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!


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