Recording » My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video) » 17/4/2018 3:00 am

Ron1972
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If I'm really being critical both albums could have been better but Seasons has so many strong moments that deserve recognition because it's Bing's last album and because after his fall it was amazing he was recording anything at that point in time. 

"Seasons", "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year", "April Showers", "Autumn in New York", "Yesterday When I Was Young" are all exceptional performances!

Bing 'n Basie stands out, to me anyway, because it's a real return to form! No, it's not perfect, but it cooks in a way that Bing hadn't on record in maybe a decade. Some complain that it's all contemporary music, I love that it's contemporary music and that Bing and Basie just go right on and do it big band style!

"Everything is Beautiful", "Little Green Apples, "Sunrise, Sunset" all stand out as my favorites. I'm also partial to "Gonna Build A Mountain". 

Recording » Brainwashing! » 12/4/2018 2:34 pm

Ron1972
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Well there is no way to come up with a definitive list, so I didn't even try! I chose songs that I thought had "aged" well, that I took an immediate liking to, and hopefully chose enough of an assortment to showcase Bing at different points of his career and in different styles. 

I ultimately went with 13 songs:
“Pocket Full of Dreams”
"Love and Understanding"
"Seasons"
“In a Little Spanish Town” (Mosaic Box Set)
"Stars Fell On Alabama" (Southern Memoir)
“I’m An Old Cowhand”
"Alabama Bound" (Southern Memoir)
"Have You Met Miss Jones"
“Little Green Apples” (Bing ‘n Basie)
"Blue Room"
"Return To Paradise" 
“Georgia On My Mind” (Southern Memoir)
"That's What Life Is All About"

 

Recording » My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video) » 04/4/2018 7:34 pm

Ron1972
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First and foremost, I enjoyed the video! One of the reasons I joined this forum was to share, banter, and discuss things just like this.

The video itself is good, you present well, sound good, etc. I think if you’re looking to “add” something to it, adding a snipped of music from each album as you’re discussing it might have been a nice touch. (I’ve never tried to put together a video though so I have no idea how difficult that would be to do.)

As for your choices – well first unless I missed my count you gave us 9 (8 and a bonus perhaps?).

I was a little surprised that you led it off with “Songs I Wish I Had Sung the First Time Around”. This is fairly new album for me and I do enjoy it quite a bit but I think because of song choice, and Crosby being in exceptional voice “Some Fine Old Chestnuts” would have probably led my list.

“Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings” is THE album that turned me from loving Bing Crosby the Christmas singer to loving Bing Crosby PERIOD. I agree that it’s not too loud! I find the arrangements to be exciting and Crosby to sound invigorated. Really one of my favorites and I fully agree that it’s one of Bing’s best.
I also agree with you on “Bing With a Beat” I think Bregman album is a touch better but another fantastic album and a bit scary to think the quality of both these albums considering where Bing was in his career at that time.

“Fancy Meeting You Here” is the second album, after “Bregman” that just blew me away and fired my appreciation for Crosby’s artistry. But it’s also the first album that really introduced me to just how talented he was as a duet partner. Amazing chemistry and again at a point where Crosby is supposedly being eclipsed by younger talent he releases 3 albums in short order that are just monumental testaments to his talents.

“That Travelin’ Two-Beat” is a nice album and fun to have Crosby and Clooney team back up but to me it just doesn’t rise up to level

Announcements » Michael Holliday » 29/3/2018 8:21 pm

Ron1972
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Interesting indeed! I'm not familiar with Holliday at all but it's amusing that he was coined the British Bing Crosby in the same way Matt Monro was stuck with the tag of being the British Frank Sinatra. 

I just took the opportunity to stream a little of Michael Holliday and on some songs he does sound uncannily like Bing. However I don't think this is true for Holliday's biggest hits. 

Allmusic has a very flattering write up of him and it seems that for a small stretch he was quite successful. I'm not sure whether it was sounding too much like Bing or just changing musical tastes that saw a decline in his fortunes.

I have to wonder if the reason he stuck so closely to Bing's style and repertoire was because he didn't evolve as a singer until maybe the late 40's or early 50's and that his experience at that time was in copying his idol. Also you have to wonder if his producer didn't capitalize on his talent to mimic Bing and  pushed for him to cover those songs imitating Bing as much as possible. 

From the songs I listened to I think if he had been given more songs not associated with Bing, people would still have commented on the similarities but not to the degree that they did. He may have been considered like someone like Perry Como, similar styles, maybe even more so but not a copy or impersonation.

Either way, the book is something I may have to pick up as it looks like a good read!

Recording » Brainwashing! » 29/3/2018 4:02 am

Ron1972
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So tonight I had an interesting conversation with my cousin about music in general and that sometimes music that you initially hated is sort of drummed into your head enough where you end up liking it (I suppose this could apply to much more than music.)

He referred to this as "brainwashing" and mentioned that he used to work with someone who played the same CD constantly and that my cousin initially hated it but wound up really liking it because he heard it so often. 

So, in fun, we challenged each other - he will put together 7 songs from an artist he liked and I will put together 7 songs from Bing Crosby. In each case we will be listening to music that normally would not be in our tastes of music. 

So I figured I would seek some input on what 7 songs you would suggest? I'm open to any suggestion but I'm thinking stuff from the second half of Bing's career as it is probably a bit more palatable to modern ears but again open to any suggestion. (oh but no duets!)

Some songs I am thinking about:
"Love And Understanding"
"Seasons"
"That's What Life Is All About"
"Have You Met Miss Jones"
"Blue Room"
"Mountain Greenery"
"On The Alamo" (Southern Memoir)
"Stars Fell On Alabama" (Southern Memoir)
"Alabama Bound" (Southern Memoir)
"Heartache By The Numbers" (Sings The Great Country Hits)
"Return To Paradise" 
"In The Still of the Night/ I Could Have Danced All Night"
"How High The Moon/ That Old Devil Moon"
"Everything is Beautiful" (Bing n' Basie)
"Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" 
"High Hopes"
"Try A Little Tenderness (CBS and/or 10th Anniversary)

Obviously there are much better songs that I haven't listed but these all struck me as very enjoyable when I first listened to them   )

Recording » Bing Magazine finally tipped the scale for the Mosaic set! » 29/3/2018 3:34 am

Ron1972
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Bingmo, so today I came home from work to find the Mosaic box set has come in! The first order of business was to rip these CD's onto my laptop so I can get them on my Mp3 Player, flash drives - etc.!

The second order of business has been to start LISTENING to these songs! My first (and I HAVE to stress first listen)  is 100% positive!

It's funny, the first time I listened to the twofer of "Some Fine Old Chestnuts" and "New Tricks" was a bit of a letdown! I find the accompaniment to be too striped down, the electric organ too jarring. 

However, now, I have listened to many of these songs on the "songbook" CD's and the new deluxe CD's of SFOC and NT and the more I listen to the more I appreciate the intimacy that comes from Bing singing with just a quartet. 

In comparison with the "10th Anniversary" I am sort of thinking of them as alternate takes. One doesn't strike me better than the other, just different. 

The sound quality on the Mosaic set IS stellar I am listening to it over a inexpensive speaker plugged into a laptop and was jarred by the quality. I can only imagine what this would sound like on a quality sound system. 

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?

Sadly, if this is a limited edition of 20,000 and ample stock remains almost a decade later there are too many people missing out! 

Recording » Feels Good Feels Right... Feels overpriced! » 29/3/2018 3:20 am

Ron1972
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LOL, I think I've been called cheap!!

Okay there is truth to that I am a bit frugal and I don't want to spend money wastefully (thought I too often do just that!) But, there is a reality that I can't just spend money on something because I want to. Bills need to be paid, things maintained, other interests competing for my hard earned dollars. (I hope I don't sound defensive because I'm not but I think I can't be the only one who has to watch where they spend their money.)

Also I would say over the last few years I have bought or acquired a LOT of Bing Crosby! At some point you have to sort of level out! I have some CD's I haven't listened to yet! Others that are lucky if they've gotten a spin!

But also $40 dollars is a lot to spend on ONE album! For the same money I could buy several other albums. And while there has been some positive mentions here, I've also read others that have found this album to be less than Bing's best! (Thankfully I am more in line with your thoughts on this album and so far would say that Bing's 70's output is amongst MY favorites of his work.)

I hope that Bing fans aren't too thrifty because obviously more new releases depend on there being a market for them and there are several things that I've bought that I did to be supportive of those new releases more than because they were the "next" thing I thought I should get. 

 

Recording » Feels Good Feels Right... Feels overpriced! » 28/3/2018 6:47 pm

Ron1972
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Well this post certainly delivered some great feedback and an even better lead! I actually purchased the the copy that Richard linked to and it arrived just yesterday! 

I've only been able to listen to it through one (playing a few tracks more than once) and have to say  I'm very impressed with it! I'll need a few more listens to be sure but I'm glad to have been able to get a hold of a copy (Thanks Richard!). 

In the end, with shipping this cost me just under $25 U.S. which I'm very comfortable with. 

Even after a single listen I'm willing to say it's a great CD and well worth owning, but I don't think I would have wanted to pay $40-$70 for it!

Recording » Bing Crosby Sings Johnny Burke » 18/3/2018 11:43 pm

Ron1972
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I stumbled across this marvelous collection on Amazon a few weeks ago. It's a digital album and I don't see any physical CD available and even better, it's free to listen to for Amazon Prime members. 

Now truthfully, I really wasn't aware of who Johnny Burke was but certainly several of the songs I was very familiar with and it took only a little reading to understand that Burke has a pretty impressive resume and his Crosby compositions are certainly some of the cream of the crop!

I'm not sure who has put this album together but I assume it's not an official BCE album but SHOULD BE!
With the Bing Sings: Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, & Frank Sinatra this seems like a tragic oversight!

If anyone is interested in this little gem it can be found here!

 

Recording » Bing Magazine finally tipped the scale for the Mosaic set! » 18/3/2018 11:33 pm

Ron1972
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This is a very bad post... it has covered 3 different collections that I have coveted! I think this post was the little push I needed to purchase "Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney - The New Recordings" & "10 Anniversary". 

Sadly, I am a little overwhelmed with Crosby material at the moment, including several new albums from Christmas and so haven't had the chance to really give these the attention they deserve but what I have heard I have liked VERY much. 

Two albums that I recently added to my collection are "New Tricks" and "Some Fine Old Chestnuts", so between the two of those and the "10th Anniversary" set I have been hearing a lot of the music that Bing did with Buddy Cole and I find myself liking it (if not always the electric organ) very much!

Still, I really have shied away from spending the money for the Mosaic box set. However, tonight I lost on a a bid for a box set on Ebay (I only hope to one of you!) and decided I would deprive myself no more! 

My order has been placed and now I just need to wait for the mailman! 

Recording » Feels Good Feels Right... Feels overpriced! » 18/3/2018 10:23 pm

Ron1972
Replies: 10

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I agree Richard! And fully realized that answer to value would be personal opinion.

Sadly, this an album that I usually here good things about but it seems to command way too much money.

I guess I wondered if those who have it would spend that much to get again.

Recording » Feels Good Feels Right... Feels overpriced! » 17/3/2018 1:42 pm

Ron1972
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Forum friends, quick "easy" question. How much is Feels Good Feels Right worth? I have been shopping around for it for a while and it always seems to command $40 on the side to about $70 on the high side.

I know the album has fans but is it worth spending so much for a copy on CD?

I hate to buy one and then have a rerelease come out for $12.99 or something!

Thoughts?

Others of Note » Vic Damone dies at age 89 » 13/2/2018 6:19 pm

Ron1972
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Great memories and love the story about him and Regis!

'll admit, I really am not familiar with any of his work. I certainly was familiar with the name but not really anything beyond that. Considering he was 89 when he passed, I was shocked that he hit the charts in 1947! 

Announcements » Bob Hope tribute » 24/1/2018 5:14 am

Ron1972
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I watched it the other day. It was interesting. I think like Bing, Hood's impact is overlooked.

Bing is mentioned, some clips, but it's not extensive.

New and Re-issued materials » Thoroughly Modern Bing » 16/1/2018 2:36 am

Ron1972
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I finally got this in the mail the other day. The track list is the faithful to the original with no extras. My impression on this overall is that at $17.84 (U.S.A.) this is a pretty expensive release that offers no extras in the way of additional tracks or new notes/booklet. 

The cardboard sleeve is a reasonably handsome reproduction of the album jacket and it does have the original liner notes but that's it. 

Soundwise, there are a few tracks where it seems like the audio is suppressed, since I don't have the original album to compare it to I don't know if this was an issue with the original vinyl. 

Aside from that this is an interesting record. I overall do like it very much. I think Bing sounds for the most part in good voice and the backing and arrangements are usually pretty good. It sort of reminds me of the Bing 'n' Basie album. "Talk to the Animals", "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead", "High Hopes", "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Chim Chim Cheree" are all among the highlights (although I wish they had skipped the animal noises on "Talk to the Animals". 

There are only a few songs that I think miss the mark. 

One thing that gnaws at me is when I think of the albums that Sinatra, Andy Williams, Como, Matt Monro, were doing at this same timeframe this seems so out of step, almost more along the lines of a sing-a-long or a children's album but certainly MUCH better than either of those genres. 

If anyone is thinking of picking this up, my advice would be to look for the Laserlight or Pickwick CD's which can probably be bought used for much less, or to just order the mp3 album which can be bought for for $6.99. 

Recording » Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook » 16/1/2018 2:19 am

Ron1972
Replies: 12

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Hmmm, missing posts? Now I'm wondering what I'm missing out on!

I did however just pick up "Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook" first listen has been very positive!

Biography » Interview with Geoff Milne » 10/1/2018 2:59 pm

Ron1972
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Came across a really interesting interview with one of Bing's producers, Geoff Milne! It was a great read thought I'd share it here!

http://advicetothelovelorn.blogspot.com/2010/04/interview-with-bing-crosbys-producer.html

Recording » Thoughts on... » 06/1/2018 11:20 pm

Ron1972
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Very true Kevin! The problem is I'm also a huge Roy Orbison fan and a big Matt Monroe fan. All three men are competing for th we attention of my ear and wallet!

Here is a question for you, if I had the Mosiac set, what would you then suggest I avoid to minimize duplication?

Recording » Thoughts on... » 06/1/2018 1:07 pm

Ron1972
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Thanks Kevin! I really appreciate the feedback and hope the post stimulates more conversation!

You're right that I do not have the Mosiac box set and really don't want to spend that kind of money, at least right now. In fact I really feel I have too much Bing right now because there is a lot that I haven't gotten around to listening to!

My fear is though that some of these things won't be available down the road. Something that has already frustrated me!

I have probably about 65-70 dollars picking up a few things after Christmas, SFOC, SIWIHSTFTA (both because I wanted the deluxe versions and the notes) and Bing Sings The Johnny Mercer Songbook which I grabbed because at just over 7 dollars it seemed like  bargain and it was! I've enjoyed it immensely!

Now I have grabbed Join Bing and Sing Along, 101 Gang Songs/On the Happy Side, and the 10th Anniversary 3CD set of overturned tracks. (All of these because I feared they might not be available down the road).

I am going to listen to a lot of samples of those you have mentioned and hope my long post hasn't scared others from commenting!

Recording » Thoughts on... » 05/1/2018 8:48 pm

Ron1972
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Now that we're past Christmas, I'm using some gift cards I've gotten and maybe buying myself a small gift or two! I'm looking for some input on the following titles I'm considering but would also welcome any suggestions!

Shall We Dance?
With All My Heart
So Rare: Treasures from the Crosby Archive
Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney: The New Recordings
Bing & Rosie: The Crosby Clooney Radio Sessions
Bing Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook (discussed in another post)

I have searched through the forum and read posts that touched on some of these but I love hearing and value the feedback and opinions of others!

Recording » Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook » 01/1/2018 8:23 pm

Ron1972
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Happy New Year Kevin! I really appreciate and am enjoying your reply. 

I hope to cover some of these in future posts but for Christmas I asked for and received:
Bing Sings The Sinatra Songbook - I'm not enough of a Sinatra fan to have his versions imprinted in my head (I think)
Through The Years Volume 8 - I was able to download every volume but 8 legally through my local library
Good & Rare 3 - Volumes 1 & 2 are available to me through my library but not 3. Also the BSWBS tracks interested me.
Thoroughly Modern Bing - Currently on backorder
Among My Souvenirs - Just purchasing it because it was the new thing
New Tricks - I already own this but haven't really listened to it as part of the twofer with Some  Fine Old Chestnuts but decided to get the deluxe edition. 

After Christmas I decided to pick up:
Le Bing, Some Fine Old Chestnuts, & Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Around - someone pointed out to me in another post the essays alone make these worth getting that and the extra tracks and remastering. 
Bing Sings The Johnny Mercer Songbook - It was on Amazon with Autorip for just a little over $7 seemed too good not to grab!

Come to think of it that IS a lot of Bing! 



 

Radio » BBC Archive on 4 - Bing Crosby Meets » 31/12/2017 2:30 pm

Ron1972
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Duplication can be a good thing! Saw your post on this yesterday and listened to it yesterday afternoon! Would have likely missed it without your post!

Announcements » Bing Crosby Meets » 31/12/2017 2:28 pm

Ron1972
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Just listened to this yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly!

Recording » Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook » 31/12/2017 2:00 pm

Ron1972
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I really appreciate the feedback!

Richard you did not dissuade me, and Malcolm and Kevin I agree that these releases must be supported to make future releases viable.

I opted not to buy the Berlin but that was because I was trying to choose between it and LeBing! I decided I was more interested in an official album than a compilation.

However my Christmas list included many Bing items which I received, including the two newest and the Sinatra Songbook.

After the holiday I picked up the aforementioned LeBing and Songs I Wish I Had Sung, Some Fine Old Chestnuts, AND the Bing Sings The Johnny Mercer Songbook!

I am sure the Berlin disc will come somewhere down the line, I just decided these should come first and was surprised not to see more chatter about it. (Maybe we've solved that!)

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