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.

Artistic Legacy » BING CROSBY BUILDING NOMINATED AS U.S. NATIONAL HISTORIC PLACE! » 20/5/2018 2:31 pm

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


https://www.wehoville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/6CA74F9B-8C51-4FA1-A6AF-FC5D8882B06A.jpeg

https://www.wehoville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/36E4429A-A0EF-41C0-A294-59231BFCD23B.jpeg

 

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

"MStevens",  
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"


http://www.cruisin1430.com/media/podcast/star-spangled-radio-hour 

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,
http://www.cruisin1430.com/media/podcast/star-spangled-radio-hour
 

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. 
https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Big-Crosby-Feels-Good-Feels-Right-1976-Bonus-Tracks-CD-West-Germany-PDO-1988/1138015911?iid=382393201424
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.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_O7vZ33ddqU/hqdefault.jpg


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9f/How_the_West_Was_Won_%28Bing_Crosby_Album%29_%28album_cover%29.jpg



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.
 

Links » Promo Disc for "Starmaker" » 07/1/2018 7:45 am

David Currington, in Australia, parts of which are enjoying (or enduring) a heatwave, in contrast to parts of the northern hemisphere, has drawn attention to the promotional disc on Youtube for the movie "Starmaker" from 1939.
Here "Go Fly A Kite"





and here "And Still The Bluebird Sings"




Thanks, David, and thanks to the Youtube poster,  "cdbpdx", whoever they may be.


 

Recording » Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook » 31/12/2017 1:32 pm

I had no intention of dissuading you from getting this CD, Ron.

It is a very good mix of songs from Irving Berlin who was a giant during the "golden age".
In trying to produce a balanced view and noting a few mildly adverse points I had no intention of tipping the scales too far.

PLUS POINTS
- A fantastic array of the best from Berlin sung by Bing, one of the performers best qualified to do so.
- Some hard to come by tracks and a few unique.
- In general very good sound.

NOT QUITE SO POSITIVE POINTS
- Slightly variable sound levels between tracks (but nothing that cannot be resolved by use of volume control).
- Some of the tracks will already be owned on other CDs possibly several times over by many fans.

NEGATIVE POINTS
- Some distortion of a track or two that might be noticed by those with higher quality equipment.

As I said earlier, you will not be disappointed.
 


 

Recording » Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook » 31/12/2017 12:43 am

Ron1972 wrote:

I added a few new albums to my collection and noticed "Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook". I searched the forum looking to see if there had been much conversation about this album and was disappointed to find very little written about it. 

So forum friends, thoughts on this collection? I hate to buy something just for the sake of buying it but if it offers selections not easily found elsewhere I certainly would be interested in it. 

Again looking forward to your feedback!

Ron, 
The issue was one of a large number issued simultaneously by Bing Crosby Enterprises/UMG in 2014, and was probably a little overlooked simply because it was part of a rather overwhelming batch.

In "Keeping Track", issue #169 of BING magazine I wrote  

When I first saw details of this issue I felt that it was likely to be the best of the crop. The selection of songs written by one of the greats from the Golden Age could hardly be better though some might quibble over the precise selection. Personally I would have liked fewer tracks from commercial issues, which have been widely available. Several tracks are from early-ish radio and are welcome for that alone. Two tracks are from one of the major neglected sources, the “Longines” recordings.

I went on to mention differences in audio levels between tracks, and noted that on one track I could hear a small amount of peak level distortion. I don't think that you will be disappointed in your purchase but some of the commercially issued takes have been on a number of other CDs and you might have some duplication.  
 
 

Radio » Star Spangled Radio Hour - Christmas With Bing Crosby » 25/12/2017 8:32 am

Our old friends at Star Spangled Radio Hour have come up with Bing from KMH of 24 December 1942.

Stream it or download for later listening from here.

They follow that up with Command Performance from the same date.

CHRISTMAS WITH BING CROSBY - KRAFT MUSIC HALL - Thursday, December 24, 1942 - 6:00 – 7:00 pm PWT Ken Carpenter, announcer, Bing Crosby, host, Fay Bainter, Jack Carson and Andrew Tombes, guests. With Janet Blair, The Music maids and Hal, The Charioteers and John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra

COMMAND PERFORMANCE  - Christmas Special - Thursday, December 24, 1942 - 8:00 – 9:00 pm PWT Aired simultaneously on (Blue) (CBS) (Mutual) (NBC). 

Ken Carpenter, announcer, Bob Hope, host. Introduction by Elmer Davis, Director, Office of War Information.With Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Harriet Hilliard, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Charles Laughton, Ethel Waters, Ginny Simms, Harry Babbitt, The Andrews Sisters, the Charioteers, Spike Jones and his City Slickers, Kay Kyser and His Orchestra, and the 20th Century-Fox Studio Orchestra conducted by Alfred Newman


It seems that the Command Performance show was unique in two respects - it was broadcast simultaneously over the main (competing) networks, and it was broadcast to the "home" audience. This and much other information comes from the two hosts of Star Spangled Radio Hour.


 

Announcements » Bing Crosby Meets » 23/12/2017 12:01 pm

If any subscriber to this forum cannot access the programme and wishes to hear it they should contact me via the private message facility 
(Once you have logged in, click on my name and select "Send Private Message".
 

Artistic Legacy » Non Christmassy seasonal songs » 23/12/2017 11:39 am

I have occasional contacts with local and hospital radio services.

A week / ten days ago one contacted me. They thought that come a day or so after Christmas their listeners would have had enough of Christmas songs but thought it appropriate that they should have "Mr Christmas" singing something seasonal that was not specifically Christmas. Was there anything that I could suggest?

I offered -
Winter Wonderland, 
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,
Frosty The Snowman,
Sleigh Bell Serenade,
Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter,
The First Snowfall,
Snow,
Little Jack Frost Get Lost,
A Marshmallow World

Seems they will be using Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter as appropriate to the cold spell we have just had here in England (though forecasters predict a warmer spell). It will be mixed in with a number of other wintry items ranging from classical (Vivaldi) to modern pops.

Comment made "Bing really did sing about everything." 


 

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