21/3/2019 11:57 pm  #1


Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

This is why everyone should continue to listen to Bing's radio shows (assuming some don't) you never know when you'll hear something that knocks you out even though you know you've heard the shows before, years before.   This past weekend in honor of the holiday St. Patty's (I always listen to Bing's holiday themed programs when it's the appropriate time to hear it (no Christmas in April or Thanksgiving shows in June for me), so this past weekend was St. Patrick's Day so I listened to the 3/15/45 show with Artie Shaw as Bing's guest, the Kraft version of the show, not the AFRS version (which has it's playing order re-arranged and is re-edited with the song McNamara's Band being deleted and replaced with a different song).  At any rate during this show Bing sings "Beautiful Love", WOW!   Once again I'm taken aback by a Bing song that I've forgotten that Bing sang and what a great song it is.   So perfect for Bing to sing in his unique style.   I pulled my Jonzo Vol. 36 out just so I could add the Decca record version of the song to my computer's Media Play playlist.  

If I had stopped listening to Bing radio shows just because I heard them all once before I would have completely overlooked this beauty.   It pays to revisit Bing's radio shows again (and again).  I've been listening to at least one Bing radio show every week for decades now (started out listening to 3 shows a week) it's still just as much a joy as the first time and it really surprises you now and then. 

By the way, hope all you Bing fans are not relying on internet versions of Bing's shows, the quality is really really bad on most of them.   I'm sure most folks here have their own tapes that they've collected years ago, I only listen to Bing radio shows from my CDs which I created from my tapes.   Such a pleasure and a wide difference in quality compared to what you find ("for free") on the interwebs.   It's true, you get what you pay for.

Last edited by Archiefit (22/3/2019 1:10 am)

 

22/3/2019 12:56 pm  #2


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

What I have found Lee is some of the radio versions of songs are better than the commercial recordings. I don't know if Bing or John Scott Trotter had more freedom to arrange on the radio shows than the recording studios but it is refreshing. I always thought the commercial recording of "Beautiful Love" was sort of drab but I will have to check out this radio version.

As for radio shows, I had a dear friend in England who had all of the Bing Crosby radio shows on reel to reel in outstanding condition. He started making me CDs of all the radio songs. He made them from 1937 to 1942ish, and then he got ill and passed away in 2006. I cherish those recordings. Some good stuff there and it is great to not have to listen to Bob Burns or Victor Borge more than I have to!

 

22/3/2019 3:54 pm  #3


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

With the radio songs there was plenty of time available compared to a record of about 3 minutes on a 10" record. St. Louis Blues came out on a 12" record and ran for 4 minutes or more.
The melody pack of songs on the wireless would run for about 7 or 8 minutes which weren't transferred to a record.
Since the advent of the LP they were put onto records and I don't believe they were released on tape.
One song I prefer on film compared to commercial recording is "I Wish I Were Alladin"

 

23/3/2019 12:27 am  #4


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

Yes, I agree, some of the radio versions of Bing's songs are more lively and energetic than the "official" Decca version, some on radio are even more fun than the Decca versions.   But, honestly, for the most part I like most all Decca records with the occasional exception.   One exception immediately comes to mind is "Easter Parade" on the Decca version Bing sounds like he has a very serious sinus condition, it almost hurts my nose to listen to it, he's so stuffed up.   But the radio versions (he sang it many times on radio) are 50 times better than that Nyquil needing Decca version.  

Also, as much as I was always sick of "Swinging On A Star" (this was a pet peeve of mine on the old Steven Lewis message board) only because it seemed to be the only Bing song old music playing radio stations (which don't exist anymore) would play.  That and True Love, you would never know Bing recorded any other song aside from White Christmas by listening to radio back then.   At any rate the radio version of "Swinging On A Star" really swings and is totally full of energy and fun, an improvement over  the Decca version..  

Bing's Kraft shows are good because Bing generally sings a nice selection of songs and is in his prime, but I have to knash my teeth every time Bob Burns and or Victor Borge go into their INCREDIBLY annoying UNFUNNY comedy act.  In 2005 I completed transferring all my radio show tapes over to CD so I no longer have to suffer thru their "entertainment" I just hit the skip to the next chapter on my CD and I purposely recorded those CDs with a chapter hit immediately following their "hilarious" routines, in fact I put in a chapter hit at the beginning of every song so I can go to an individual song fast..  

As for you, Dave, if all you have are the early '40's radio shows on CD, you can today take your tapes of the Philco and Chesterfield radio show (and all those that came later) and transfer the sound from your cassette straight to your computer on an Mp3 file.  You don't have to have a CD recorder like I had back in the day, you can record it onto your computer with a specially made small cassette player that connects directly to your computer thru the USB connection.   I've transferred my Jean Shepherd tapes over to Mp3 files now and it's great. 

Last edited by Archiefit (23/3/2019 12:38 am)

     Thread Starter
 

24/3/2019 11:53 am  #5


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

Mind if I join in..?

I’ve always loved listening to the complete radio shows. I’ve got several hundred on CD, plus about a dozen DVD-R discs which I’m hoping I’ll have time to sort theough one of these days/weeks/months/years!

My KMH/Chesterfield/GE/Mail Call/Command Performance CDs are mainly Redmond Nostalgia releases. My Philcos are Redmonds plus the excellent series produced by Dave Bennett some years ago. I’ve also got the 8 CD series of Bing’s numbers from the early KMH shows issued by Barry Whittingham on his Bar-One International label in the 90s. I suspect these were taken from the same original sources as the set David was talking about.

Like Lee, I have a complete allergy to Bob Burns - I just don’t get that home-spun humour. I’ve got more time for Victor Borge, but I have very fond memories of his TV appearances in the UK when I was growing up.

I actually find the early KMH broadcasts a wee bit stilted and almost “formal”, but by the time we get to the early 40s, there’s a much more free-and-easy sense of interaction between Bing and his guests - and the audience.

I’ve always had a theory (not a new one, I know) that the main reason Bing’s Decca recording career was so richly varied in choice of repertoire, recording partners, accompanists, etc., is that Jack Kapp was there, and the main reason Bing’s radio career was so richly varied in choice of repertoire, recording partners, accompanists, etc., is that Jack Kapp WASN’T there..!
Like I said, just a theory..,

Last edited by jeremyrose (24/3/2019 11:54 am)

 

24/3/2019 7:06 pm  #6


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

While Jack Kapp no doubt helped Bing a lot, I also think he held him back a bit with his recordings.
How wonderful those early jazzy numbers he recorded then all of a sudden they stopped under Kapp, which was a pity. Songs like Some of these Days and others didn't come along anymore.
Bing's recording of Just One of Those Things, seems slow and a bit of a drag when compared to Sinatra's recording bur Frank made that on his comeback trail.
While Kapp did a lot for Bing I also think he held him back a bit.
No doubt the recordings of just about all spheres of music helped as well.

 

24/3/2019 10:37 pm  #7


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

I agree with everything Ron says. There’s no doubt that Bing  had his “jazz chops” largely smoothed out under Jack Kapp’s guidance. There are a few exceptions during the Decca years - the sides he cut with Connee Boswell, for instance - but on the whole you hear more of Bing the jazz singer in the radio work...

It doesn’t help, of course, that although John Scott Trotter made a huge contribution to Bing’s career both at Decca and on radio, he wasn’t really a true jazz arranger, any more than Buddy Cole - a brilliant swing accompanist - was a true jazz pianist.

 

25/3/2019 1:08 am  #8


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

For my part, my real favorite Bing radio years are those he did for Philco and Chesterfield.  I think he really came into his own by these years.  He just seemed more relaxed, humorous and comfortable with himself.  

A lot of those Kraft shows can sound pretty formal and scripted sounding, but it was the early '40's and that's the way radio was done then.   But those Philco & Chesterfield shows are always fun for me to listen to.  

I just recently started listening to the Kraft shows again, and I'm finding the reason why I've been avoiding those Kraft shows for all these years to be the same as the reason I didn't like them when I first heard them.   The so-called comedy routines with all the guests are stilted and not natural sounding (the opposite the way they are on Philco/Chesterfield) and then the never-ending so-called bits that Bob Burns and the insufferable and unfunny/annoying Victor Borge do and then the worst part is when those God-awful Charioteers start going into their Ink Spot wanna-be singing numbers which they make even worse when they try to be funny with their high pitched voices.   Oh, I tell you, I thank Gosh I made those CDs with lots of chapter stops as soon as Bing introduces any of these never-missing regulars I quickly hit the chapter skip button and avoid the pains I experienced when I had to sit thru them when I first recorded them from tape onto CD.   I will still listen to Bing's various guest-stars and their mostly unfunny bits but the best part  of the Kraft shows is the Bing music itself, that's the reason I still listen to them and why I enjoy them in spite of the many reasons to forget them.   As much as I don't like Borge, I will give him equal time by saying my Dad loved Victor Borge and would watch those awful PBS specials that they never tired of running.   I watched one or 2 of them with him and I just couldn't wait for the torture to end.

     Thread Starter
 

25/3/2019 1:15 am  #9


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

Oh, by the way, I prefer the John Scott and Jack Kapp popular songs Bing did much more than those jazz numbers.   Give me a One Rose Left In My Heart anytime over Blue Birds & Blackbirds Got Together anytime.   I'm glad Jack Kapp took over and they used John Scott Trotter, I think Trotter's arrangements were perfect for Bing's style, he knew how to arrange a song for Bing like no one.

     Thread Starter
 

25/3/2019 11:19 pm  #10


Re: Now That Came Out Of Nowhere Part 2

I completely agree that John Scott Trotter and Bing were - to use a phrase I’ve used before - a musical marriage made in heaven. I just think that there was a period of three years or so between the end of the Whiteman/Rhythm Boys days and Jack Kapp taking over in August ‘34 when Bing’s vocal powers were at their absolute peak and he produced work the like of which we just didn’t hear again during the Decca years.

Of course I’d rather listen to “One Rose Left In My Heart” than “The Bluebirds and the Blackbirds...”, but I’d pass over both of those for “St Louis Blues” or “Some Of These Days” from 1932.

Horses for courses, I suppose...

 

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