Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thank You, Mr. B!

Billy Eckstine - Thank You Love

Singer/bandleader Billy Eckstine has been featured in a prior post, although in that post I forgot to mention one other cultural contribution of "Mr. B," as he was known: on a sartorial tip, Eckstein developed a style of wearing a high roll collar over a Windsor-knotted tie, a look referred to as the "Mr. B collar" and copied by bop musicians among others. Having cleared that up, I return to Eckstine's tenure at Motown to feature a 1968 single. Although the strutting groove of "Thank You Love" and Eckstine's mannered vocal style make for quite a juxtaposition, the ascending arrangement of the Hank Cosby-Sylvia Moy-Stevie Wonder tune, with its great vamp tying the verses together, provides a hip foundation for Eckstine to work his brand of cool.

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