16/12/2011 6:24 pm  #1

Bing and the Charioteers?

Visiting Richard's discograqphy again, I estimated that the African American male vocal group "The Charioteers" sang on the Bing's radio shows a few more than 100 times, beginning in the latter part of 1942, continuing through the remainder of the Kraft Music Hall programs, and with a substantial number of appearances in programs after that. 

In their solo career the Charioteers focused more on Gospel music, but also performed and recorded pop tunes of various kinds.  There are at least two CDs of their music available.  On the radio with Bing they seem to have mainly served either as a vocal backup group or as a group singing a duet with Bing.  On several songs they were also paired with the Music Maids.  On occasion they would sing a Gospel song by themselves.

I personally have heard fewer than ten examples of their singing with Bing -- on some KMH program cassettes, from the Laserlight WWII Crosby CD series, and on perhaps another 2 or 3 recordings.  In the discography, many Bing-with-Charioteers numbers appear to have never been collected on LP or CD, and of those that have many have been in trascriptions of individual entire shows or of all the songs from entire shows.  Some of the others seem to have appeared in LPs or CDs focussing on the WWII era songs.  As the Charioteers frequently backed up Bing on songs like "Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition" and "On a Wing and a Prayer," as well as some of the anthems associated with branches of the military service, one of those LPs or CDs might gather the most examples of Bing with the Charioteers in one place, probably many of those also including the Music Maids.  I'm sure I would love to own one of those recordings, since I am sure they are great, though I don't believe they would represent the range of tempos, themes, and moods covered across all of the Charioteers' collaborations with Bing.

With somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 examples (presuming that recordings exist of all of them and taking into account that some songs were repeated 2 or 3 times on different programs), it seems like there is more than enough material to produce a recording exhibiting the best examples of the variety of Bing and the Charioteers singing together, perhaps most without also the Music Maids, unless it was a 2 (or more) CD set.  Do other Bing fans wish for such an collection to be offered?

I'd love to hear more background about this group's work with Bing, as well as suggestions for what recordings availlable offer other's fans favorites including the Charioteers.

Last edited by Steve Fay (16/12/2011 6:29 pm)


16/12/2011 7:46 pm  #2

Re: Bing and the Charioteers?

They were pretty good on their own too!


17/12/2011 5:09 pm  #3

Re: Bing and the Charioteers?

There is in fact a 'Best of' CD from Collector's Choice issued in 2004 which includes a number of songs they sang on The Bing Crosby Show. So far as I can see there are no numbers with Bing.
Amazon in both the US and the UK list it.



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