Greetings to all fellow Bing Crosby fans.
This is Bill Shute, located in south Texas. I have been a lifelong Crosby fan--I'm old enough to have been around during the last decade or so of his career and do vividly remember seeing the Dr. Cook's Garden TV-movie, seeing his holiday specials, catching the occasional guest spot on TV (I just saw on You Tube that wonderful sequence with Dinah Shore and Phil Harris, where Bing is asked to remember the B-sides of various singles, and Dinah's band then plans them for him).
My parents had some of his records---some on LP, some on 78---but I really grew to discover his work by being a devoted record collector at used record stores, flea markets, etc. I built my own Crosby collection that way.
I have material from most parts of his career, and I must say I enjoy all of the phases he went through. How many people worked with both Bix Beiderbecke and David Bowie? I'd guess ONE.
I think the most under-rated body of work of Bing's is the radio sessions with Buddy Cole done throughout the 50s, some of which came out on the Mosaic box. I had a number of those on "collector" LP's so I did not buy that box, but I'm sure I probably will. I also downloaded many of the Bing and Rosie daily radio shows from the early 60s that feature more of those wonderful recordings. The fresh unrehearsed feel of those sessions make them precious to me. I need to get that recent Bing and Rosie set that has those in excellent sound.
Although I've always been a serious Bing fan, my excitement was re-kindled this summer when I was spending time in Pittsburgh and went to the legendary Jerry's Used Records. Jerry had a HUGE Bing Crosby section with dozens of obscure collector LP's on "private" labels and also compilations of rarities (for $5 each! they'd sat there for many years, I was told) and I picked up about 15 of those. Hearing all that material that was new and fresh to me really reminded me of what a great artist Bing Crosby was, so I started looking over Bing sources on the internet and found this group. I look forward to learning more from all you knowledgeable fans and researchers and perhaps also sharing my own enthusiasms about Bing's career.
I will share one local anecdote about Bing, which I mentioned a while back on the "Bing and Friends" facebook page:
"Today I walked past the Brauntex Theater in New Braunfels, TX, and wanted to share something I was reminded of. The theater opened in January 1942, and the first film shown was Bing Crosby's BIRTH OF THE BLUES. About 5 years ago, a restoration was done of the theater (it's now on the National Register of Historic Places), and when that was completed, they celebrated by bringing back the first movie they showed in 1942: BIRTH OF THE BLUES. So I took my family along, and it was great to see the film on the big screen. My then-teenaged daughter really enjoyed the film and commented on how she now understood Bing's appeal. Also, it was great to see everyone enjoying it, from pre-school children to people who'd attended the original show back in 1942! We need more of those kind of multi-generational experiences so Bing can work his magic on younger people (and with the jazz orientation of the film, it had a wider appeal than some others might have, I
Also, I should mention how much my wife and I have enjoyed THE BING SHIFT radio show out of Minnesota on Saturday nights. Any Saturday night we are home, we tune that in. It has been exciting to hear so many pieces that are new to me as well as re-visit old favorites.
I'm happy to be a prt of this Crosby Fan World discussion list and send best Bing wishes to all from South Texas.
Welcome, Bill. You are amongst friends. You might like BING magazine too.
Bill, welcome to this forum. I think you will also find that under Richard's guidance, this website has become linked to much of the Crosby knowledge available on the internet.
A kindred spirit in West-central Illinois,
I really don't think there is anyone comparable w/ Bing in 20th century American popular culture.
Yes, Frank Sinatra was a huge phenomenon as a singer and actor and cultural figure, but Crosby was there first and set the stage for Frank.
I think Bing Crosby was fortunate to come up at just the right time when his gifts could be put to use.
He emerged as a film star in the early days of sound--certainly, the silent screen would not have taken advantage of his gifts in the same way.
Also, he came along (as many others have pointed out better than I can) in the early days of electrical recording and microphones. In the acoustic era (and I have a lot of recordings from that era), you needed a loud and clear vocalist to cut through the band---subtlety and shading were not what it was about. Bing's great subtlety and shading, his caressing of a line, his under-stated vocalizing, were things that the microphone picked up. Bing seemed to be a quick study in many aspects of his career, and like Duke Ellington, he quickly sized up how to use the recording studio and the microphone to his best advantage. You can hear him coming to terms with this in his late 20s/early 30s recordings...once he found his own "voice" and knew how to capture that magic in the studio (and also capture that magical presence and wit and amiable persona on screen), he became the Bing we all know and love.
I should say that I'm really looking forward to some of those upcoming Bing releases, particularly the Johnny Mercer one...I'm glad the estate is so active. Add to that the fan oriented releases, and Bing is not being treated that badly in terms of available recordings. If someone is getting into Bing Crosby, there is really a lot to choose from representing many periods and styles...
Welcome aboard Bill! I have relatives in San Antonio. Do you know the Caliendo's?
No...but that's not an uncommon last name. What side of town are they on? We live over by Randolph AFB in the NE side...
Hullo Bill. I'm a 79-year-old Aussie but have visited the USA several times, most recently for the 2002 Hofstra U. conference and especially enjoy my membership of the International Club Crosby and the beaut BING magazine it publishes. Each month I go to this website so I expect to 'hear' from you again. Bing was a major force in Australian entertainment for much of the twentieth century although he never visited our shores. Unfortunately, he's largely ignored by our present commercial media but his records are played on various community radio stations including that in my town of Bathurst (130 miles west of Sydney) which broadcast programs aimed at senior citizens.
Cheers from Graham Pascoe
HellO Bill.Welcome Aboard.I've BeenAHuge Bing Fan Since I Was Fourteen And ICanT Put Into Words How Much Joy And Happiness The Great Man Has Brought Into My LIfe Through His Music And Movies.He's StillSuch A Big Part Of My Heart. Smd Ill Always Keep His Memory alivrIve CollectedMany AlbumsAnd Movies OverTheYears.Favorite Movie/High Societ Song/White Christmas. Ive Been A Longtime Member Of the ICC As Well.Do You Have A Fav Bing Song/Movie?