Swaps and Sales » Jonzo CDs for sale/swap - See details » 02/9/2018 11:40 am

So far as Sepia's "Through The Years" series is concerned I think you will find that most, if not all, are still available.
Sepia's own site is here http://www.sepiarecords.com/
but many on line suppliers also list them.

Best of hunting for the Jonzos. Some new, sealed copies are still listed on eBay, though unfortunately none of those which you seek are shown now.


Links » AMPEX sign demolished » 22/8/2018 6:57 am

Bing was famously involved in the early days of Ampex, who were developers of tape recording equipment.

A news item here relates to removal of the iconic sign from their site in Silicon Valey.

A connected link has an undated  photo of Bing with Ampex engineers (un-named).



Biography » Gary Giddins - Volume Two » 18/8/2018 12:01 pm

Thank you for sharing that review, Paul.
However the writer seems to lack the ability to form his/her own conclusions from facts.
Surely the best biographers should present the facts in a fair and balanced way with possible observations about motivations where justified.
However, to reach certain types of conclusion suggests that they are starting out with their own "agenda" and that in turn implies that facts could be presented in a slanted way to prove a case one way or the other. In turn that reduces the value of the work as it will be seen as biased in whatever direction.

As the to views on Sinatra I agree with Frans - the work is large enough in breadth and depth as it is - it is about Bing, not about his many contemporaries or "rivals". But in any event, during the years in question (up to 1946) was Sinatra really such a "threat". He was vastly popular but arguably with a younger, possibly mainly female following and had not yet developed the more "family" based following that Bing had acquired. I hasten to add that I was a little too young at the time to remember (!) but certainly get that impression from contemporary accounts.


Others of Note » RIP: MARY CARLISLE » 04/8/2018 11:56 am

After a lengthy trawl through the internet searching for any reports of the claimed interview, I can find nothing. By 2002 much was getting onto the net and newspapers and magazines by then were heavily quoted even if they had not set up full fledged on line operations of their own. 
I'm sure that the brigade who circulate scurrilous material would have been onto it and re-circulate it had it been published.


Television » BEST OF BING CROSBY SPECIALS - TIME LIFE » 13/7/2018 5:55 pm

Things are getting odder by the hour.

Ron Field has been in touch with Time Life and had the following response -

"Dear Ron Field,
 Thank you for your interest in the The Best of Bing Crosby Collection. We are currently evaluating whether or not there is enough consumer interest to move forward with the production of this product so this collection is not available to purchase at the present time. If you are interested, we are happy to keep your contact information on file so that we may contact you when we learn of this product’s availability. If you are interested in being updated on the product, simply reply to this email with your contact information. We very much appreciate your interest in Time Life products."

It seems to me that pressure might bring rewards and those outside North America might add a plea about availability, for whatever that might be worth. 
This link should pull up a contact form on the Time Life website


Television » BEST OF BING CROSBY SPECIALS - TIME LIFE » 13/7/2018 6:53 am


The promotional blurb from Time Life read - 
"From the 1950s through the ’70s Bing Crosby starred in 30 highly rated TV specials that featured a who’s who of guest stars. Bing’s groundbreaking broadcasts have never been available in one comprehensive collection—until now.The Best of the Bing Crosby Specials DVD collection features all of Bing’s iconic hits, including “Pennies from Heaven,” “Swinging on a Star,” “Don’t Fence Me In,” “It’s Easy to Remember,” “Dina,” and of course, “White Christmas.”You’ll get 26 Episodes on 11 DVDs, featuring the very best of Bing’s acclaimed specials, along with hours of bonus features. Highlights Include:

  • Bing’s good friends Frank SinatraBob Hope and Dean Martin appeared on multiple specials, and Bing’s shows also featured Louis ArmstrongFred AstairePearl BaileyJack Benny, Carol Burnett, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Jackie GleasonRobert Goulet, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Bernadette Peters, Debbie Reynolds, Flip Wilson and many others!
  • Bing’s first TV special from 1954, featuring good pal Jack Benny.
  • Bing’s last TV special, featuring an unlikely guest, David Bowie. This is the 1977 program that yielded what may be the most popular Christmas duet ever—Bing and Bowie’s recording of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”
  • Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank—a rare special with Frank Sinatra that features the two legends singing classics in an intimate setting.
  • Bing’s 50th anniversary special, featuring Bob HopeRosemary Clooney, the Mills Brothers and others, and including a memorable Bette Midler.
  • Episodes of The Carol Burnett Show and the Bob Hope TV specials with guest shots by Bing.
  • [*]Free bonus DVDThe Legendary Bing Crosby, a cele

Television » BEST OF BING CROSBY SPECIALS - TIME LIFE » 11/7/2018 10:26 am

Same problem.
Any US/ Canada volunteer to lodge some orders and repackage?


General Discussion » Help save good music (incl. Bing) on the radio! » 08/6/2018 3:04 pm

In the UK we have been treated the same. Several long serving presenters, many of whom are knowledgeable and add informative information to their introductions of popular music from the past, have been cut out of broadcast schedules, sometimes (it is alleged) in order to appeal to younger audiences.
But this is being done at the cost of upsetting large numbers of keen listeners (some of whom are not necessarily so old).

Frequently the replacement scheduling merely consists of mindless uninformative chatter introducing the same old limited selection from the currently approved "playlists".


Recording » Bing's last recordings » 06/6/2018 9:18 am

Bing's last recordings were made for the BBC, in London, at their Maida Vale studios, with the Gordon Rose Orchestra on 11th October 1977. 
The songs recorded were broadcast by the BBC and also issued on an LP "The Final Chapter" with other material including an interview with Alan Dell also recorded at the time. 
The songs have more recently appeared on the the "Seasons" CD. 
The BBC have now announced that they are closing down those studios. 
Years roll by and more links are lost!

Film » "King Of Jazz" to be screened at The London Film Festival » 22/5/2018 11:41 pm

King Of Jazz in Blu-Ray is at last to be released in the restored edition for Region B-2. Release scheduled for 9th July.

I have had very favourable reports about the successful restoration, both from those who have been to public screenings and of the issue some months back for region 1.

Amazon UK are now taking pre-orders here.


Paul, does listing make money available for the needed repairs, or does it merely prevent destruction and detrimental change?




Recording » Tracks On "Star Spangled Radio Hour" » 06/5/2018 7:17 am

Our old friends at Cruisin' 1430 AM, in "Star Spangled Radio Hour" have this week abandoned their usual style, of covering old radio broadcasts, and have honoured Bing's birtday with a selection of studio recordings. Listen  here.

Items covered range through 1928 to 1956. Nothing unfamiliar to most here, but you get the cheery introductions and commentaries by the two comperes.

They betray a little puzzlement about birth year, a matter that was resolved long ago, and have a few comments about the way popular music and pop culture generally has changed. 


Radio » Kraft Music Hall - the Hour shows » 03/5/2018 2:39 pm

Frans is correct. Many KMH shows have survived, whether in whole or part, right from the start of Bing's involvement.  Whilst John Scott Trotter's well known private recordings tended to be of the musical items only (with "spillover" taking in intros and tail announcements), other recordings were made for a variety of reasons and some were more or less complete. From the start of the AFRS official transcriptions were made for broadcast to US forces abroad, (with the KMH commercials removed and other adjustments made, such as adding individual songs). Instead of calling the broadcast discs "Kraft Music Hall" they were named "Music Hall".  Material was also put onto "V-Discs".

But other recordings from a variety of sources have also survived, some made privately by radio hobbyists "off air" on such things as wire recorders.  A natural consequence is that audio quality varies enormously, as does the continuity, with some shows surviving complete, others just with one or more songs. However many recordings are in surprisingly good quality. In general, more of the later shows have survived, and they are also more complete.

A flavour of what has survived can be seen here - on the Old Time Radio Researchers Group website but is far from complete. Most of the audio material on this site has been digitised at very low bit rates.

At one time BingCrosby.com had KMH material in good quality in the MediaVault section but it has been removed.
For issues of LP and CD that have been generally available have a look at the Discography pages for KMH here  
LPs issued by such as Spokane and others had much interesting material and more recently CD issues from JSP, Jasmine, Sepia and ICC. have included a number of items.

I am sure others can add to this thread, but, like Frans, I'd be interested to

Radio » Star Spangled Radio Hour » 15/4/2018 6:58 am

The latest addition to the Star Spangled Radio Hour (Star Spangled Radio Hour - 4.14.18) stream includes a recording of Command Performance 54, stated to be "Dedicated to the Armed Forces of the British Commonwealth and British Army Week" - Recorded Wednesday, February 24, 1943,  Harry Von Zell announcer, Bob Hope, host with Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Carmen Miranda and her Banda Da Lua, the Music Maids, AAF First Radio Unit Orchestra (Guest Conductor Capt. Meredith Willson)

The whole package includes a number of  broadcasts from 1938 to 1946 and includes the Glenn Miller AAF band, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.

Radio » Star Spangled Radio Hour » 31/3/2018 3:14 pm

The latest offering for 31st March from The Star Spangled Radio Hour includes The Kraft Music Hall show of April 6, 1944, with Marilyn Maxwell, The Charioteers, The Music Maids & Men, Leo “Ukie” Sherin and the Kraft Choral Club.
Also included are shows from Tommy Dorsey and one of Glenn Miller's "I Sustain The Wimgs"


Recording » Bing Magazine finally tipped the scale for the Mosaic set! » 29/3/2018 6:31 am

Ron1972 wrote:

One question I have is the booklet mentions something like 250 songs recorded by Bing in this fashion for other shows, will those eventually see the light of day?

Ron, quite a few have appeared as "bonus" tracks on the CDs issued in the years since by BCE/UMG

Recording » Bing Crosby Discography » 24/3/2018 8:20 am

The online discography which I originated more years ago than I care to remember, has been under the custody of David Currington for some years, and I am very grateful to him for taking it over when I was not in a position to devote much time to it.

David in his turn has now handed over to Malcolm Macfarlane, who has assumed yet another responsibility for matters Bing, brave man. The updated version is still where it was, on the Bing Magazine website, http://www.bingmagazine.co.uk/bingmagazine/crosby.html repeated on the Jazzdiscography site http://www.jazzdiscography.com/ where there are a number of iother nteresting discographies.


Announcements » Michael Holliday » 24/3/2018 8:12 am

A very interesting and informative book covering a rather tortured life. Michael Holliday hero-worshipped Bing to an extraordinary degree. Other singers acknowledged that they followed in Bing's footsteps but most went on from there and developed their own style and approach, singing their own material. Michael Holliday was possibly the supreme example of conscious imitation and seemed unable to succeed in developing in any way other than following Bing as faithfully as he could. Often not just the same songs, but songs sung in the same way with the same style tweeks. A sad story with very strong links to Bing.


Radio » Star Spangled Radio Hour » 18/3/2018 7:45 am

Star Spangled Radio Hour is normally devoted to the big bands, Glen Miller tending to dominate, but they do have quite a few of Bing's shows, as past postings here demonstrate.
This week's offering has no Bing, but included among the several short broadcasts there is one with Bob as host, and the Andrews Sisters Maxine, Laverne and and Patty. 
"Bob Crosby's Club 15" of April 6 1949,

Recording » Feels Good Feels Right... Feels overpriced! » 18/3/2018 12:52 am

I doubt there can be a definitive and unqualified answer to your question though without doubt some of the higher prices quoted are opportunistic kite flying.  Ranges quoted are always wide.

Two are currently on offer on Amazon UK at 133 GBP (new) which in my mind is grossly excessive.
On the other hand a used copy is on UK eBay at a start price of 13:87 GBP, which I would say is a bargain even after taking shipping into account. 
US prices look to be less extreme at both ends.
The songs on it are good.
There is always the possibility of a reissue and Vocalion had one in 2004.



Fan Interests » Random memories » 04/3/2018 10:49 am

Just a memory which has come to mind prompted by the realisation that it is now 60 years since I started my first real full time adult job. 
One of my early investments, enabled by the jump in my disposable income from the occasional bits of pay from whatever jobs I could get and sandwiched in between my studies, was a stereo record playing system. I was keen on electronics and had built an amplifier, but had to acquire a stereo capable turntable/pickup and a second loudspeaker. Initially there was no stereo Bing to play on it but there were plenty of "demo" records that showed the potential, and so the possibilities of Bing coming out of one speaker with a duetist in the other, or Bing surrounded by orchestra were eagerly awaited.

Expectations were duly met with "Fancy Meeting You Here" followed somewhat later by "How The West Was Won", "Bing and Satchmo" and later still "Holiday In Europe". My order to my usual record shop for "How The West Was Won" was the subject of error and when I went to collect they handed me the mono version. The elderly manager made it clear that he thought I was being fussy when I declined it and declared that he could not tell the difference between stereo and mono and it was all short lived gimmickry that would blow over anyway.



There were of course some other records from Bing in stereo around this time - "El Senor Bing" and the first of the Singalong albums, but I did not get those til later. In the meantime I was really fascinated by "Fancy Meeting You Here" which with the others had repeated plays both for my own enjoyment and to demonstrate to friends that stereo was not just for ping pong effects or to give the illusion of a steam train entering the room at one side and leaving at the other, which most demonstrations of HiFi equipment by high

Film » "King Of Jazz" to be screened at The London Film Festival » 18/2/2018 2:11 pm

Bingmo wrote:

----  I'm sure this restoration will be a vast improvement. 

It is.

This is a sample

Film » "King Of Jazz" to be screened at The London Film Festival » 11/2/2018 9:20 am

I have seen several favourable references to the quality of "King Of Jazz" from the public screenings.

Now the restored version is coming out on Blu Ray on March 27th
There are a number of "extras" and I am interested to note that they include an audio commentary by Gary Giddins, 
Amazon US are taking pre -orders. - https://www.amazon.com/King-Jazz-Criterion-Collection-Blu-ray/dp/B078FFX78J/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1518337551&sr=1-1&keywords=king+of+jazz

So far only region A/1 has been announced. I fail to understand such an approach with older material such as this. Multi region DVD players are easy to come by and are very cheap, which defeats the idea behind regional coding. Multi region Blu Ray players are not so easy to find and are expensive but I suspect that in due course they also will be more easy to acquire.  

Recording » Bing Magazine finally tipped the scale for the Mosaic set! » 10/2/2018 8:09 am

Archiefit wrote:

What??  My pictures of the other 3 CD releases I described above didn't show up on the message, only the first picture.   Dang, don't know what goes on here, why the board allows one picture but not any more to be posted is anybody's guess. 

"Archiefit"  - I have taken the liberty of editing the image URL addresses to correct the problem. The board does not like situations where the address of the image has been "nested" too many times and it is best to select a site that has it's own original image such as Discogs or Amazon. There are also other situations which will not work.  I am uncertain of the precise reason why your attempt to display images was unsuccessful but I did note that all the failed URL addresses were of great length and I would guess that they might have been too long for the placeholder. I do not think that there is any specific limit to the number that you can place in any one posting.

Recording » Bing Magazine finally tipped the scale for the Mosaic set! » 09/2/2018 3:51 pm

Bingmo wrote:

I've heard about the re-mixed version of many of these recordings. Was that a Ken Barnes project? 

I may have to listen to the "New Recordings" to get a sense of what those sound like.

Thanks, Archiefit!

"Bingmo", Ken Barnes produced orchestral overdubbings of a large number of the CBS radio recordings in the late 1970s, and these were issued in various forms. Ultimately all of the tracks that had been so treated were issued on a three CD (and LP and cassette)  box set named "The 10th Anniversary Collection" in 1987, the 10th anniversary of Bing's death. Some tracks have appeared in other compilations since.

You can find details by browsing through this link http://www.bingmagazine.co.uk/bingmagazine/CBS.html

The more recent issue "The New Recordings" is very different in treatment.The CBS radio recordings all originally had the small Buddy Cole combo whereas the "New Recordings" material varied in the original musical backing, using recordings that covered a number of years and styles.

The result is that the 1970s treatment of the CBS radio material added an orchestral (and in some cases choral) accompaniment to the original piano/guitar/bass/drums combo, whereas the "New Recordings" treatment overlaid, and to a large extent obscured, the original orchestral parts, creating the stereo spread and adding additional parts to make them more "modern" sounding.  

The results are very different.

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