Washington, D.C., native Billy Stewart's soulful vocal approach, given to stunning flights of soaring falsetto fancy and "word-doubling" syllabic excursions that he unleashed most memorably on his unorthodox 1965 treatment of the normally placid George Gershwin evergreen "Summertime," was every bit as distinctive as his massively constructed physique (one of his earliest solo outings for Chicago's Chess label in 1962 was a seemingly autobiographical "Fat Boy," co-written by Stewart and his pal Bo Diddley). Thanks in large part to Phil Wright's splendid arrangement, the marvelously relaxed "Sitting in the Park," cut December 14, 1964, at Chess' 2120 South Michigan Avenue studios, is one of the purest and most mesmerizing examples of Stewart's uplifting vocal magic. Guitarist Gerald Sims (one source cites Pete Cosey in the integral fret role) peels off airy licks on the intro that hypnotically wind around and through the male vocal group's falsetto cries before Stewart gently tells his hypnotic tale of patiently waiting on a bench for his beloved, unsure of whether she'll ever appear. This was classic Windy City soul with decided pop potential, and both markets responded positively: "Sitting in the Park" peaked at number four on Billboard's R&B lists and made a sizable pop showing as well during the summer of 1965. In 1980, GQ changed precious little from the original arrangement and ended up with almost as big an R&B seller as Stewart had. By then, the big guy had been dead for a decade, the victim of a tragic 1970 auto wreck in North Carolina.