Andy Bey

One of the great unsung heroes of jazz singing, Andy Bey is a commanding interpreter of lyrics who has a wide vocal range and a big, rich, full voice. Bey enjoys a small following that swears by him; nonetheless, he isn't nearly as well known as he should be. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, not far from New York, Bey was exposed to jazz as a child and started singing in front of local audiences as early as age eight. At some gigs, an eight-year-old Bey was accompanied by tenor sax great Hank Mobley. Bey was 13 when, in 1952, he recorded his first solo album, Mama's Little Boy's Got the Blues, and he was 17 when he formed Andy & the Bey Sisters with his siblings Salome and Geraldine in 1956. The group did a 16-month tour of Europe and recorded three albums (one for RCA Victor in 1961, two for Prestige in 1964 and 1965) before breaking up in 1967.