16/12/2014 3:09 pm  #26


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

The clips from Bing's 50th Anniversary were nice and clear, I do hope they release the whole show one day.


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17/12/2014 11:39 pm  #27


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

You have got to see this interview with Robert Trachtenberg who directed this new documentary! Wonderful! Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKcb6j6OvkA&feature=youtu.be&list=UU6FpoTG28AgyxVSACBD8xzA 

That was an absolutely marvelous interview! The "movie" takes you behind the scenes with Bing and this interview takes you behind the "behind the scenes". Many thanks for sharing it!
 


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

25/12/2014 1:46 pm  #28


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Some people I know watched the docu[not Bing fans but people who liked him], but not all of them understood what was being said. One person felt Bing was always an alcoholic and was mean and cold. It was a good docu for us fans because we listen to all being said and know more about the situations. I think for the people outside of Bingdom more had to be said and explained.


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26/12/2014 4:44 pm  #29


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

"Did You Evah?" can be had in several FS compilations or the rare-to-find soundtrack from the film. This version of "Oldest Established" is unique in that they could have used the official Reprise version of the tune but chose the rarely seen TV one instead. It adds to the "raqrity" theme of the music tracks. IMHO.  


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

27/12/2014 3:43 am  #30


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

My local station showed the documentary for the 5th time tonight!

 

28/12/2014 9:14 pm  #31


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

In case you've missed it or want to pass the link along, the full documentary is now available on the PBS website-

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby/full-film-bing-crosby-rediscovered/3605/

I couldn't say for certain but unfortunately I think the video is likely not playable outside of the United States.

Last edited by nicoley13 (28/12/2014 9:14 pm)

 

29/12/2014 8:19 am  #32


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

nicoley13 wrote:

In case you've missed it or want to pass the link along, the full documentary is now available on the PBS website-
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby/full-film-bing-crosby-rediscovered/3605/
I couldn't say for certain but unfortunately I think the video is likely not playable outside of the United States.

Correct - it is certainly inaccessible from UK, with a message ​ "We're sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions."


 

 

29/12/2014 6:25 pm  #33


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

The DVD arrived today and my wife and I have just watched it. Superb! One of the best documentaries about Bing I have ever seen. The extras are interesting too. If you haven't seen it, order the DVD as soon as possible.

 

30/12/2014 4:46 pm  #34


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Just sat and watched it again! The contributions from Michael Feinstein, Gary Giddins and Ken Barnes are excellent as are those of the family. It should help to put Bing's image back to where it used to be.

 

02/1/2015 12:04 pm  #35


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

Just sat and watched it again! The contributions from Michael Feinstein, Gary Giddins and Ken Barnes are excellent as are those of the family. It should help to put Bing's image back to where it used to be.

Mine only just now arrived, together with the CDs (less the CD of American Masters, said to be out of stock). Ordered way back in November. I was fearing lost in mid Atlantic! Some serious listening/ watching indicated but I might have problems with the domestic authorities!
 

 

02/1/2015 3:00 pm  #36


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

Just sat and watched it again! The contributions from Michael Feinstein, Gary Giddins and Ken Barnes are excellent as are those of the family. It should help to put Bing's image back to where it used to be.

I think I have watched all or much of it 4 or 5 times between the rebroadcasts on TV and reviewing how my VHS tape of the broadcast came out. Despite wishing some things might have been included or expanded, I am more and more impressed by the program and more and more hopeful about its potential impact.  I hope for one thing that it will help make it possible for Giddins's second volume of the biography to finally come out.  However, one oversight still seems unfortunate and baffling to me: no mention of what I see as a renewal, a refreshing of Bing's recording career in those late LPs produced by Ken Barnes, not even a mention of "Seasons"--which I regard as one of Bing's finest albums and a powerful indicator of what Bing's talent and heart still had to offer, had Providence permitted him to stay with us on earth a few years longer.  Any one of several tracks from that album might have brought that understanding home to the viewer.  With Ken and his personal knowledge of Bing and his artistry already taking part in the documentary, what a wonderful chance was missed.  There just have to be MORE documentaries about Crosby's talent!  I hope this one opens, rather than closes the door.
 

 

04/1/2015 11:09 am  #37


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Malcolm Macfarlane wrote:

It should help to put Bing's image back to where it used to be.

I have now also been able to watch with full attention once, and dipping in to parts to check on what precisely is said.
Altogether a "must have" for all those with any sort of interest in Bing. 

I agree 100% with what has been said here already and hope, with Malcolm, that it goes some way to amending the false image so frequently propagated. The problem is that "mud sticks".

One TV doumentary plus a DVD copy will only be seen by those with an interest and will not penetrate the minds of those with pre formed antagonistic views. I do hope I'm not being negative, but we live in a world that feeds on bad news, smear and innuendo, all of which can spread like wildfire over the internet. Denials sometimes merely feed the flames, however well presented those denials may be, and they are presented well, with some finesse: more would have over -egged things and open the gates to charges along the lines of "protesting too much".

As to the rest, a superb presentation of Bing's life and career, different to many previous efforts because more thoughtfully presented with telling contributions by those who are deeply immersed in the subject. But like another comment on this board, possibly a little light on the later years. Maybe that is justified - possibly the emphasis has to be on the era when Bing was at the top. But there is no denying that Bing enjoyed a blaze of glory 1975 - 1977 and it would be nice to see more of that reflected.    

 

 

05/1/2015 12:56 pm  #38


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

While I am concerned that what you say about the increased level of scandall obscession today.  Another current societal failing might help Bing.  Our culture today is extremely forgetful and unaware of even rather recent history.  People who never heard of Bing, also, are unlikely to appreciate that there ever was any scandall associated with his memory.  Last night there was a startling report illustrating this on the evening news (I forget which broadcast network).  The reporter described the reactions on Twitter to a new popular recording by Kanye West, on which Sir Paul McCartney played piano.  People in their teens and twenties posted things like: "Who is Paul McCartney?" and "Isn't it great to see Kanye West giving a chance to unknown artists like McCartney?"  The reporter couldn't believe people were posting such remarks about one of the most well-known and honored performers and song writers of the past 50 years, one who is still writing and recording, no less!  So he went out on the street and interviewed young people at random. Not one of the ones he showed in his report knew who Paul McCartney was, though one may have heard of "her."  He also sang brief passages of early Beatles hits, and these random young people didn't recognize any of the songs.  I don't know how many of such people will see the new documentary, or be interested in it if they do, but it sounds very unlikely they would arrive at such viewings with any contradictory impressions of Crosby. When it comes to even much more recent music and musical artists than Bing, such people are blank slates.

Last edited by Steve Fay (05/1/2015 1:00 pm)

 

05/1/2015 2:32 pm  #39


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

Richard, I thought the docu was Great but some people I know [who aren't fans] came away from it with a more negative view of Bing. Steve, I saw about Paul McCartney on the news. Too funny and yet so sad.


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16/1/2015 11:20 pm  #40


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

I had a chance to watch the Bing Crosby American Masters documentary online. I thought it was very well done. It was great to see a documentary that looked at Bing's career seriously, rather than just being a tribute show. It covered his innovative role in the development of popular singing, the varied aspects of his career (recordings, radio, movies, television) and the astonishing level of success he attained in multiple arenas, and his role in the development of tape recording. Also, it did not ignore or shy aware from the negatives, but instead put them in perspective. It was good to see the interview segments with Gary Giddins, Ken Barnes, and Tony Bennett, as well as those with Katherine and Mary.

I hope it will serve to introduce, or reintroduce a lot of people to Bing Crosby. Of course they could not cover everything, and we all would have sat through a much longer documentary. But they covered a lot and very effectively in an hour and a half, which is probably about the limit for a general audience. It covered many of the themes in Gary Giddins' book, while hopefully reaching a much larger audience (Gary, can we hope for volume 2 in 2015, the timing would be good).

I also purchased the soundtrack and have really been enjoying it. They did a good job of choosing nice alternate versions of many of the songs, I especially enjoyed "Pocket Full of Dreams", "Moonlight Becomes You", and "It's Been a Long, Long Time". I'm curious who plays the guitar on the soundtrack alternate of "Pocket Full of Dreams", perhaps Perry Botkin.

I also like the version of "It's Been a Long, Long Time" with Les Paul on guitar. But I am quite certain I hear bass and rhythm guitar on it, so it seems to be a trio rather than Les solo despite what the liner notes infer. I recall an interview with Les Paul where he said that when they were recording it he was playing something complicated and Bing asked him to simplify his solo, and that Bing was right about that. I imagine the radio performance is closer to what Les originally wanted to play, and I love hearing it that way, since I love Les's guitar playing, but I can also understand why Bing felt that a more understated solo was more suitable for the mood of the song for the commercial recording. Incidentally, Les Paul and Chet Atkins recorded a nice instrumental version of the song for an album they did together.

I have read that Fred Astaire turned down White Christmas because he didn't like the script. Perhaps he thought it was too similar to Holiday Inn, or too sentimental? I've never felt it was quite as good as Holiday Inn, and that it could have been a better movie, although it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly what was missing. I think Bing and Danny Kaye worked well together, and I'm glad they did a film together. I don't think that just having Astaire would have necessarily made it a better movie.

 

17/1/2015 10:44 am  #41


Re: REVIEW OF BING CROSBY PBS DOCUMENTARY 'AMERICAN MASTERS'

I watched this documentary a few nights ago and was impressed with the many aspects of Bing and his life that were covered. Some nice extras of interviews not in the original broadcast, and the interview with Robert Trachtenberg. I hope PBS' UK afiliate: PBS America (available on Sky and Virgin) will air it soon and to this end I have emailed them.

 

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