Recording » A Gal In Calico » 22/5/2017 6:57 am

I agree. The differences occur throughout, but all are very slight and which you pick as the defining item will I think still need side by side comparison, unlike many "alts" where there are often very obvious and conclusive differences that stand alone. 

Recording » A Gal In Calico » 18/5/2017 11:08 pm

Well, many thanks to  our "new recruit" Brunswick 78 for drawing attention to the differences.

I have been undertaking some side by side comparisons, employing my usual method of creating a stereo pair out of the different recordings. This is my personal finding
There are differences between the sounds of the orchestral accompaniment in the opening bars but I would not totally exclude the possibility that these are brought about by differences in the treatment of the audio spectrum during the mastering.

The vocal chorus seems as near identical as possible throughout. The two are certainly not attempts to produce anything different (as some alternative takes were).

Whilst differences are easily viewed on the waveform, audibly they are very minor and occur almost exclusively in Bing's timing, with very slight differences in emphasis on some words, which are difficult to describe in a coherent way without having the two playing side by side.

Forced to pick an example I would point to the line at around 1.37 where Bing sings "Guess I'd better let her know".

On the rejected take L4134-A "I'd better" sounds I'd bett - er - let 'er"
whilst on the "new" alt it sounds  "i -  'd better let 'er"  but to my old ears it only becomes obvious on a side by side comparison. 

My comparison is between the rejected take on Jonzo's Chronological Crosby Vol 42 and Arista/ Ariola/MfP MFPCD 023 "16 Original World Hits", very slightly re-timed to synchronise with each other. 
As I stated in an earlier posting Take L4169-A is easily distinguishable. 

Recording » A Gal In Calico » 18/5/2017 5:54 pm

Reference to Colin Pugh's book "Alternate Bing Crosby" has reminded me that he deliberated at some length about the takes of "A Gal In Calico".
Admirable though his work is, it is most unfortunate that he does not reveal in detail the sources from which he was working.

I find what he says a little confusing but on the present evidence I think there are indeed three versions (and I have also compared with the radio recordings, just to eliminate them) 

What we have is, in my view, best summed up by the following -

L4134-A (stated to be rejected) of 22 March 1946
L4169-A (the usually issued take) of 7 May 1946

An alternative which might have come from either session and now discovered by "Brunswick 78" on the Australian MfP CD "16 Original World Hits", also issued in Germany.

At 1.34 approx on L4169-A Bing sings a very positive "I'll" at the start of the second chorus.
In both the other versions he omits the word and goes straight into "-- take my gal"

The differences between the rejected take L4134-A and the Alt are more subtle.
The alt has a slightly more staccato orchestral accompaniment in the opening passage.
Throughout the Alt version Bing places more emphasis on the first word of each phrase and there are differences in timing but I am having difficulty finding a  clear and easy to identify marker. More work is indicated but my feeling, in view of the similarities, is that the Alt was recorded at the same time as the reject L4134-A and presumably rejected for the same reason - the omission of "I'll". Why it should be included on an Australian MfP/Ariola  CD issued right at the start of the CD era is beyond me. 

I do not think that minor differences in total running times can be regarded as definitive because minor differences in transcription speeds can produce startling differences over a period of two to three minutes, and issuers have been known to adjust timings in order to correct pitch.


Recording » A Gal In Calico » 18/5/2017 7:03 am

An interesting thought and I for one will investigate.

When I compiled the discography I was certainly not undertaking any detailed comparisons and would have assumed that a commercial LP release would have included the "standard" official recording.

But first a couple of comments

- it is an interesting and exhilarating fact that new takes are being discovered still, after all these years. Another was identified on this board this year of "Winter Wonderland" and in the last ten years or so there have been quite a number of recordings stretching back to the '30s.   

- a recording from that era would have been directly onto a 78 rpm disc and all subsequent LP issues will have been copied from a 78 rpm disc. They are all dubbings, the only thing varying being the quality of the disc being copied. The "official" Decca /Brunswick releases should in theory have come from something pretty close to the original master, "unofficial" issues from commercially released pressings.    

New and Re-issued materials » "The Bible Story of Christmas narrated by Bing Crosby" NEW! » 01/5/2017 3:25 pm

Bing's narration is listed in most discographies but the original LP had very limited circulation.

Bing's reading is clear and the new issue (which I have had the privilege of hearing) displays his rich voice very well. 

Bing's reading of several verses of Luke Ch 2, verses 4-20 introduces traditional carols on eight tracks, whilst the ninth track has the complete reading.

Something different to bring out at Christmas to add to all those other recordings of Bing singing carols or Christmas songs 

Interesting to note that the issue is also on vinyl LP.


Links » Radio Times Archive » 11/4/2017 8:46 am

On another thread I have mentioned the Radio Times online archive, which will eventually cover all radio and TV programmes listed in the Radio Times, covering all national and local BBC stations since 1923 up to 2009..

As might be expected there are numerous mentions of Bing.
The project has been tackled by means of optical character recognition and all those who have used such systems know that there is considerable scope for characters and words to be mis-identified.
The BBC accepts additions and amendments but before anyone rushes in I have already submiited a large number relating to Bing, and on experience so far, the BBC takes some time to catch up with them. I have concentrated on factual errors, ignoring minor issues such as misleading punctuation.

The very first chronologically is "Bing" shown as "Liing" in July 1933.

The site is

It is interesting to see that the BBC were producing their own radio dramatisations of some of Bing's films, mentioning the use of singers who sound like Bing! 


Recording » Ken Sykora interviews Bing » 10/4/2017 4:19 pm

Richard Baker wrote:

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

Here's a nice interview with Bing from the 1960s. See

I assume this could be the broadcast of 1st August 1967, at 20:12 on the old "Light" programme, and repeated 21st December 1967, on Radio 4 at 16:05 and presumably recorded in the summer of 1967 when Bing was in London.

 - though I now see that there was a programme called "Be My Guest" on 14th January 1967 described as 
Bing Crosby says Be My Guest and in conversation with KEN SYKORA he recalls some of the music and artists from the early Thirties

Were they all the same? Who can accurately recall? I used to listen to Ken Sykora but I haven't a clue!


Recording » Ken Sykora interviews Bing » 10/4/2017 10:42 am

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

Here's a nice interview with Bing from the 1960s. See

I assume this could be the broadcast of 1st August 1967, at 20:12 on the old "Light" programme, and repeated 21st December 1967, on Radio 4 at 16:05 and presumably recorded in the summer of 1967 when Bing was in London.

Incidentally, there is an ongoing project to digitise and place online a listing of all programmes broadcast by the BBC since 1923, covering all channels and both radio and TV. There are now 1,191 entries relating to programmes either about or featuring Bing. These include interviews, showings of the films, radio dramatisations and shows from US radio and TV networks, etc. There is no audio or video content - it is a straiht listing of programmes but it is an interesting browse. The BBC welcomes additions and corrections.

New and Re-issued materials » Join Bing & Sing Along » 06/4/2017 2:12 pm

Thomas wrote:

Obviously Malcolm Macfarlane was also involved in the process of compiling the CDs as he gets a friendly mention in the attached booklet.

Pretty deeply, because he was responsible for writing the comprehensive notes and pulling much of the issue together. 

Thomas, the "friendly mention" is intended to explain Malcolm's credentials for writing the notes - not that many members of the ICC or subscribers to this board need that explanation, but we hope that purchasers of the CDs will extend far beyond that circle.


Others of Note » Alice Ludes » 02/4/2017 10:17 am

-and there was the experience of going to a strange town, finding a different dealer and browsing their racks.

But life wasn't just made simpler by the internet. Long before that it was the dealers (and one or two fellow enthusiasts) who circulated lists of all their stock, new imports and special offers. You could go through them all, marking preferences and letting out involuntary whoops of joy when you found something new. Most disconcerting to my fellow train commuters back in the 70's and 80's on the days I had just received a new list in the mail. Then there was the dismal task of deciding what you could or could not justify including in your order. 

Others of Note » Alice Ludes » 02/4/2017 7:47 am

Archiefit wrote:

 Ink Spots never did make an appearance on Bing's shows, I wonder if Bing ever shared a program with Ink Spots?  Maybe a Command Performance? 

The Ink Spots appeared on two KMH shows but so far as I know not with Bing on any other shows. The first was 27th February 1941 but it is not clear what they did. 
The second was 26th March 1942 when they sang (what else?) Do I Worry for which of course they are most remembered.
They did not sing with Bing. “The Ink Spots On The Air”  on LP and CD from Sandy Hook has them from the second of these but Bing's only involvement is narration and intro. Sandy Hook SH2084 (LP) and CDSH2084 (CD).

The Music Maids were on both the stated KMH shows. 

Others of Note » Alice Ludes » 27/3/2017 2:47 pm

The LP "On The Air" ,#21 on the Spokane label, has a picture of Alice with Bing on the rear of the sleeve, as well as a picture of all of the Music Maids on the front (and a good number of songs from 1939-1941).


Others of Note » Alice Ludes » 27/3/2017 10:37 am

Rather late I'm afraid, I see that Alice Ludes died on 12th February at the age of 104. 

Alice was one of the Music Maids, a permanent fixture on Bing's Kraft Music Hall for several years and a number of records exist of them singing with Bing . 

I'll be hunting up some obituaries in order to link to them.

Later addition
Whilst I have found a few obituaries on line they are all rather brief. The most comprehensive that I have come across will not allow a link to the full text - you only get the first few lines, so I am being slightly courageous and copying it all below. It is from the March 27th edition of the London Daily Telegraph.

[i]ALICE LUDES, who has died aged 104, was an actress and singer and the last surviving member of the Music Maids, Bing Crosby’s female singing group, which rose to fame during the early 1930s.

She was bom Alice Sizer on December 20 1912 in Tacoma, Washington, one of die eight children of ER and Minnie Sizer. Her older sister Fem played the piano and took singing lessons to which Alice would sometimes tag along, later recalling that “I listened to the piano tutor and when I got home I copied what she’d played”.
After graduating from high school, Alice Sizer worked as a hatcheck girl, a lift operator and shop assistant before, in 1932, forming a singing trio, the Williams sisters, with two girls she had met through Fem, and the group subsequently moved to San Francisco, where they got a contract with NBC.

In 1939 Alice Sizer met and married the NBC radio announcer and technician Ed Ludes and moved to Los Angeles when NBC moved her husband to California.

Keen to continue her performing career, Alice and four friends (June Clifford, Virginia Erwin, Dottie Messenger and Denny Wilson), who worked at various studios as singers and film extra

Others of Note » Dame Vera Lynn at 100 » 21/3/2017 9:30 am

Vera had a fantastic following among members of the British forces and their families. She had a warm presentational style and knew the type of songs that her public wanted, though the BBC dropped her programme for a time because her songs were regarded as too sentimental and lacking in backbone.

Vera even visited wives and families of members of the forces and conveyed messages to servicemen abroad. She increased her following by visiting forward bases in Burma to entertain the troops there.

A TV documentary to celebrate her 100th birthday is here and can be watched for a further 26 days but unfortunately might not be viewable outside the UK.

Later addition - it is now on YouTube 

From the late 1950s I worked and became friendly with a group of men (then still young, now all gone over the last 14 years) who had all been on active service in North Africa and Italy, one having been wounded twice. They were all firm devotees of Vera Lynn. 


Announcements » 'Going My Way' Spring branch meeting » 19/3/2017 12:26 am

Jace wrote:

The Warrington branch of the International Club Crosby, the 'Going My Way' branch, will hold its spring meeting here on Winwick Park next Saturday 25th March, 1230 - 1730hrs.

Jason Liddiard

Very best wishes for a successful meeting


New and Re-issued materials » New Biography available for streaming on » 16/3/2017 2:25 pm

I have to be blunt and say that the documentary falls very far short of it's promise, which is  that Chris has “spent a lifetime documenting testimony from those who loved and knew Bing best”

That implies an in depth study painstakingly prepared and deeply researched but I fear that there is not a great deal to show from all that effort. A significant part of Bing's life is wholly ignored and many of those "who loved and knew Bing best”  don't even get a mention. 


Recording » 1962 alternate take of 'Winter Wonderland' » 12/3/2017 7:32 pm


Searching around the detail of different takes interests me and I agree with you. Timings are different and phrasing differs. A little difficult to describe and on first hearing I cannot point to anything that is a stand out smoking gun, but it is different.

Congratulations on a very interesting find. 

Radio » Command Performance and G I Journal » 12/3/2017 8:09 am

Graham, as an extension of the point you make, Malcolm, in his notes to an issue on CD of some of the material a year or so back, made the point that the civilian population of the UK (and from what you say, Australia) were more likely to hear the broadcasts than the civilians back in the US, specifically because the broadcasts were aimed at the US force overseas via the records that were sent out for use over local stations.

I know that many in the UK did listen in to the US forces shows, because they added to the rather limited fare produced by the BBC at the time.  


Radio » Command Performance and G I Journal » 11/3/2017 11:56 am

I agree. Great stuff.

But for those who need reminding or who are new to this board, Bing's own shows, on Kraft Music Hall,
during the same era are also very good.

Follow this link.  ​

There is also a selection of Chesterfield and Philco shows on the same site 

New and Re-issued materials » New Biography available for streaming on » 10/3/2017 11:57 pm

JayIsh wrote:

Chris Crosby, Bing's nephew and Godson has posted a new documentary he's completed on Bing as he knew him.  I watched it last night and found it really informative and entertaining...Not sure it is available in any other form but through streaming via Amazon Prime but it is worth a watch!

Thank you "JayIsh".

The film is exclusive to Amazon Prime and subscribers should search on 
"Crosby in Search Of Crosby - Bing: The Truth Behind The Legend"
There is also a trailer on Youtube

I review it in "Keeping Track" in the next issue of "Bing" due out in a few weeks time.

I'd be interested in the views of others. I found it odd that Bing's life after the mid 1950s has barely a mention.


Recording » Something's Coming! » 28/2/2017 5:43 pm

"Feels Good" would be quite out of the question. Copyright across Europe currently protects anything recorded since November 1963 for a period of 70 years.

Material recorded before then has fallen out of copyright if it was also published then.

Recording » Something's Coming! » 27/2/2017 11:42 pm

Already written, Jeremy!


Recording » Something's Coming! » 26/2/2017 2:14 pm

See also the listing here.
The double CD includes no less than four complete LPs plus three "bonus" tracks.
- Two are from the 101 Gang Songs LPs, plus "Bing On The Happy Side", plus an LP sold through youth organisations "Sing Along With Bing" which consisted of songs drawn from earler Sing Along albums with a revised chorus backing.

Radio » Command Performance and G I Journal » 25/2/2017 3:05 pm

Afraid circumstances have kept me away from the board for a while, but it seems not too much has been happening in the meantime!

However - 
COMMAND PERFORMANCE 30 Recorded Sunday, August 30, 1942
with Connee Boswell, Bert Wheeler, Hank Ladd, James Cagney, The Music Maids, Kay Kyser Orchestra,  NBC Orchestra conducted by Dr. Frank Black

and G. I. JOURNAL 12 Recorded Saturday, October 9, 1943
with Georgia Carroll, “Ish Kabbibble”, Julie Conway, Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan, Jerry Colonna, John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra

are both here on Star Spangled Radio Hour

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