13/1/2015 4:47 pm  #1

Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

A post heas appeared on a blog here http://www.westseattleherald.com/2015/01/12/features/pats-view-%E2%80%9Crequiem-kalakala%E2%80%9D 
which states the Bing was the Justin Bieber of his time.

It's nice to see any comment about Bing (as long as it is positive), and even better to have a sound clip (in this case "The Black Ball Ferry Line"), but I am almost tempted to ask "who is Justin Bieber?". Clearly the writer has no concept whatever of the relative importance of Bing. Equivalent to how many Justin Biebers I wonder.

Who might be a deserving modern comparison? And bear in mind the multiple facets of Bing's career in film, radio, records (and, yes, latterly TV and stage), and the length of his time at the top.  



31/5/2017 5:57 pm  #2

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

I realize this is a really old post but one that thought was odd that it had no reply! The only artist that I think can really bare comparison to Bing is Elvis Presley and since both passed away almost 40 years ago, I'm not sure if Elvis is a "modern" comparison. 

Elvis, could boast strong cultural impact across multiple decades, and multiple mediums. Elvis was successful as a singer and successful as a movie actor, perhaps only held back there by a diet of light fluffy roles. Elvis never really had the time to develop a television career but I think it would have happened if he hadn't passed at such a young age. 

Outside of that I don't think any artist has been totally dominant in multiple genres. Meryl Streep is an amazing actress and has shown she has some singing ability but she's not a big recording star. Madonna was a major recording star but her film career is mostly terrific flops. 

Harry Connick Jr. is maybe the only artist I can think of who has had both a respectable music and film career and yet even then he hasn't dominated either the way Bing did and has had no impact on TV. 



03/6/2017 6:54 am  #3

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

In 2002 the BBC Television production BING ON BING described Bing's achievements thus: 'Imagine the recording career of Michael Jackson combined with the film career of Tom Cruise and the emotional appeal of the Queen Mother'.


17/6/2017 11:19 am  #4

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

You are correct about Elvis, also Frank Sinatra was a major star on radio, movies, tv, as well as his recording career. Another name is Glen Campbell. His was a major recording star, had his Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour tv show, was in some pretty good movies as well like "True Grit".


18/6/2017 5:34 am  #5

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

Years ago I mentioned that if a movie was made about Bing, I thought that Kevin Spacey could have been a good one to play Bing.
I doubt that a movie bio will ever be made on Bing.


18/6/2017 1:30 pm  #6

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

Can't think of anyone who's career is, or has been, similar to Bing's. His career was unique - and, possibly, that tops being "the best"! In my book anyway. The latter argument is becoming a bit silly, I think, with all the possible contestants being deceased.
As Ron I doubt that a movie bio will ever be made of Bing. However ... The rise of popular music could be a fascinating theme for a film. Or better, a TV-series (so that there will be more to enjoy as it takes longer!)

Just my own two cents worth, of course.


21/6/2017 10:27 am  #7

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

On the women's side Barbara Streisand and Cher are two examples of people who were successful in several different mediums.


10/10/2017 1:11 am  #8

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

I would say from a vocal ability - I would say Billy Joel, maybe Michael Buble.

As an all around entertainer - records, movies, etc I don't think anyone has come close since Elvis.


10/10/2017 7:32 am  #9

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

Music, film etc has never been so accessible due to the internet and with so many sources to obtain them, such as the multiple streaming services. However there is now such a general dilution  of accessible entertainment that the days of millions of people all  watching the same TV show or radio show is all but over and therefore its hard to imagine one "star" ever making such an impact ever again. 

Growing up, whether you liked them or not, it was hard not to he aware of culturally significant "events" or artists; whether that be Elvis, punk movement, Michael Jackson. The "dilution" means its actually easier to switch off and be unaware unless you choose to.

It doesn't help that there is a youth generation that now has the attention span if a gnat. My children, in their late teens/early 20's, believe its unthinkable to sit down and listen to an album of one artist.

Last edited by Kevin (10/10/2017 8:49 am)


15/10/2017 5:25 am  #10

Re: Who is a deserving modern comparison to Bing?

Today, I believe the 40th anniversary of Bing's passing
(October 14) i feel motivated to agree with the comments on this post:  there is obviously no current popular entertainer who even remotely compares to him, the most extraordinary American popular entertainer of the 20th Century. As a popular singer, it seems to me that legitimate comparisons can be made with Sinatra (obviously) and Presley, and perhaps Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald. And the estimable Tony Bennett. Today, the French singer Mireille Matthieu has had a comparable career. Movie careers: only Sinatra and Presley from the above list...but their acting did not have the versatility of Bing's. If you add Bing's accomplishments in radio, television etc....the American Entertainer of the 20th Century. RIP


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