May 13 collection showcases Broadway, ‘Big Band’ & American classics
Heralding a distinct new chapter in his lauded three-decade career, vocalist Charles Billingsley returns May 13 with “The Shadow of Your Smile.” An anthology of nostalgic favorites, the 15-song set also marks Billingsley’s Club44 Records debut. Dedicated to the preservation of the Great American Songbook, the boutique label is home to recordings from such renowned entertainers as Linda Lavin, Billy Stritch and Jane Monheit, among others.
Bringing his signature vocals to a range of treasured classics – Billingsley’s lifelong musical influences – “The Shadow of Your Smile” was produced by Tim Davis (Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga), Wayne Haun (Linda Lavin, Jason Crabb) and Jamey Ray (Voctave). Album opener “Perfect” is the project’s singular original, a Bublé-esque ode to love. Co-penned by Billingsley and Jacob Holman, the carefree pop tune sets the stage for Bilingsley’s take on iconic Broadway, jazz and “Big Band” hits spanning a century.
Alongside the wistfully reflective title cut, “The Shadow of Your Smile” is highlighted by such classics as “It Had To Be You” and “Beyond The Sea”; Broadway showstoppers “Bring Him Home” (Les Misérables) and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Carousel); and standout collaborations including “The Very Thought of You,” a duet with award-winning recording artist TaRanda Greene; “Time to Say Goodbye,” featuring acclaimed soprano Adelaide Trombetta; and a soaring a cappella rendition of “America, The Beautiful” showcasing popular vocal ensemble Voctave.
“From the early days of hearing my parents’ vinyls of Sinatra, Pavarotti and Tennessee Ernie Ford, I’ve had a love for great singers and classic songs from many genres,” Billingsley shared. “After 30 years of making music, I felt like it was finally time to record some of these great tunes that people all over the world love – songs that evoke fond memories and nostalgia. The past few years have been hard, and so many of us seem to have lost our smile. I hope ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ will help bring some joy back.”
He added, “Music and art, the things we create – it’s all from God, and we use it for his glory. It’s my prayer that these songs can help expand my reach as an artist, taking me to new places to share the love of God with others.”
Pre-add “The Shadow of Your Smile” here and receive instant access to the lead single, "It Had To Be You," on April 15.
From the stages of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to numerous churches and conferences around the country, Billingsley has been one of Christian music’s most distinctive artists for nearly 30 years. Beginning his career as a lead vocalist for Grammy-nominated genre giant NewSong, Billingsley has since headlined more than 3,200 concerts, released 24 recordings as a solo artist, and garnered seven No. 1 Inspirational radio hits. A sought-after worship leader and speaker at such events as Women of Joy, the Gridiron Men’s Conference, and Celebrators Conference, among others, Billingsley currently serves as the teaching pastor and worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as an adjunct instructor at Liberty University.
Nashville-based Club44 Records is a new independent label that highlights the Broadway, cabaret and jazz genres and focuses on the preservation of the Great American Songbook.