Personnel includes: Billy Eckstine (vocals); Herny Mancini, Pete Rugolo (arranger); Hal Mooney's Orchestra.
Bobby Tucker Orchestra includes: Bobby Tucker (conductor); Harry "Sweets" Edison, Manny Klein (trumpet); Milt Bernhart, Eddy Kusby (trombone); Vincent DeRosa (French horn); Buddy Collette, William Green (woodwinds); Victor Arno, Ben Gill (violin); Paul Robyn, David Sterkin (viola); Cy Bernard (cello); Katherine Julyie (harp); Gerald Tucker (piano); Trefoni Rizzi (guitar); Red Callender (bass); Irving Cottler (drums).
Producer: Bob Shad.
Reissue: Michael Lang.
Principally recorded in Hollywood, California between April 26, 1957 and May 10, 1958 and in New York, New York in September 1958. Includes liner notes by Bill Ruhlmann.
Digitally remastered by Steve Fallone (Polygram Studios).
Not the greatest-hits compilation listeners may think it is, Billy's Best! is in fact a full LP, one of Eckstine's first for Mercury, and the best of his career. Wrapped in strings and the brassy notes of a few jazzmen by arrangers Henry Mancini and Pete Rugolo, Eckstine slides through a dozen ballads and romantic songs, "Stella by Starlight," "You Don't Know What Love Is," and "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Though his certainly isn't the zippiest version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" ever committed to record, Eckstine's wonderful baritone commands this set entirely. ~ John Bush