Recording » What did I buy?? » 25/7/2017 7:58 pm

Ron1972
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Hi Graham, 

They're actually still in the cellophane! I've bought a lot of Crosby over the last month or so.. so still listening and absorbing the backlog!

Recording » What did I buy?? » 11/7/2017 11:58 pm

Ron1972
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So this past Saturday after going out for some breakfast I stopped in to checkout a local book fair. I was going through the used CD's when I came across two Bing Crosby discs that were brand new still in the cellophane wrapping! At a dollar a piece I had to grab them!

So it looks like I have picked up

"A Little Bit of Irish" & "Top O' The Morning / His Irish Collection"

I haven't had the chance to open them up yet. So what have I picked up and what are people's thoughts on them?

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 09/7/2017 2:32 pm

Ron1972
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paulmock wrote:

Hello all,

I really like RTPI. I have a mid 80's Japanese pressing of the LP which has superior sound. I play it more than many of my other Bing albums. It is truly relaxing and the Riddle arrangements are beautiful. Bing's short stint on Reprise found him in excellent voice. 

Talk about opinions?  I like "Bing & Satchmo" but I'm not crazy over it. As far as "Fancy Meeting You Here" the concept is great (ala' Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me!") but I have grown very, very tired of the alleged "off the cuff" gibberish between the two. It's like buying a comedy album and within 6 months you know all the jokes by heart. I hardly ever listen to it.  

It's nice to see a few more fans of "Return To Paradise Islands". I haven't had the chance to get the "Bing & Satchmo" album yet but it has certainly gotten lots of mention! I get your point about "Fancy Meeting You Here", maybe I haven't listened to it enough for the banter to grow old on me. 
 

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 09/7/2017 2:27 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 19

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Some great information here Archiefit! I am listening to the newer CD release and now wonder what my thoughts would have been if I had heard the original album instead!

I agree that it does a great job of transporting you to the beach of some tropic isle. I find that it's also pretty good music to put on as I'm going to bed. It's very serene and restful (all in a good way!)

I'm more disappointed than ever that "Holiday in Europe" is not available on CD or MP3 album here in the states as the comments of you and a few others make we want to hear it in full. (I'm beginning to think I need one of those record players that can rip vinyl to mp3!)

I do have "Songs I Wish I had Sung" as part of "Through The Years" and since I've added a lot of that recently I have not had the chance to really listen to it yet. I think I posted elsewhere that one dilemma is do I purchase the "new" version anyway!

Recording » Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits » 09/7/2017 2:17 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 3

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Figured I would put the link for "Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits". In case anybody else is interested in purchasing the MP3 album, it can be found here

 

Recording » Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits » 09/7/2017 2:14 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 3

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Archiefit wrote:

Some years back "Collectors Choice" released this album as part of a 2 Fer release, it was combined with That Travelin' 2 Beat, it's still available on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/That-Travelin-Two-Beat-Sings-Country/dp/B00005MHUG/ref=sr_1_5?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1499558749&sr=1-5&keywords=Two+Classic+Albums+Bing+Crosby
I bought this CD when it first came out, I found it to be one of the more enjoyable Bing CD 2 Fer releases.   I have it on my computer's Media Player so songs from it pop up occasionally as I listen to music.  Here's how the CD looks:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/21J61QNAP7L.jpg

I think it's a very solid album that was very contemporary for the time. I originally planned on buying the "2 Fer" CD you mention. It's only available used on Amazon and the MP3 link is ONLY for "That Travelin' Two Beat". I did end up purchasing "That Travelin' Two Beat" as an MP3 album but had to search Amazon a bit more to find the MP3 album for "Bing Crosby Sings the Great Country Hits". 

 

Recording » That Travelin' Two Beat » 09/7/2017 2:07 pm

Ron1972
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I find the album enjoyable but to me it doesn't really sparkle the way that "Fancy Meeting You Here" does. To me, the notch between the two of them is a bit wide. 

That said, when Clooney and Crosby sing together the chemistry is undeniable and I bought this largely on that alone! Also I was very happy to see that I could buy the mp3 version of the album right from Amazon. Which meant I didn't have to search for a used copy of the "2 for" CD. 

Recording » El Senor Bing » 09/7/2017 2:01 pm

Ron1972
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Archiefit wrote:

OK, now you've done it, you just named one of my 2 least favorite Bing albums.  In fact this is an album I haven't even bothered to listen to in years.  I sure never downloaded it into my Media Player, if I never hear it again it'll be just fine with me.  The other Bing album I hope to never hear again is Le Bing.

First off, thank you Archefit for replying to my post. I was disappointed that this one and a few others hadn't gotten any responses, so you have made my day. 

I'm curious to know why don't you like "El Senor Bing"? One of the things I was hoping for with these posts was to get feedback on what about certain album someone liked or didn't like. 

To me, I think "El Senor Bing" is sort of a continuation of the albums that preceded it, "Bing Sings", "Bing With A Beat", and "Fancy Meeting You Here". By that I mean they feature Bing singing to the sound of a full orchestra or band. In comparison to a few of his other albums from the 50's that have Bing singing along to simpler sparser arrangements. I don't think "El Senor Bing" is as good as the other albums I mentioned but I enjoy what Billie May brought to it and find Bing to be in good voice. 

I have "Le Bing" as part of the "Through The Years" collection but have not had the opportunity to listen to it yet. Your comments and Kevin's may spur me to listen to it sooner than later. 

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 06/7/2017 8:51 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 19

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Anton, 

I believe "Holiday in Europe" is available in Europe or at least in the UK via Amazon digital download. Doesn't help me much in the states but...

General Discussion » Disappointing Record Store Visit » 06/7/2017 6:03 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 5

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I'm still astonished that in a store full of records they had absolutely no Crosby - none! They had Como, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Goulet, and a host of other "Male Vocalists" but no Crosby. Based solely on Bing's longevity I find that baffling! 

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 06/7/2017 3:26 pm

Ron1972
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jeremyrose wrote:

I'm planning an article on "Return to Paradise Islands" for the winter issue of "Bing" so have been listening to it quite a lot lately. I don't go quite as far as Steven Lewis, but have to agree with Richard that "Fancy Meeting You Here" and "Bing and Satchmo" set the bar pretty high.
At the moment I have to admit that RTPI isn't really "growing on me", but I'll persevere!
I hope others will post their views here...

I haven't heard the "Bing & Satchmo" album yet so can offer no opinion there but I think "Fancy Meeting You Here" may be Bing's best album PERIOD. The vocals, the chemistry, and arrangements are all fantastic! And I can honestly say that I don't think "Return to Paradise Islands" lives up to THAT standard but I do think it's a very well done album certainly better than many other albums Bing did in the 60's (at least those that I've had the opportunity to listen to.)

I do hope others share their throughts because I'm truly interested in the feedback, plus I think others who may stumble across this while searching the internet may find the feedback useful too! 

I'd also love to know if this ever does grow on you or not!

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 06/7/2017 3:15 pm

Ron1972
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Richard Baker wrote:

The evaluations that you quote are of course personal opinions and others might differ to some degree but I think that it is important to bear in mind that those evaluations were very largely based on comparisons with the extraordinarily high standards set by some others.

 

Hi Richard, I certainly am not discounting the opinions that I mentioned. On the contrary I have really relied on those evaluations and for the most part have found them to be very reliable. I mention them, particularly here because I'm surprised that my own opinions differs so greatly. 

And I agree that when evaluating the quality of someone's work you naturally look to other work that they have done and ask yourself is this better or worse? But of course that is just one variable, your own preferences come in to play, and I think with music like this you also start to judge it on it's own merits apart from the trends at the time (where a contemporary review may be much different).

One of the things I have asked myself about this album is if my enthusiasm is based on the fact that it's just new material to me or not. I don't thinks so but time will tell if my own evaluation changes!

It's tough to compare this album to something like "Fancy Meeting You Here" for instance because the material is just so different but with "Return to Paradise Islands" I find the uptempo numbers charming and the ballads just really beautifully done. Out of the 7 albums I've picked up in the last month or so it's one of the ones I listen to and enjoy the most. 
 

Recording » El Senor Bing » 06/7/2017 3:02 am

Ron1972
Replies: 3

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As I add new albums to my collection I find that I'd like to share my thoughts on them. I was going to comment on existing posts but some are a few years old and so new posts seem to make more sense. 

"El Senor Bing", this is another album where my opinion differs greatly with that of Steven Lewis and that of Ken Barnes. Hey, we're ALL entitled to our opinions but I mention it because this is an album that I almost passed on because after reading Steven Lewis' evaluation and Barnes negative opinion of it. I'm glad I didn't!

To me, this is an interesting album. Bing sounds in good form here. His voice is strong (robust?) and smooth. Each track is a combination of two songs, which at a glance would make this sounds like one of the "sing-a-long" albums that Bing had started to do at around this same time but clearly by the manner of singing this was not meant to be a "sing-a-long" Instead this really is a concept album combining 'like' songs, this amuses me because I frequently make CD's of favorite artists matching them up in a one vs. the other format picking songs that I think match up well. 

The accompaniment is provided by Billy May and his Orchestra and to me this really sets this effort apart from some of Crosby's earlier albums that featured a really stripped down sound. I find it odd that some of those earlier efforts are thought of more highly then "El Senor Bing" because to my ears they really lack the full sound found on this album. Also I this might be one of Bing's best album covers, right up there with "New Tricks". 

I think "El Senor Bing" brings Crosby into the 1960's in great style and is just a notch below some of his best late 50's albums. I'd give this one a B+
 

Recording » Return to Paradise Islands » 06/7/2017 2:26 am

Ron1972
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As I add more Crosby albums to my collection I'd like to share my thoughts on them. I thought of commenting on existing posts but since some are several years old, new posts seems to make the most sense!

"Return to Paradise Islands" is probably the one album from the 60's that surprises me the most. I had read Steven Lewis' evaluation (pretty dismal) and Ken Barnes didn't feel it worth mentioning but I feel this might be one of his most enjoyable efforts of the decade!

If there is a word to describe "Return to Paradise Islands" it's "lush". The Nelson Riddle accompaniment is lulling, and soothing. Ever go to the beach and listen to the sounds of the waves gently crash onto the beach? Will Riddle has managed to do THAT with music! What Riddle does with the orchestra, Bing does vocally especially on the ballads. This really is Bing at his most romantic. Bing was 60 years old when he recorded this and he probably could have charmed the young lady on the album cover back to his beach cottage if he sang "Return to Paradise" to her. 

I'm not sure why others have panned this so harshly, maybe the 2010 remastering is a huge improvement over the original? Either way I like this one so much I'm going back and forth between a B+ or an A- and I think I'm going with the A-.

Recording » That Travelin' Two Beat » 06/7/2017 2:06 am

Ron1972
Replies: 2

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As I pick up new albums I want to share my thoughts on them. I thought about commenting on existing posts but some are several years old so creating a new post seems to make more sense. 

"That Travelin' Two Beat suffers from the classic issue with sequels and that's living up to a much superior predecessor. Not only isn't "Two Beat" musically as crisp and sparkling as 1958's "Fancy Meeting You Here" it also lacks some of the chemistry that makes the first album such a must have of anyone looking to add more than just the 'best ofs' to their musical library. (I was able to download the mp3 version of this album from Amazon)

That said there is much to like here, but it just doesn't have many highlightable moments. Maybe part of the problem is trying to continue the same 'traveling' theme from "Fancy Meeting You here" or maybe it's the Dixieland arrangements. I'm not sure. Bing will go on to do an album of various movie related songs, I wonder if THAT concept might have made for a better duet album?

Ken Barnes thought this was one of two albums worth mentioning from Crosby's 60's output. I haven't had the chance to listen to the album with Armstrong yet but there are others from the decade that I like more than "That Travelin' Two Beat"

 It seems any pairing of Crosby and Clooney is going to be enjoyable and this album is, I would give this one a B

 

Recording » Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits » 06/7/2017 1:52 am

Ron1972
Replies: 3

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As I've picked up different albums I want to share my thoughts on them. I thought about commenting on posts where others commented on some of these albums but sometimes those posts are years old, so I figured a fresh post made sense. 

"Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits" - When Ken Barnes stated that the only two albums that Bing did in the 60's worth mentioning was the one with Rosemary Clooney and the one with Louis Armstrong, I think he was a bit harsh toward albums like "Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits". 

This is one of those albums that I would love to know what inspired the decision to do it in the first place? Did Bing want to do an album of Country songs? Did someone suggest that maybe this would be a genre he could be relevant in? Either way Bing is in great voice and sounds very comfortable taking on then recent hits many of which have become Country classics today. 

The interesting thing is Bing sounds VERY contemporary (for the time the album was done). This has that "Countrypolitan" sound of so many great songs from the era. The sound could be heard in stuff done by Ray Charles, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Don Gibson, Burl Ives, etc. and Crosby really fits right in. 

I would give this one a solid B+

I wonder how well this album did upon it's release and considering that a bunch of 50's Rock n' found a second career in Country music wonder if maybe a follow up album might not have been called for. (I was able to download the mp3 version of this album from Amazon here in the U.S. but it wasn't really straighforward, I was able to find the album by searching for the songs and not by the album itself)
 

Biography » Gary Giddins - Volume Two » 06/7/2017 1:34 am

Ron1972
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I have to say I am very disappointed to see the release date for this is so far away! Almost as disappointed by the fact that this isn't going to cover the entire second part of Bing's career. 

In many ways I think Crosby's career from the 50's on is a much more interesting story. There is this saying that once you're on top the only place to go is down but Bing seems to have defied that to a very large degree. He remained a very big star in the 50's and then sort of transitioned into this familiar friend who showed up on TV specials and at Christmas time, maybe sort of like a favorite uncle. 

I think is would be really interesting to read how his first wife's passing affected his career? Is this the reason why Bing didn't really focus on recording in the early 50's? More background on his albums with Bregman, Scoby, & Clooney would fascinating! With musical tastes changing rapidly were the sing-a-long albums considered maybe the only viable records he could do or were they simply easy sources of income with the radio show ending? Why did he record "Hey Jude"? And from maybe the lows of the late 60's what spurred his resurgence in the 70's?

The second half of Bing's life would make a great book, somebody just needs to put the words on paper!

Recording » La Vie En Rose » 06/7/2017 1:21 am

Ron1972
Replies: 5

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I agree! I'm baffled this song is hard to come by and agree that the inclusion on Le Bing would have made a LOT of sense! On the hand I imagine there are LOTS of songs that are equally as difficult to get ahold of on CD or digital download! 

Sadly the estate has a challenge rekindling interest in Bing's work and legacy. It is really sad to think there could be a point in time where Bing's music is lost to the annuals of history. 

Recording » La Vie En Rose » 02/7/2017 1:16 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 5

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Thanks! Oh the disappointment that the track isn't more easily obtainable! It seems 51 isn't available on eBay in the USA either and 16 World Hits would run me about 20 dollars too much for my infatuation over one song but I will be keeping my eyes out and appreciate your providing some sources!

General Discussion » Disappointing Record Store Visit » 02/7/2017 3:52 am

Ron1972
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Stopped in a local record store I happened to be near and was disappointed not to find any Bing Crosby albums (vinyl or cd). I was a bit surprised considering Bing's longevity and popularity at his peak I was sure I'd find something!

The trip east a total waste, I did pick up a Matt Monroe album!

I then stopped at  thrift store but only found a single Christmas cd with Crosby and Sinatra, which I left behind but I did purchase the  Sinatra - Basie album on CD.

Recording » La Vie En Rose » 02/7/2017 3:15 am

Ron1972
Replies: 5

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Today I was listening to La Vie En Rose play in a coffee shop and left and punched it up on YouTube, Bing's version, in English.

I have the French version but can't find what album the English version is on! I was really taken with it and would like to add it to my library. Anybody able to provide the answer?

Recording » What Bing Crosby Record Are You Listening To Now? » 21/6/2017 8:14 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 3

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I was just streaming "Thoroughly Modern Bing" though "A Southern Memoir" has been getting a lot of play since I bought it. 

Recording » Some Fine Old Chestnuts, Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Aroun » 06/6/2017 3:28 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 5

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Thankfully, I have only had to replace cassettes with CD's and RIP CD's to mp3's! Although there are a few things out there on vinyl that make me wonder if I should pick up one of those record players that can convert to mp3!

Recording » Some Fine Old Chestnuts, Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Aroun » 05/6/2017 5:06 pm

Ron1972
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Hi Richard, 

As a long time Roy Orbison fan I have been dealing with the duplication of tracks for a long time! In fact "Only The Lonely" isn't very lonely because I must have 20 copies of it! I've also very quickly run into the same problem with Matt Monro where I have picked up a few different collections and now have multiple copies of the same song. 

I think the issue I'm having comes down to this.. I can't get both these albums courtesy of free downloads and have actually purchased one because I wanted "New Tricks" and bought the double CD to get it. So why by these deluxe issues? But I also hate to not buy them because of the extra tracks and then later on change my mind and find they are no longer available! Which is something that HAS happened to me with Roy Orbison and seems to be HUGE concern with Matt Monro and apparently there is already some Crosby stuff that once was available and now if you can find it used it's pricey... I hate that!

Recording » Some Fine Old Chestnuts, Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Aroun » 05/6/2017 1:21 am

Ron1972
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I am very much enjoying a few expanded releases I just picked up (El Senor Bing & Return To Paradise) and I am wondering is it worth picking up "Some Fine Old Chestnuts" and "Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Around"? Especially in light of the fact that both are included on volumes of Through The Years that either have or will have soon. 

On top of that, I have ordered "Some Fine Old Chestnuts/New Tricks" and can download the Hallmark version of "Song I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Around" for free legally through my local library. Considering that I seem to have these covered a few different ways are the "deluxe editions" truly essential?

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