10 Facts About Soul Singer Billy Stewart

1. Billy Stewart was born William Larry Stewart today (March 24, 1937) in Washington, DC.

2. Billy Stewart attended Armstrong High School in Washington, DC.

3. Billy was discovered by legendary R&B singer Bo Diddley, who discovered Billy while he was playing the piano at the Capital Arena Theater in Washington DC.

4. Washington, D.C. based group The Marquees (featuring Marvin Gaye) sing back up for Billy Stewart’s 1957 songs “Billy’s Heartaches” and “Baby, You’re My Only Love.”

5. Billy Stewart did no recording from 1957-1962. In 1962, he released “Reap What You Sow,” his debut for Chicago-based label, Chess.

6. Despite his success, Billy hated being in the studios and preferred touring, because the money was better

7. Billy was known to be a bit of a rabble-rouser what he drank. According to Spinning Blues Into Gold,” in one incident, Billy grew impatient while waiting to be buzzed into the Chess offices. So he pulled out his gun to shoot the door knob off. Things were smoothed over, when he passed around Maryland crabs to staff members and musicians.

8. In another incident, Chicago police arrested Billy for shooting his driver. Because of Phil and Leonard Chess’ close association with members of the Chicago Police Department, charges were never filed against Stewart.

9. When he was in the studio, Billy rarely came with a song completed. He preferred to work spontaneously in the studio with the session musicians. This came only after he learned to trust the instincts of legendary producer Roquel “Billy” Davis.

10. Although “Summertime” may be his best known song, his classic cut “I Do Love You,” from February 1965, was his biggest record. It stayed on the charts for 21 weeks and went as high as #6 on the Billboard charts.

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