25/5/2023 6:57 pm  #1

Gary Giddins biography audiobook

I've just finished listening to the unabridged audiobook version of Vol. 1 of the Gary Giddins biography of Bing, downloaded from Amazon's 'Audible' division. It's been a couple of years since I last re-read the 'physical' book, but for some reason, listening to the audiobook version for the first time has made me realise even more keenly what an absolutely amazing feat of research, scholarship and downright bloody good writing this is! Giddins's analyses of the most significant of Bing's recordings from the very early Whiteman days through to the early Jack Kapp/Decca sessions are models of erudition, coupled with an obvious affection for, and appreciation of, Bing's prodigious talents. I listen through earphones whilst I'm out walking, and when I get home - having made a mental note of the recordings Giddins has focused on - I invariably take the relevant CD volume of 'The Chronological Bing Crosby' down from the shelf, together with the 'physical' book, and listen again with the analyses in front of me. I've found it to be a very rewarding exercise and would be interested to hear whether any other CFW contributors have had a similar experience.


26/5/2023 3:22 pm  #2

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

I finally read Volume 2 last year after having to put it off due to work and family obligations, and I had the same reaction. Bing fans are so blessed that someone with Giddins' breadth of knowledge and superlative writing skills decided to become Crosby's biographer. I also think the fact Giddins wanted to do the book(s) reinforces how Bing really is a touchstone to understand so much of 20th Century pop culture.

I still hope we get Volume 3. Giddins is only 75, and Robert Caro is still writing the LBJ series in his 80s!


29/5/2023 11:53 pm  #3

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

If a third book is ever published I expect I’ll have to visit the library in the sky, being presently in my 90th. Year.


03/6/2023 3:51 am  #4

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

Ron, You can always dial "O" for O'Malley if you are going to heaven. Bing will tell you the rest.😇😇


03/6/2023 8:06 am  #5

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

I’m sure he will. Think I mentioned that he phoned me at work in London after I invited him to my golf course.
That was when he was in London for a week recording with Fred, but no golf clubs


03/6/2023 11:16 pm  #6

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

Ron, See he already knows you. Maybe he will have his golf clubs with him.


07/6/2023 5:28 am  #7

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

Gary Giddins was already an established 'jazz' writer, before getting deeply into Bing. His fresh and crisp writing, in 2 books (so far) about Bing ,are very well researched, and easy to follow. I look forward to his 3rd volume. I do have however, ONE issue./ In his first volume A POCKET FULL OF DREAMS, on page 183, he notes that Rhythm Boy (Bing) was NOT in the studio (Sept.19,1928) to be part of the  vocals in Paul Whiteman recording CHRISTMAS MELODIES.(Giddins reports the Rhythm Boys were in Toledo). Before this time, ALL previous discographers ,including the likes of ( Edward J. Mello & Tom McBride) report the Rhythm Boys vocals ON the recording. Some specifically claim his vocal on NOEL. Had the recording been done in the morning, before leaving New York City? Or the date cancelled? Or the recording date itself wrong? It should also be noted that since Giddins, others ,like (DAHR),still claim the Rhythm Boys on this 1928 recording. My own ears cannot be sure-although ,even without Bing, it's still an excellent recording. With Bing, it's a bit more.


07/6/2023 5:31 pm  #8

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

September 17–19, 1928. Monday–Wednesday. The trio’s next venue is Keith’s at Toledo, Ohio, where it is said that the theater manager rings the curtain down in their faces following an off-color joke.

Last edited by Malcolm Macfarlane (07/6/2023 5:31 pm)


09/6/2023 11:53 am  #9

Re: Gary Giddins biography audiobook

Any word if a volume 3 is even on the table at this point?


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