Eckstine, (William Clarence Eckstein) Billy(1914–93) jazz musician; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He emerged as a ballad specialist with Earl Hines between 1939–45, led a trailblazing modern jazz orchestra until 1948, and freelanced as a popular nightclub singer thereafter.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.