29/1/2020 3:53 pm  #1


Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

BING CROSBY: Sings the Great Country Hits.

In my experience, this album isn't often discussed, yet it sounds good and is very well made. Perhaps it has become "forgotten" because the style is a bit dated. It's not in the vein of Garth Brooks whipping an arena full of modern country fans into a frenzy, very true, but it is perfectly presented in the style of many a top country song produced in Nashville by the likes of Chet Atkins, with lush string sections and even lusher vocal choruses in the background, that tipped them over into cross-over hits on the pop charts. Listening to just a few examples of hits from country crooners like Eddy Arnold and Ray Price around that time reveal similar production values and techniques, as did some of Nat King Cole's remakes of country songs, and songs with country subject matter, that crossed over the other direction.  

Bing isn't remaking the songs as his own, as Ray Charles certainly did when he turned to country songs. Although had Bing had more years working with Ken Barnes and Pete Moore, and had they all turned their collective talents to a country music album, I know it could have been better than this one for two reasons: (a) because the arrangements would have been more surprising and timeless, and (b) because Bing would have dramatized the ballads more effectively, as he did so often in his collaborations with Barnes and Moore.  Still, despite that pipe-dream of mine, Bing gives fine renditions of the songs on this 1963 album, and the album features a good selection of songs hit songs from that time.

If the original tapes survive who knows whether a remix might offer more sparkling audio than my excellent-condition copy of the stereo LP, not to mention that, as many recent Crosby album re-releases do, the new CD might offer several other Crosby country or country-related songs as bonus tracks.  And I have no doubt that an interesting booklet about the the making of the album, its tracks, and Bing's relationship with country music could also be compiled and included.

(I have seen online that the album did appear once on CD, but it was paired with Travelin' Two-beat -- not the sort of re-release project I am suggesting.)

 

18/3/2020 6:52 am  #2


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I feel another candidate to be re-released on CD is Bing 'n' Basie. Although it has been released a while ago, maybe there could be a new release with new remasterings and even a restored If I Had A Hammer? Maybe even a new release of A Time To Be Jolly with the possible, An Old-Fashioned Christmas, recording included with some rare Crosby Christmas tracks.

These are both pretty good albums, no doubt the Christmas one would get sales, and the Basie one might interest Count Basie fans, along with fans of the Sinatra-Basie outings. It would be rather pleasing to have better quality and new remastering on these albums.

Now after thinking about all of this, I wonder, what will be the Crosby release of this year? We had Bing At Christmas and Holiday In Europe last as the main two, but will or is there any planned for this year.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

19/3/2020 1:52 am  #3


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I guess one advantage of being old is you were able to get the releases when they came out.   As is the case here, I bought that Bing & Basie CD at Tower Records (now gone) and the double album CD of "Bing Country Hits and Rose & Bing's Travelin' 2 Beat" CD I got that from the Collectors' Choice music catalog I got in the mail.  This was the days before internet and I did my hard to find CD shopping from mail order catalogs and sellers of Bing.    That Collectors Choice CD was great 2 fer the price of one, I was happy with it and the sound too.   Back then a guy named Gordon something or other, don't remember his last name, would put together these great re-releases of double albums long not available and he'd put them out on one CD.  He now works at Real Gone Music and is doing a good job there too.   One of my favorite Gord CD releases he did at Collectors Choice was a double album CD release of 2 Walter Brennan albums on one CD.   Walter's great Christmas album (still to this day hard to find) and Walter's Old Rivers album.   I play this CD all thru the year on my computer, I separated off the Christmas album portion and put it in my Christmas Music section on the Playlist of the computer, so I don't get Christmas music playing in June.  Also put my Bing double album CD in my regular lineup of music I play on my computer so songs from those 2 Bing lps pop up when the computer is in the mood to play them in it's "random" fashion.

Last edited by Archiefit (19/3/2020 1:56 am)

 

07/4/2020 12:21 pm  #4


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I agree that "Bing Crosby: Sings the Great Country Hits" would be very worthy of a it's own CD release, and ideally a special edition! I think it's a very strong album, especially for the era,  that show's Bing in fine form. 

In fact, I think all your suggestions are good ones! I enjoy "Bing 'n' Basie" and I LOVE "A Time To Be Jolly" would love to see both released properly on CD, with any extras available. 

But, I think like most fans I would clamor for a release of those albums that have never been on CD before, "Hey Jude/Hey Bing!" and "Bingo Veijo"!

 

11/4/2020 5:03 am  #5


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I like your suggestions Ron.

 

16/4/2020 12:50 am  #6


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

Graham Pascoe wrote:

I like your suggestions Ron.

Thank you, and I've been thinking about this quite a bit, "Bingo Veijo" was released by two different companies with a little remastering done on the second release, this should mean a "deluxe edition" could include both versions of the release. For "Hey Jude/Hey Bing!" could include some extras in the way of live performances of some of the songs on the album. I think Bing also covered a few other "Beatles" songs during televisoin appearances and those would fit in with the "Hey Jude" theme too!

 

16/7/2020 4:44 am  #7


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

Yeah, "Hey Jude Hey Bing" and "Bingo Viejo" are the two I'd like to see, of original albums. What I'd really like even more is an official A-and-B-sides compilation of his 1950s Decca sides, from tape sources, if any still exist.

 

05/10/2020 4:53 am  #8


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I am implored to return here again as I’ve came up with a few ideas on CD issues.

“Feels Good, Feels Right,” I believe this could make a great expanded and remastered/remixed album with the love and care put into it like the Seasons release. We could get the 3 tracks left out and possibly the alternate takes. This has been issued a couple times in the past, but it is not in issue today and is rather rare.

“Bingo Viejo,” I am very surprised this (And Feels Good) was not released in the original Collector’s Choice run or even in the UMG releases to follow. It goes along great with the A Southern Memoir with similar histories. There’s already a good couple mixes with the Anuhac and London releases leaving you with a couple of possible alternate tracks used to fill out the rest of the expanded release. This is a very good album, not Bing’s best but pretty good.

The Longines Recordings, they wouldn’t even have to package these together in one 2 CD pack (although it would make a great 3rd Treasures From The Crosby Archive) I would more think arranging the songs into 3 CDs with each CD being themed would be great. These are tracks that need to be available to the public as some of Bing’s best recordings of the sixties. We’ve got his Sing Along albums that are more in circulation than these tracks, which is almost a crime.

“Hey Jude!/Hey Bing!” This is by far Bing’s worst solo studio album, it’s not bad but it’s not great. It’s very mediocre, but I believe it stills deserves a expanded remix/master as it’s contemporary Crosby before the 70s. It has some horrible sounding versions of YouTube as well which doesn’t help the album any. This could still be a good expanded edition though with some of his TV versions of these songs including the beautiful version of Both Sides Now, maybe the single he made for the UK in ‘73 with Tie A Yellow Ribbon, maybe some alternate takes if there are any and his Bing ‘n’ Basie version of Little Green Apples in contrast.

Honorable Mention, “Holiday In Europe” if  BCE has the original master tapes, as even though the Sepia release is great those recordings could get treated even better. Don’t get me wrong though I love that Sepia release probably my favorite Crosby release of their’s especially with that rehearsal track.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

05/10/2020 7:04 am  #9


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

“Hey Jude!/Hey Bing!” This is by far Bing’s worst solo studio album, .

Really?  why "by far"? what of "Thoroughly Modern Bing" ?
At the rear of the field to the taste of many but I'd challenge your absolutism and use of the words "worst" and  "by far".

Personally I can forgive Bing's attempts to remain up to date with covering Beatles songs and  "Thoroughly Modern Bing " as well as his attempt at "modern" C&W with "Bing Sings The Great Country Hits".

I might even listen to them on occasion, but find it a lot more difficult to accept the deliberate waste of his talents with the singalongs which are best heard in the background as wallpaper music, if at all. Not in my view music for listening. 

But that is the key - MY VIEW and my view only. It all boils down to taste and preferences.

 

 

05/10/2020 12:25 pm  #10


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I don't know if any album is "the worst" Bing album for me. Even albums like Thoroughly Modern Bing and Hey Jude, Hey Bing each had great tracks and bad tracks on them. I would love to see more radio songs put out on CD. I pretty much have 99% of Bing's commercial recordings.

Does anyone know if the Project Records recordings from the 1960s that weren't released on LP are still in existance? I believe some of them haven't been released.

 

05/10/2020 1:35 pm  #11


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I’msorry if I seemed a bit harsh on the Hey Jude/Hey Bing album, I was actually going back and forth on whether to change that or not, but I actually like the Thoroughly Modern album, it’s not great, but it still is enjoyable. I probably haven’t given the Hey Jude/Hey Bing album a proper assessment as I have no other way to listen to the album than the YouTube versions that are bad LP transfers, which I why I’d like a remastered and expanded edition. I’ve just found it to be least favorite out of the Bing albums I’ve listened to all the way through, besides those Sing Along albums which I believe are his worst albums his vocals are fine but it just doesn’t fit or is deserving of him for the song along.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

05/10/2020 1:36 pm  #12


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

Lobosco wrote:

I don't know if any album is "the worst" Bing album for me. Even albums like Thoroughly Modern Bing and Hey Jude, Hey Bing each had great tracks and bad tracks on them. I would love to see more radio songs put out on CD. .

I suspect that most of us would still find the odd track or two that we might like on albums that we might otherwise prefer to neglect, just as we might want to skip one or two on some of our favourites!

 

05/10/2020 1:42 pm  #13


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

Richard Baker wrote:

I might even listen to them on occasion, but find it a lot more difficult to accept the deliberate waste of his talents with the singalongs which are best heard in the background as wallpaper music, if at all. Not in my view music for listening. 

But that is the key - MY VIEW and my view only. It all boils down to taste and preferences.

 

Like I said I think the singalongs are probably his worst together. I just meant Hey Jude/Hey Bing as worst solo as I count the singalongs as ones with a choir and don’t consider Bing being alone there. I was harsh on it (Hey Jude/Hey Bing) although I believe the title song is the worst offender on the album although I prefer it over the original. By worst I still think think it’s a good album as to me Bing never made a bad album he had those mediocre singalongs, but most of his regular types of albums are at least good to me.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

05/10/2020 11:22 pm  #14


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

Lobosco wrote:

Does anyone know if the Project Records recordings from the 1960s that weren't released on LP are still in existance? I believe some of them haven't been released.

Of what might you be aware David? 
But I'd suggest that any lurking in the vaults that have not seen the light of day might well not deserve it. 

Personally, before delving in the vaults for discarded tapes that did not "make the cut"  I'd like to see decent copies  from the original tapes of
- the Basie "If I Had A Hammer",   
- of the "Australian" EP (Four tracks issued in 1960 by RCA in Australia, two of which were also available on a single elsewhere (The Music Of Home; The New Ashmoleon Marching Society; It's A Good Day; Aloha Means I Love You). 
-  the single from 1973 It's Not Where You start (It's Where You finish) and Tie A Yellow Ribbon round the Old Oak Tree. 
45 rpm records in general seem to have been treated much more roughly than LPs and the Australian EP seems  impossible to find in halfway decent condition. 
And I agree with earlier ideas relating to the Longines set.
 

 

05/10/2020 11:25 pm  #15


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

I’m not so keen on the Bing ‘ Basie album.

 

05/10/2020 11:42 pm  #16


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

The Bing ‘n’ Basie album isn’t Bing or Basie’s greatest work, but I find it to be enjoyable with, in my opinion, some of Bing’s best contemporary songs.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

06/10/2020 12:27 am  #17


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

ModernBingFan0377 wrote:

The Bing ‘n’ Basie album isn’t Bing or Basie’s greatest work, but I find it to be enjoyable with, in my opinion, some of Bing’s best contemporary songs.

I'm with you. I really like the album but I don't play it nearly enough. Bing and Count Basie was in fine form for it.

Some really good moments on the album.
 

 

06/10/2020 10:20 am  #18


Re: Nomination for a Bing album to be re-released on CD...

It would be great to see official CD releases of Hey Jude/Hey Bing and Bingo Viejo, if only to “square the circle” of CD releases of Bing’s LP albums. These two would seem to be the only two which haven’t seen any form of “official” CD release - from budget direct-from-LP transfers all the way up to the BCE de-luxe re-packagings.

I agree with Richard about “If I Had a Hammer”. I’ve got a very muddy version of it on Barry Whittingham’s privately-produced CD of Bing’n’Basie and it certainly deserves to be heard in better quality.

The other titles Richard mentions - including the Longines sides - were released on CD on the privately-produced Harry Lillis label, but these CDs are becoming increasingly hard to find. The Longines sides would make a fantastic 2-CD set. (Are you listening, Sepia..?!)

I would also love to see a properly remastered and annotated release of the “High Society” soundtrack. I’ve got a couple of budget-label CD versions - on one of which the “swish” of the LP is clearly audible! - but it would be great to hear some out-takes, studio banter, rehearsal tracks, piano demos, etc.

Last edited by jeremyrose (06/10/2020 10:21 am)

 

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