13/10/2012 11:22 am  #1

35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Ron Field, a regular visitor and contributor to these pages, reminded ''The Chronicle'' of  Centralia, Wa, of the anniversary and submitted a photo of himself wearing one of Bing's hats at the recent ICC meeting.

Link to the article here http://www.chronline.com/voices/article_c1be0362-14a9-11e2-8a90-0019bb2963f4.html

I also reproduce the photo -



13/10/2012 4:41 pm  #2

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Thank you Richard. I was about to do a posting on this matter.
I reminded them that Bing was born in Tacoma, about 50 mile away.
Also a local radio station has a concrete plaque with Bing's handprints
(like those at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in LA) made in about 1937.
Bob Halls is now the custodian of this hat. Bob is the scribe from the Leeds meeting and
his report will be in the next issue of BING.
Thanks again.
Oh, I sent the info to a number of friends & Co. One says I don't look like Bing, another asked 'where is the pipe' and yet another said he remembered me singing like Bing at about 11.00pm on a Saturday night after rugby (probably with a 'belly-full').


14/10/2012 11:04 am  #3

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

35 years have passed since the day on that golf course on Spain. Tony Meade, in his blog http://bingsphotos.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/bing-crosby-tips-his-hat.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+BingsPhotos+(BING'S+PHOTOS)
reminds us of Bing's final words ''That Was A Great Game Of Golf Fellas'' but our main memory must be of Bing as the singer of the century - the man who led the way.

In Gord Atkinson's radio tributes there are several instances where Bing denies the proposition of the interviewer that he led the way or formed the style.  Recordings are then played of several other singers - all giants in their own right - Perry Como, Frank Sinatra - Tony Bennett and others, all acknowledging their debt to Bing.

He denied it, but it cannot be denied, that he laid the ground for a popular style of singing which was a major part of entertainment in the 20th Century: it might have drted out of the maintream of popularity now, but there are other younger singers filling the remaining niche - still following the style: when asked some seem to look primarily to Frank Sinatra as their model; but Frank himself certainly acknowedged his own debt to Bing.

The approach has become a little more aggressive - Frank and his direct followers attack the songs and mold them to their own shape, whilst Bing caressed them and bounced along with the rhythm, but the overall style and influence remains Bing's.  He himself named others who influenced him: maybe they did, but there is a very clear discontinuity between their styles and the one which he introduced. No one listening to recordings of Al Jolson or others named by Bing from the 1920s could claim any great  similarity in style and presentation.

Bing was a unique leader and we will remember him as such.

     Thread Starter

14/10/2012 11:34 am  #4

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

I was only three when Bing died so I did not realize what his passing at the time meant, but every year I try to sit back and appreciate what he not only meant to fans in the States, but fans throughout the world! Bing is still missed 35 years later...



14/10/2012 6:22 pm  #5

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

To those here who are well-versed in all things Bing...

First, I hope you are all celebrating the man's legacy today in your own sweet way. I am playing only Bing records today and will complete the day with "Seaons" and "The Final Chapter".

Secondly, in reading articles like the fine BingFan blog today, I must ask something that may have been tossed about earlier...that is the question of Bing's actual final words. It is widely reported that it was "That was a great game of golf, fellas!" However, an article written by Greg Van Beek it is reported by Valentin Barrios (who was one of the "fellas") that Bing's final words were "Let's go have a Coca-Cola".  Is there any authority in Mr. Barrios' statement?

Finally, Richard, since you were at one of the final performances you are the expert to respond to this question...How different (if at all) was the 1977 show from the 1976 one that we thankfully have preserved on the K-Tel LP's?

Thanks as always for allowing me to be part of such a treasure trove of information on Bing!

Last edited by paulmock (14/10/2012 6:23 pm)

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

14/10/2012 10:54 pm  #6

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

paulmock wrote:

- - - Richard, since you were at one of the final performances you are the expert to respond to this question...How different (if at all) was the 1977 show from the 1976 one that we thankfully have preserved on the K-Tel LP's?

Paul, that is quite a big question. You are asking me to cast my mind back over 35 years to an admittedly exciting moment some parts of which are certainly very clear to me, but to remember the detail, which has been partly overlaid by much later hearings of the K-Tel set (CD EMI 7243 8 57547 2 2 ''Bing Crosby 50th Anniversary Concert at the London Palladium'' covering the same ground with some omissions) has me a little stumped.

The best I can do, pending more thought and possible recollections, is to copy the program - but it doesn't list many of the actual songs.
1 - BING (in large capitals)
2 - ''There's No Business Like Show Business'' - Bing, Kathryn, Rosemary Clooney and Harry Crosby III
3- Ted Rogers
4- Harry Crosby with his guitar
5 - ''Tou've Got A Friend'' Bing and Harry
6 - Bing and Rosemary Clooney
7 - Rosemary Clooney
8 - ''Salute To Noel Coward''
9 - Bing and the Joe Bushkin Quartet
10 - The Joe Bushkin Quartet
11 - Presenting Kathryn Crosby,
       Bing, Kathryn and Harry
       Bing and Kathryn
       Harry at the piano
12 - BING CROSBY (very large caps) with the Joe Bushkin Quartet
13 - Finale

Bing's two solo items (particularly number 12) were long medleys and were the high points. I think the Noel Coward item was not in 1976 concert or therefore the K-Tel set but this and other items were included on a CD ''Harry Lillis On Stage'' HLYCD-003 which also included the Mysen, Norway concert.

Overrall, but with a few changes in detail, I think the concerts were similar in content and presentation.
Some help would be had from a detailed study of the Songography on the ''Bing'' Magazine site but it will be a little hard going to identify all the differences in song content.

Material from the 1976 concerts also appeared on Bar One Records CD BC 022 and and there are other items in existence.

     Thread Starter

14/10/2012 11:01 pm  #7

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Hi Richard,

I know full-well what 35 years can to to clog a memory. I TRULY appreciate your response and hope it was not too taxing for you on this anniversary date.

Thankfully, for all of the Sinatra concerts I attended (29 to be exact) if I don't have a cassette recording of the event, I jotted down the set list on an index card as the performance progressed.

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

15/10/2012 11:44 am  #8

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Wow, how did I miss the CD, ''Harry Lillis On Stage'' HLYCD-003? I have the other issues in that series? If anyone knows where I can find a copy, please let me know.


15/10/2012 5:23 pm  #9

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

I attended the Opening night in 1976 and then went again a few nights later as we were off to Montreal for the Games.
On that Opening night Ted Rogers made some remarks about Leader Jerome Thorpe (?) but come the next night those comments were not made. Ted was making remarks about Thorpe's private life. No doubt Bing didn't like them so out they went. I had a front row, centre aisle seat.
I also attended Opening and closing nights in 1977 and the closing night I was a row or two in front of Ronnie Barker
(who after the show was directing traffic outside). Henry Cooper (heavy weight boxing champ, who had floored Ali) was also there.
Henry had a fruit barrow at Wembley Central on the high street corner to Alperton. Little old ladies would shop there and tell Henry in no uncertain terms that '..I don't want any rubbish'.  No, mam, Henry would shyly respond.
There was a bit of a difference in the shows but not much. Bing was on almost all of the time except for Rogers having a spell and Rosie also.
The audience sang a long with Bing but at the same time they just wanted to listen to him, but sang much quiter than perhaps at any other sing-a-long. We can all say - we sang with Bing Crosby.


16/10/2012 12:53 pm  #10

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

I wish more would have been said commemorating Bing's death. Even though I want to celebrate his life, this years has been a pretty barren year for new material:



16/10/2012 1:25 pm  #11

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing


As far as new Bing material goes, I think we all got a little overwhelmed when the Mosaic set and all the Collector's Choice CD's came out in rapid succession. There was the sale of CC and the purchasing of the stock back by BCE to sell on their site. I'm sure these were unforseen delays. I have MUCH more faith in what BCE will eventually be releasing from the famous vaults in N. California than what material the Sinatar camp will be releasing in 2015 for Mr. S's centennial!

Hang in there and have faith.

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

16/10/2012 2:08 pm  #12

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Hi Paul,

I agree with you. Regarding Sinatra, it is a crime that his album "Moonlight Sinatra" has not been given a fair reissue on CD. I think it is his best effort at Reprise.


25/10/2012 12:47 pm  #13

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Dear David,

Although I have read the opinions of several critics who dismiss Moonlight Sinatra as a poor concept album made up of just a few tunes with the word moon in their titles thrown together, like you, I have always believed that it is one of his best efforts from his Reprise years. The arrangements by Nelson Riddle are sensitive and charming, and Sinatra sings beautifully. I was fortunate enough to purchase a copy of it on CD in Europe many years ago, and it is actually one of the Sinatra albums that I play the most, about as much as his classic Capitol concept sets and his Young Blue Eyes recordings with Dorsey and solo cuts for Columbia. I agree that Moonlight Sinatra deserves a fair CD reissue, the kind that other Reprise albums have received. I have never understood why some albums get that treatment and some others don't...

I also wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your very informative blog about Bing!


25/10/2012 4:12 pm  #14

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

I'm sure that most fans of Bing must have at least a passing interest in Frank's recordings (and vice versa). I'm sure I do.
Moonlight Sinatra was perhaps an excessively simple concept but the play on words deriving from Beethoven's ''Moonlight'' sonata (No.14 in C Sharp minor Opus 27 - I quite like Barenboim's version) was presumably too hard to resist.

However I'm puzzled by suggestions that it has not been adequately covered on CD. It was issued in 1997 or thereabouts and again in 2011. I have the latter and it seems it is still available it. It is very short measure for a CD but good stuff. In what way does it fail to meet expectations, David and Anton?

Sinatra Family Forum
US Amazon
UK Amazon

I wonder if many have compared Frankie's interpretations with those of Bing - who tackled several of the songs.

     Thread Starter

25/10/2012 7:57 pm  #15

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing


I guess my previous comment stems from the fact that I had no idea that Moonlight Sinatra had been re-released in 2011. The release I have is the one from the late-90s, and its sound quality, to my ears, doesn't seem to be as good as that of the albums that have been reissued as part of the "Entertainer of the Century" series, and unlike some other Reprise and Capitol reissues, it doesn't have any bonus tracks, which may be because there are no surviving outtakes from the Moonlight sessions, I don't know. Is the 2011 release of Moonlight Sinatra part of that "Entertainer of the Century" series? Does it include any extra material, such as, for instance, the Strangers in the Night album does? If so, I may try to find it; if not, I'll stick to the CD I already have.

I am a Bing Crosby fan, but I do have more than a passing interest in Sinatra and other crooners such as Dick Haymes, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Art Lund, Buddy Clark, Bob Eberly, et al, as well as in vintage jazz and swing. I think the idea of comparing the songs that Sinatra does on Moonlight Sinatra to Bing's own versions would make an interesting article for the ICC's Bing magazine. It's too bad that Bing never thought of recording a moon-themed album, as Sinatra and the great Mel Torme (Swingin' on the Moon) did...


25/10/2012 8:56 pm  #16

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

There were no extras left off of this LP. That is all the charts written for it.  You may be interested to know that Mr. S nailed "Moonlight Becomes You" in one take. He was so positive that it was perfect he can be heard calling out "Next tune!" with some authority on the session tapes! He did have some difficulty with "Moon Song" and "Moon Love" and it took several takes and some tweaking to get those just right. Overall, Mr. S was in a festive mood throughout the proceedings and entertained a large party in a Hollywood restaurant after the late night sessions each night. The late, great writer Gene Lees was in on one of the evenings and wrote how Mr. S spun hysterical stories of his Big Band days with Tommy Dorsey all during dinner.

For me, the finest cut on the LP is "Moonlight Mood" (completed in 2 takes). The verse with just Mr. S and Bill Miller on piano is soft and full of memories. There is an abrupt silent pause between verse and chorus and the song just takes off beautifully from there. A hugely overlooked song from a much overlooked album.

Last edited by paulmock (25/10/2012 8:57 pm)

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

26/10/2012 6:57 pm  #17

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Not the 'moon' but the 'sun'.
I have a tape recording (BIA) of Frank making 'East of the Sun'.
It's amazing how the orchestra just starts up where the recording was stopped and they do several takes and at the end of the day one would think that it was recorded in one go. Such is a take done on tape. To me it appears it is easier to do a take on tape than on CD. So, do they still make recordings on tape then transfer to CD?


27/10/2012 12:51 pm  #18

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Ron Field wrote:

So, do they still make recordings on tape then transfer to CD?

Ron, I read recently that one or two professionals still use tape on occasion thoough why or on what occasions was not made clear.

I personally have no direct knowledge of how professional modern studios go about things but do have knowledge of what keen amateurs and semi - professionals do. I have a friend who records for a semi - pro jazz group, following them around to their ''gigs'', recording and duplicating small numbers of CDs for sale at the ''gigs''. He uses an eight track Tascam recorder that is so small it fits into a small briefcase. His mics. and mic. stands and cables take up much more space than the recorder itself. Editing is all done in the digital domain, on computer, where the up to eight tracks are mixed down to two and unwanted material can be removed.  It is much easier than blades and splicing blocks.

The sort of thing he has can be seen here http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Tascam-DR-680-8-Track-Multi-Track-Field-Recorder/CT8

The same company make out and out studio equipment but I hope others might throw some light on the approach adopted by the professional studios?

     Thread Starter

08/11/2012 10:30 pm  #19

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

15 years ago some audio studios still used tape, and while perhaps far fewer still do, professional audio tape is still manufactured, meaning somebody is using it.


14/10/2014 1:12 pm  #20

Re: 35th Anniversary of Bing's passing

Well, another year since Bing passed on - 37 years.
Also this is the day Errol Flynn died in 1959. I think that TCM replays Errol more than Bing.
But we do have the wireless and radio stations in the UK probably play more Bing than anywhere else.
A toast of remembrance to both these blokes.


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