Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Billy Stewart

  • The Best of Billy Stewart: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection [Chess, 2001] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Best of Billy Stewart: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection [Chess, 2001]
Well past his moment at 32, he died on the road in 1970, leaving this, more or less: two doowop-derived soul-r&b sob-song classics, trilled and scatted pull-out-the-stops demolitions of Doris Day's "Secret Love" and the Gershwins' "Summertime," and other vehicles for his piercing tenor and sharp groove--notably "Fat Boy," about an overweight lover who may be built for comfort but is also, for once, insecure. In short, a more distinguished body of minor music than can be claimed by many better-remembered later soul men who'll remain nameless here. B+