy

3. Reap What You Sow

4. Sugar And Spice

5. Strange Feeling

6. Count Me Out

7. I Do Love You

8. Keep Lovin'

9. Sitting In The Park

10. Love Me

11. Summertime

12. How Nice It Is

13. Because I Love You

14. Everyday I Have The Blues

15. Secret Love

16. Cross My Heart

17. One More Time

18. Golly Golly Gee

19. Tell Me The Truth

20. I'm In Love (Oh, Yes I Am)

Comments

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This Was Truly Real Music From The Heart and Soul... Unlike Today...The NAKED, MONKEY STROLLING FREAKS OF TODAY.NEGATI V E DEPRESSING DISRESPECTFU L NOISE OF TODAY... NO CLASS,JUST SOME FOUL STINKING ASSESS IN PEOPLES FACES...THES E SO CALLED artists, WELL THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE."A WASTE OF STUPID ". THEIR. SO CALLED
ASSES ARE KNOWN AS -THEIR INTELLIGENCE IS A VICTIM OF IGNORANCE... T H I S IS WHY THIS WORLD IS IMPLODING ON ITS SELF...STOP THE RAP BULLSHIT NOW...
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frank15117
Yes, those where the days when one could sit at the park with the one you loved and create those precious memories that would last a life time. Yes Billy was the man!
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Moonlight in Vermont. Sitting in the park. I do love you. Old memory of the young to be older. The beginning of one learning to explore the feeling of how you express yourself to a
young lady in the 60s.Billy Stewart was and still is Mr . express your true feelings. A true solo singer of our lives.

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BACK WHEN TIMES WERE REAL.. TODAY ITS ALL ABOUT LOOKS NO TALENT.. CHUBBY CANT GET SPOTLIGHTS THESE DAYS.. THIS GUY IS THE TRUTH.. TIMELESS MUSIC
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Ought. M,jk,aAoalaa o q o q
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susanlbw
I will never forget this man and his music is still here with me today, as I can remember I saw him play at a place called Williams Lake , I live in NC and remember the day it was announced in our local news.
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sylviavarela 1 3
Simply one of the grtest singers in my world!Luv u n will nvr b 4gotten.RIP Billy!Ill hear Ur songs 4ever!
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his one of a kind sputter
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Love this song! !! It makes broken HREAT beat again��
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Billy Stewart, i really appreciate it the way you play your music, you left us.too soon, i really miss you
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I miss you very much, billy Stewart, your life got really short in
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Loveit
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I miss you very much billy Stewart, you left way too much soon you were to young and good looking, god bless you, billy Stewart.
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butttttttttt t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
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One of my favorite old school vocalists from my parents generation. Billy Stewart had such a beautiful voice and he could scat with the best of them. I miss music like this.
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I remember my dad being really sad at the news of Billy Stewart ' s death. Dad played his records for us children often. One of the all time greats!
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freddyb22
...music that needs to be heard
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jbfabela5
under-rated but not under-loved
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davedegarcia
Long live Billy Stuart he's music will always play on by many he's a real unsung artist. It's sad to know he gets no props he was a one off a kind he's music he's style was original and one of a kind.there will be no other like him he made it possible for others lets all keep his memory going and keep bumping his music it's truly truly one of a kind rest in peace and so you'll know I bump your music all the time i have evey song made and I go to sleep to it and I love it i can go on and on his v
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Billy Stewart was pretty good the way he sing along with the same harmony and all the way, I love you, god bless you billy.
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jbfabela5
Sorely missed. One of the very best of all time.
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HOW VERY SAD FOR EVERYONE OF HIS UNTIMELY DEATH...BILL Y WAS TRULY ONE OF THE GREATEST VOICES EVER!!! RIP MY MAN.
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I love this song
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arlene562
It just brings tears to my eyes to know how he left us and that he left us too soon. He will ALWAYS be one of my favorite artists. May we meet again beyond. Excuse me, now I must play more of his love songs. . . I Do Love Him, RIP
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08/13/15
Simply love oldies but goodies !!!!!
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08/13/14
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Dear Andrew,I think you must be sure of yourself and tell her about your feelings.
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Still love. You ,J figueroa
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Wow never new old school vibes would.. free my mind like it do
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I love this girl and this is what i wanna say to her but im to scared of getting rejected by her so i keep it a secret
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GQ the old-school group of the 80 s did a great job in there remake of this classic
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midniters
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Billy Stewart what a great sound ,I do miss it.
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dragonlady60 8 8
Golden oldies
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Gone too soon. Love your music, love your lyrics. Still enjoy all. gxb
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I do love you billy Stewart i miss you too
.and also still have you in mind you left us.too soon.
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Sitting in the park ... This is a jam ... Brings back so many wonderful memories <3
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All me ese ...love this VATO..BILLY. . .
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Cruzin in Diego town
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Why was Billy never mentioned in Cadillac Records that's when Chess Records was starting to get good
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❤��
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migdaliaroma n 0 1 0 1 1 9 6 5
My deepest condolences and respect May God give you rest in his kingdom, even you are gone I'm still listening to you're songs and music, I thank you for putting the lyrics correctly, ILove you And missed you.R.I.P.lo v e always MigdalIa Roman.
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06/14/15
I do love you ,,,,,,
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dmrsmax
grown folks, than you Mr. Billy Steward, Delfonics had a great teacher
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dmrsmax
blue lights in basement, chicken wings, louisiana hot sauce, budweiser, brandy, potato salads, collard greens, biscuits, cornbread,
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Love that song, love those days
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R I P Mr, Billy Stewart..... . Y o u r music lives on
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This was the song you got to "grind" to at the party! Then the five stair step world of fantasy ! If you got both records same girl odd we great you copped a kiss during the second song. I think the precursor to Donny Hathaway
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Truly a wonderful singer. Died too soon!
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