23/3/2018 7:24 am  #1


Michael Holliday

Ken Crossland's excellent biography about Michael Holliday "The Man Who Would Be Bing" is now available as a Kindle book. See https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Who-Would-Be-Bing-ebook/dp/B07BFDLH3Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1521110384&sr=8-2&keywords=the+man+who+would+be+bing

 

24/3/2018 8:12 am  #2


Re: Michael Holliday

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.




 

 

28/3/2018 11:42 pm  #3


Re: Michael Holliday

I've always appreciated Michael Holliday's records but was somewhat puzzled by his obsession with singing not only like Bing but actually the same songs in exactly the same way that Bing had done them. I'm always surprised by this because, other than an obsession with sounding like your hero, I'm not sure to what legitimate end an artist may do this. You simply can't surpass Bing (or any other singer, for that matter) by doing things in exactly the same way as Bing. However, I do have several albums by Holliday and enjoy listening to them once in a while.

 

29/3/2018 12:31 am  #4


Re: Michael Holliday

I'm not very familiar with Holliday, but just from a common sense angle, even if you can sing almost exactly like Bing, what sense does it make to record an album like that?  Esp. if you're singing the very same songs Bing sang in as close as possible an imitation of Bing as possible, what sense does it make to record an album like this?  Because if you have a choice of buying an album of the real thing singing the real thing songs or an imitation of the real thing singing songs that are almost like the real thing, then it seems obvious you would choose to buy the real thing every time.   Seems if Holliday expected to become a success by selling albums with songs Bing sang sung as close to Bing sang them then he was setting himself up for failure.  Given the choice people will buy the real thing rather than an imitation. 

 

29/3/2018 8:21 pm  #5


Re: Michael Holliday

Interesting indeed! I'm not familiar with Holliday at all but it's amusing that he was coined the British Bing Crosby in the same way Matt Monro was stuck with the tag of being the British Frank Sinatra. 

I just took the opportunity to stream a little of Michael Holliday and on some songs he does sound uncannily like Bing. However I don't think this is true for Holliday's biggest hits. 

Allmusic has a very flattering write up of him and it seems that for a small stretch he was quite successful. I'm not sure whether it was sounding too much like Bing or just changing musical tastes that saw a decline in his fortunes.

I have to wonder if the reason he stuck so closely to Bing's style and repertoire was because he didn't evolve as a singer until maybe the late 40's or early 50's and that his experience at that time was in copying his idol. Also you have to wonder if his producer didn't capitalize on his talent to mimic Bing and  pushed for him to cover those songs imitating Bing as much as possible. 

From the songs I listened to I think if he had been given more songs not associated with Bing, people would still have commented on the similarities but not to the degree that they did. He may have been considered like someone like Perry Como, similar styles, maybe even more so but not a copy or impersonation.

Either way, the book is something I may have to pick up as it looks like a good read!

 

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