Announcements » ICC April Online Meeting » 03/4/2024 9:06 pm

I will be traveling on that day, so it looks like I won't be able to join you. But I hope to catch up via the video recording, and plan to join next month.

Television » Alive, Alive, Oh! » 24/3/2024 10:17 pm


The Andrews sisters version is cute, turns it into a love song. The same is true of "The Daughter of Molly Malone" with Bing and Rosemary Clooney from "That Travelin' Two-Beat".

The original song is rather melancholy. Wikipedia says it is probably a music hall song, possibly with folk origins, done in a tragicomic style popular in the day (1800s).

Bing's solo version captures some of the wistfulness. It's a nice version with a nice arrangement, and a shame, I feel, that all we have are the first two verses separately.

Another version I found that I like, which might not be to everyone's taste, is Sinead O'Connor's. She definitely captures the sadness.


Television » Alive, Alive, Oh! » 18/3/2024 12:52 am

It's St. Patrick's Day, so I guess it is the right day to ask my obscure question. I'm rather fond of the brief excepts of two verses of "Molly Malone" that Bing sings in his TV special "A Little Bit of Irish". I have a DVD of the TV special, and the original full 28-track CD by the same title from George O'Reilly which includes the two excepts (I believe Buddy Bregman did the arrangements). The excerpts feature a chorus coming in after Bing and then fading out. So, my question is, did Bing record one contiguous track of the two verses (or possibly even including the missing 3rd verse) which was then edited to use for the show, or did he just record the two verses as separate segments? If the former, it sure would be nice to have the full recording, and if the later, perhaps the two segments could be merged to make a single recording of the song.

Although brief, I think it's a really nice performance, and I believe the only song in the special that Bing did not otherwise record (except a very different version on "That Travelin' Two Beat" with Rosemary Clooney). 

I don't know who could answer my question, except perhaps George O'Reilly (and I'm not sure whether he is still around, if he is he would be nearing 100). For the CD, I assume he just took the tracks from the existing soundtrack. But is it possible the full recording exists somewhere? If anyone has any clue, or any leads on how I might find out, let me know.


New and Re-issued materials » Tom Sawyer release » 13/12/2023 7:25 pm

I just got around to purchasing this from Google Play for $12.95. In addition to having it in my Google Play Library, I was able to download it in mp4a format (standard and high quality are available), so that I have it on my computer. (Since digital books and music have been known to disappear from digital libraries, I prefer to have my own copy.)

Now I just need to find time to listen to it, since I've never heard it!

Link to the listing on Harper Collins, which links other sites where it can be purchased:

Link to purchase it on Google Play:

Radio » The Rice Tapes » 29/9/2023 5:29 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 11

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I gleaned an interesting tidbit of information from the liner notes to the CD "The Three T's "Live" from the Hickory House, New York, December 1936" on Jazz Oracle. The notes were written in 2007 by Joe Showler, who, at the time, was working on a biography of Jack Teagarden (The Three T's are Jack Teagarden, Frankie Trumbauer, and Charlie Teagarden). Unfortunately, from what I found on-line, Showler died in 2009 without completing his biography. At any rate, he states the following in the liner notes:

"Each half-hour program comprised three 78 rpm double-sided twelve-inch acetates made for Frank Trumbauer by a New York-based recording service."

"The earliest acetate recordings I have ever seen were cut in 1935. Prior to that, any instantaneous recordings were cut into aluminum. This puts the Three T's recordings into a special historical category. The programs represent very early live radio recordings and, considering the limitations of recordings off the air in 1936, the sound from these discs is wonderful."


Announcements » First ICC Online Meeting! » 29/8/2023 7:29 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 14

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David Lobosco wrote:

What time would it be Northeast USA time? 1:45?

David, Assuming you are on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) it would be five hours earlier than UK time (or 3 hours later than Pacific Daylight Time PDT), both of which work out to 2:45pm EDT.

Hope to see you there!

Radio » The Rice Tapes » 24/8/2023 8:02 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 11

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It is fortunate that some of the early Kraft shows survived. Of course, I would love to hear them all, what a shame that they apparently were recorded and then lost in Bing's house fire. I find the history of these recordings fascinating, and so precarious. JST recording Bing's songs and then saving the discs under his house, and Eddie Rice deciding to knock on his door.

In addition to the Bing material, I have the Redmond Nostalgia set Cliff Edwards "On The Air", which is an 8 CD set featuring episodes from Edwards radio show ca. 1944 where he was backed by a little jazz combo featuring guitarist Tony Mottola. Larry Kiner also wrote a discography of Edwards, which I have. Edwards did a lot of novelties, but he was also one of the first jazz-oriented singers to record.

Radio » The Rice Tapes » 20/8/2023 10:59 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 11

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Thanks, Malcolm, for your response. I am looking forward to your article and learning more about the research you're involved with. I read your articles about the KMH scripts, it was fascinating to learn the significant role played by classical musicians in the early shows and that Bing performed duets with them.

Jeremy, it is very interesting if Bing gave Larry Kiner the transcription discs and tapes he used for Redmond. I had definitely read that he had Bing's permission to sell the material. I know that the Philco, Chesterfield and GE shows were pre-recorded on tape (at least starting from the October 1, 1947 Philco show). But I'm still curious how and why some of those early Kraft shows were preserved in the first place (besides the ones that were presumably recorded for use by the US military).

I definitely sympathize with you and David! I had been concentrating on Bing's commercial recordings, purchasing the Chronological series, and saving the radio shows for later, when Redmond Nostalgia went dark. I have managed to acquired some of the Redmond CDs on eBay where they turn up very sporadically, including some of the rarer stuff, but there are a lot of gaps in my collection. I've also acquired some material from other collectors.


Radio » The Rice Tapes » 16/8/2023 11:10 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 11

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I'm going to give this thread a nudge, since I still have a few questions about the Rice tapes, including some that came up in conversation with Ken Crossland. Perhaps Malcolm knows the answers.

Here are some updated Rice Tapes questions:
1. What became of John Scott Trotter's original discs, which Eddie Rice used to make the "Rice" tapes? From what I have read JST was planning to donate them to a western university. Did that happen, and if so, what university?
2. JST only recorded Bing's songs with some incidental talking, not the entire shows. However, some complete Kraft shows exist, including earlier hour long shows (some were released by Redmond Nostalgia). Since this is pre-tape, they would have had to be recorded on multiple discs. Some during the WWII era were presumably recorded for the military to use overseas, but there is one from 1937 and a few from 1941 before the US entry into WWII. How, why, and by whom were these recorded?
3. I have read that Rice transferred about 500 discs to tape. I have a source that lists 362 songs. Is that complete or is there more?

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has the answers or at least can provide some enlightenment. Thanks!

Announcements » First ICC Online Meeting! » 15/8/2023 1:09 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 14

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This is a great idea, I'm looking forward to it! I'm in the San Diego area, so if I'm calculating correctly, it should be at 11:45am PDT. I hope you get a good international turnout! I'm looking forward to seeing many people I've only talked to via the discussion board or email.


Others of Note » Perry Como Greatest Hits & Magic Moments » 04/12/2022 5:49 am

In case anyone is interested in obtaining the Perry Como 4CD set Greatest Hits & Magic Moments that Ken Crossland tracked down in Crosbyana in the latest issue of Bing (a much easier challenge than tracking down "Susianna" on Ariel!), I was able to obtain it from the following website:
In addition to the 4CD set, they have the DVD he mentioned, Perry Como Classics: Till The End Of Time,
and another "Original Masters" CD which combines the two Christmas albums Season's Greeting from Perry Como/The Perry Como Christmas Album.
By the way, I took advantage of the offer to buy NEW unwrapped CDs of the 4CD set and the Christmas CD together for less than the price of the wrapped 4CD set, and they arrived safely and appear to be brand new.
I'm not sure whether they ship outside the US, but at least within the US it is a way to obtain the set without making a large pledge to a PBS station (although I do support my local station).

I didn't have any Perry Como on CD - I'm more of a jazz fan and tend to favor Sinatra, Bennett and Torme along with Bing, so this seemed like a nice way to fill a gap in my collection.

I have to say I was amused at Ken's comment that it "bears a title that would normally cause a serious collector to run a mile". It does sound like something K-Tel would be hawking on TV, but I trusted Ken's judgement regarding its contents and quality.


Discussion Board Use and Registration Isssues » This Board - The Future » 13/2/2022 8:42 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 38

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Thank you for everything you have done for the Bing community: setting up and administering this board, your wonderful on-line discography, "Keeping Track", and your other contributions to Bing magazine. Also, thank you for the many times you have helped me personally as a Bing fan and collector.

Best wishes, and I hope we will still here from you now and then.

David, thank you for taking over administration of this board along with your many other contributions to the community.

Biography » Gary Giddins - Volume Two » 18/12/2018 7:25 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 114

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Along with their "Louis and Bing" sale, Mosaic Records posted an article on their Daily Jazz Gazette on Bing Crosby Swinging on a Star with a picture of the cover and a link to an interview with Giddins. 

Go to the Mosaic website, select Jazz Gazette and scroll down, it is currently the 4th item.
Below is a link to the article (I haven't verified whether it is one that has been linked elsewhere in this thread):

Also, further down on the Mosaic Jazz Gazette, there is a link to Nate Chinen's WBGO 2018 holiday gift guide, since Mosaic's Savory set is on his list. Giddin's biography also makes the list. Below is a link:

Nice to see the book being plugged on jazz sites. Maybe enough copies will sell to keep Gary busy for another 17 years. Hopefully he'll be a bit quicker and we'll all be around to read it.

Swaps and Sales » LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFF FROM MOSAIC » 18/12/2018 7:00 pm

As of this writing, although the two days have passed, the Bing and Louis sets are still listed at the $99 sale price on the Mosaic website.

New and Re-issued materials » Bing Crosby Mosaic Set » 22/6/2018 5:35 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 12

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I think that CD is from a chronological series of studio recordings that Redmond Nostalgia put out. I don't think it was as complete or as well remastered, as the Chronological Bing Crosby and Through the Years series, but it was probably less expensive.

Recording » Bing with Eddie Condon - new alternate takes? » 21/6/2018 7:02 am

Being a Condon fan, I purchased the Mosaic "Complete Commodore & Decca Eddie Condon & Bud Freeman Sessions". As noted above, the takes listed as "unissued" were not included in the set, but presumably still exist. Since the set is already 8 quite full CDs, it may be that space considerations were part of the reason they were left off.

There are a couple of other things in the liner notes on the Crosby session that caught my attention. One is a nice picture of Bing and Eddie Condon looking over the sheet music, and to my surprise, sitting on the floor nearby is Alan Lomax. I wonder what he was doing at a Condon/Crosby session? (It is too early for him to be plugging his Father's 1947 autobiography, which was considered for a film with Bing playing John Lomax.)

The other is the following comment in the liner notes: "Nota bene: From Brad Gowans' papers at the Institute of Jazz Studies, a gift from a friend of a late friend, I discovered that Bing had arranged for his session fee to be divided among the musicians." A nice gesture, and it clearly indicates that recording with the Condon gang was a labor of love for Bing.

New and Re-issued materials » Bing Crosby Mosaic Set » 21/6/2018 6:08 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 12

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Mosaic is having a sale through the end of June with the Bing Crosby set reduced to $99.

Also, eBay has a copy of the Mosaic set signed by Mary Crosby, with the discs still sealed:

New and Re-issued materials » High Tor » 31/10/2017 5:54 am

Jim Determan
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It appears this release is the Decca LP. If you follow Richard's link and read the 3rd paragraph:

"Despite the lukewarm reaction from critics, an album featuring the songs and story of 'High Tor' was issued by Decca. The album effectively abridges the story of the 90 minute broadcast, interspersing dialogue from the soundtrack with studio recordings of the song score performed by the stars of 'High Tor'; Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews and Everett Sloane. The songs and story album of 'High Tor' now makes its debut on CD."

Artistic Legacy » Bing and the sound of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra » 11/2/2017 10:50 pm

I recently read Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contributions to Jazz 1915-1945, an impressive tome by the late Richard M. Sudhalter. In it he quotes from drummer Ray McKinley in discussing the Dorsey brothers sound:

'The idea, as McKinley remembered it, was to build a band sound around the middle-register sonority of the trombones and tenors, a kind of instrumental cognate to the vocal timbre of Bing Crosby. "Bing was the biggest thing around in those days," said McKinley, "There was nobody who sang like him. The Dorseys had often played with Bing, and they felt - or the Rockwell-O'Keefe Agency felt - that they could achieve something if they pitched their sound like his."'

Interesting that Bing's tonality was an influence on the sonority they chose for the orchestra.

Recording » 1968 Promo LP for The Bing Crosby Special » 11/2/2017 10:38 pm

Hmm, perhaps I should have put this under television, but initially it was about the Promo LP.

I will have to watch the special on GET TV, since I have never seen it, only clips.

But on YouTube, it is the GET TV version of the "Soundstage Medley" that has the best video quality, but is missing all the Beatles songs, I suspect GET TV did not want to pay for the rights.

Compare the 6 minute GET TV version of the medley here with the 8 minute version in low video quality here.
Bing's versions of some of the Beatles tunes are some of the nicest parts of the medley ("Hey Jude", better than on the album, and "And I Love Her" with Jose Feliciano's guitar).

Recording » 1968 Promo LP for The Bing Crosby Special » 04/2/2017 2:21 am

I saw this ad for a sealed copy on eBay. I didn't even know this LP existed! A bit pricey though.

I've seen the "Sound Stage Medley" with the Supremes and Jose Feliciano, and separate duets with each of them on YouTube, which are pretty nice. There's now a much cleaner version of the "Sound Stage Medley" on YouTube, but the Beatles tunes, which are some of the nicest parts for Bing, have been edited out, probably to avoid royalties.

Recording » Harry Lillis and Bar-One CDs » 14/11/2016 3:55 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 15

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"Bing 'n Basie" was the first CD I ever bought - before I even had a CD player. I was so surprised to see it released, and thought it might not stay in print long. It was a pretty early CD release, and I suspect Polydor released it because it gave them the first Bing CD on the market.

I would like to see BCE reissue it, especially if they include a clean version of "If I Had a Hammer", one that doesn't sound like it was recorded on a portable tape recorder held up to a speaker. But I'm glad to have heard it even in that form. The only reason I can see for it not being released on the album is there are some passages where Bing is having to sing over the band when it is pretty loud, and since Bing recorded his vocals to pre-recorded tracks there was no way to change that. But it's a nice uptempo performance that would add to the album.

Recording » Harry Lillis and Bar-One CDs » 10/11/2016 7:08 pm

Jim Determan
Replies: 15

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I also have the Hallmark "Join Bing & Sing Along" CD, which is taken from the 1959 album of the same title. But the material on the EMI Regal release is different, it is from the 1960 "101 Gang Songs" album. Based on Richard's discography there is no overlap. Also, it seems to be in stereo, whereas I believe the Hallmark is mono.

I've heard of the GAV label, but never found any of their CDs. They also released some of the Buddy Cole material, long before the Mosaic set, that I had tried to find at that time.

It would sure be nice to see the Crosby family release official versions of the Longines sessions, "Hey Jude" and "Bingo Viejo".


Recording » Harry Lillis and Bar-One CDs » 10/11/2016 7:18 am

Jim Determan
Replies: 15

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I obtained some of the Bar One International CDs directly from Barry Whittingham, but that was in 2009. I have a catalog and an address, but no email or telephone. I could provide you with the address if there is some chance it is still active.

I obtained some of the Harry Lillis CDs from Chick Wilson's Select Circles, which I know is, unfortunately, no longer active. Others I purchased from eBay, where they occasionally appear.

Since you are searching for CD releases of Bing's commercial recordings, there are currently several new copies of "Crosby Classics Volume II" (EMI Regal 1572042) available on eBay at a low price (probably old stock). This CD has 17 of the medleys from the 1960 "101 Gang Songs" album. Not Bing's best work by any means, but I believe these medleys are only available on this CD and some of the Bar One CDs, with the EMI Regal being an official release. The "Crosby Classics Volume II" CD seems to be quite rare as I had never even seen a picture of the cover before, despite searching for it for years. Here's a link:

Recording » Bing and Bob Wills » 17/2/2016 3:50 am

I remember seeing a picture of Bing performing with Bob Wills at a war bond rally (possibly in Bing or Bingang magazine), and was surprised to learn that a recording of their performance of "San Antontio Rose" was made and auctioned off.
Here are an article from a Tulsa paper, and blog post from a Western swing forum discussing it:

At the time, Bing had a big hit with "San Antonio Rose", which was written and originally recorded by Wills.

This would be quite a find if it showed up. Considering it seems to have been kept with some care at one point, it is a shame it is missing. This would be the one of Bing's lost recordings I would most like to hear.

I don't think it is anywhere nearly as unusual a coupling in Bing's career as his duet with David Bowie. In fact, as a fan of both Bing and Bob Wills, I always thought they would have sounded good together. Bing was a major influence on Western swing singers, including Tommy Duncan, who sang "San Antonio Rose" on Bob Wills recording. Bing's friends Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang were major influences on Western swing as well. Bing generally responded well to country material, and on Decca, he frequently recorded with a wide variety of popular and jazz artists, and generally found common ground.

I'm curious whether they used Wills's arrangement, and whether they slowed it down to the tempo that Bing had used. And whether Wills made his usual interjections during Bing's performance! I have to confess, I prefer Wills's original recording to Bing's, as the somewhat faster tempo, and mariachi style trumpets add a suitable Spanish flavor to the song.


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