13/4/2011 3:50 pm  #1


"Bing Viejo"

Greetings gang!

I am about to receive an allegedly "M" copy of the very obscure London LP "Bing Viejo". There is almost nothing to be found about it online. Can any of you fine Bing experts enlighten me/review this latter-day Bing gem?

As always, anything will be much appreciated.


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

13/4/2011 11:37 pm  #2


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Paul,

Congratulations on your find. Hope it is really good 'm' condition and that you enjoy it.  Bing in Spanish (or Spanish American) style again, without much overtly pronounced Latin American rhythms - just Bing being Bing but at least partly in Spanish!

Recorded in June and September 1975, one of two albums Bing set up independently at the time (the other being 'a Southern Memoir'  recently reissued on CD with many extras by Collector's Choice). Both had accompaniment by Paul Smith.  It was initially leased to Decca/London by Bing but also released on Anahuac Records with a slightly different sleeve. From memory it was quite well received, though personally I prefer 'A Southern Memoir' but this maybe a matter of language and understanding (lack of total) on my part.

I seem to remember there has been the odd comment questioning Bing's pronunciation, though I understand that he had some Spanish. Maybe others can comment.

Bing is in good voice and many of the titles sort of 'grow' on you after several hearings.  As with most albums there are some songs that seem to stand out - I particularly like 'Spanish Eyes' and 'Eres Tu'  - but don't ask me to defend that view or rationalise it in any way.

However I don't think that collectively they come up to the standards of the sequence of albums produced by Ken Barnes with the Pete Moore Orchestra, for several reasons - the choice of songs - the arrangements and quality of accompaniment -  and the effect that they had on Bing's own interpretation and performance. But I suspect that you will still like your purchase.

For some reason when I first bought - all of 35 years ago now - my local record shop only had a supply of cassettes, so rather than wait I got one of those and had my LP delivered a week later. Now I  have the LP,  in duplicate, plus the original cassette.  More an accumulator than a collector! 

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/5071802066_44e00951c9.jpg



I presume that it might possibly be on the stocks for reissue by Bing Crosby Enterprises in some form. Several takes appear to exist of some titles.

 

14/4/2011 12:54 pm  #3


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Hello,
both LPs issued in 1977, but the ANAHUAC LP was totally remixed new by Jaime De Aguinaga and Bing´s voice sound even a little bit warmer than on the  LONDON LP (= L.). There are even more than the 4 alternative takes, which Colin Pugh (Alternative Bing Crosby) and Fred Reynolds (The Crosby Collection, Part. 5) have had found: Eres Tu; The Breeze And I; Spanisch Eyes; La Borrachita.
Other takes are Maria Bonita with some more parts with guitar sound (ANAHUAC= A.) or Frenesi on A. with Bing´s voice is stronger than on L. and partly he has a laughing in his voice, also Paul Smith on piano is in middle part more present. On Amapola (A.) the percussions are louder, the trumpets more in the background. Also the guitar begins later, when Bing opens the song.
The Breeze And I: Bing have a clearly warmer sound, his voice is stronger (A.), the loud breathing on early part (L.) is missing, on Spanish part are many differences, beginning with la bris (L.) or la brisa (A.) and more accentuations on Spanish parts.
Spanish Eyes: Bing´s voice is partly deeper on L., which  Ken Barnes may have criticized on Bing´s version (The Crosby Years). On A. take Bing´s voice is fresher, more melodic, especially on first part, not so deep.
La Borrachita: the two takes are nearly two different recordings, both only sung in Spanish, both with wonderful guitar sounds,but extremly different, also the mood. Bings whistle also in two different ways on both takes, with more air on L. and in higher sound on A..The L. take is very fine, but the A. take is superb, a real hammer, that you think you are in heaven.
Bing sung in most of his late concerts Cuando Calienda El Sol. Maybe Bings favourite?
---Dieter.

Last edited by Dieter (14/4/2011 4:21 pm)

 

14/4/2011 6:24 pm  #4


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Thanks Richard and Dieter for the great responses. I will wait till the weekend to sit back, relax and really give it a thorough listening.


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

18/4/2011 4:20 pm  #5


Re: "Bing Viejo"

"However I don't think that collectively they come up to the standards of the sequence of albums produced by Ken Barnes with the Pete Moore Orchestra, for several reasons - the choice of songs - the arrangements and quality of accompaniment -  and the effect that they had on Bing's own interpretation and performance. But I suspect that you will still like your purchase."

Richard,

I agree 100% with your comments on this LP. I would have to say it is the weakest effort from latter day Bing. Who did those arrangements? They are not really much in the theme of his "Mexican album". However, if for nothing else than that it is a very rare LP and in excellent condition I am thrilled to have it in my collection!


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

14/11/2011 4:41 pm  #6


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Lo and behold! In the $1 bin of the local Amoeba Music store yesterday I found a NM copy of the (A.) remix. I shall follow your notes shared earlier, Dieter, and compare the two LP's.


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
     Thread Starter
 

27/2/2012 11:07 pm  #7


Re: "Bing Viejo"

I have the original ANAHUAC LP issue.  And, except for what I felt was a rather weak effort on "Blue Spanish Eyes" and the last note of "Eres Tu" which was a stretch, I find it to be a very enjoyable album.  FRENESI is as good a recording as Bing made in the last 10 years of his life.  Other highlights for me were "Maria Bonita," "The Breeze and I"
Even "Amapola,"   which came in for some a pretty critical critique by Ken Barnes in The Crosby Years, I find a wonderful and unique rendering--  Green Eyes is a wonderful recording as is Besame Mucho.
Finally, "Borrachita," a sad song about a female camp follower with the Mexican army, is, to my ear, a masterpiece-guitar playing, Bing's singing, and his whistling, which captures the mood perfectly, are all top-notch.  His Spanish pronunciation is outstanding throughout-- no surprise there.  I love most of this album.  I love most of the Ken Barnes produced albums as well, but for me, "Bingo Viejo (Old Bing)" has a proud place in his later recordings.  If you have never heard it---you are missing out.

 

19/5/2020 7:01 am  #8


Re: "Bing Viejo"

I have listened to some tracks from this album, and I’ve enjoyed them a great deal. Even the infamous Spanish Eyes I find entertaining. My favorite of the tracks I’ve though would have to be Cuando Calienta El Sol, as I find it very enjoyable. I’m surprised there has t been an official reissue of this album. I can understand albums like Hey Jude/Hey Bing or his Sing Alongs not being officially reissued, but this album surprises me. Also by officially reissued I mean UMe or BCE, not Sepia or those rare Bar One and Harry Lillis CDs, although they’re great sources.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

19/5/2020 10:34 am  #9


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Richard, you say that Bing set these two albums up on his own. Was that because his label wouldn't or was it just something Bing wanted to do?

Thanks!

 

19/5/2020 2:44 pm  #10


Re: "Bing Viejo"

It's a pretty good album. I have two copies - one is sealed and one I play. 
I have to transfer the record to mp3 some time.
It's on my list of things to do.

 

19/5/2020 3:18 pm  #11


Re: "Bing Viejo"

John Turner wrote:

Richard, you say that Bing set these two albums up on his own. Was that because his label wouldn't or was it just something Bing wanted to do?

Thanks!

John, It was not particularly new for Bing to act as producer for his recordings - he had been making and leasing out recordings since the end of the 1950s through his "Project" label, and though he had an agreement with UA in 1975 it would not be correct to call them "his" label.

At the time Bing had agreed to a five record deal with United Artists for recordings to be produced by Ken Barnes. Outside this agreement Bing recorded "A Southern Memoir" in January 1975 and "Bingo Viejo" later in the year whilst the UA recordings were started in February.

Bing offered his two independent albums to UA also but they were reluctant to issue them in advance of the records he had agreed with them, so he concluded a leasing agreement with British Decca, which issued them.
 

 

20/5/2020 12:51 am  #12


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Interesting information here.  Couldn't stop reading the whole thread.   I didn't know that these 2 albums (B. Viejo & Southern Mem.) were part of a deal Bing had for his own sort of off-shoot brand.   I knew that both of these albums are considered rarities here in the U.S. as they were never distributed originally.   I was lucky enough to find both of them in a Used Record store back in the '80's when such places existed.   But they were both "smuggled" from England.   I felt like I had found buried treasure.   I really liked Southern Memoir but that Bingo album I could take or leave.   Mostly I've left it, as far as playing it again.   I like Bing to sing in English, same reason I never play that French lp he made in the '50's.  I did transfer them to CD 20 years ago however, so it's still possible to put them on the computer if I ever had the desire.

 

20/5/2020 5:51 am  #13


Re: "Bing Viejo"

A Southern Memoir was the smuggled one, but could Bingo Viejo been the Anahuac release or were they both smuggled?


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

20/5/2020 6:45 am  #14


Re: "Bing Viejo"

I don't know for sure.   I had heard that at least S. Mem. was never distributed in the U.S.   Not all that sure about Bingo, but I won't say no about it either.  I know I've never seen that Bingo album around except that one time I bought it.  

Last edited by Archiefit (20/5/2020 6:47 am)

 

20/5/2020 6:53 am  #15


Re: "Bing Viejo"

"Smuggled" ????   I would think they were just imported. 

British Decca (which had parted company from US Decca in the 1940s) usually sold in the US on their London label and it's odd that to the best of my knowledge this did not happen for these LPs. I assume they would have problems with US Decca if they formally distributed in US using the Decca trademark, but clearly channels would have existed.

I don't know what arrangements existed with Anahuac, but it was certainly officially arranged. They had access to original tapes and used alternative takes. 

If anyone has wider knowledge please come in and add suitable words of wisdom.
 

 

20/5/2020 9:31 am  #16


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Richard Baker wrote:

John Turner wrote:

Richard, you say that Bing set these two albums up on his own. Was that because his label wouldn't or was it just something Bing wanted to do?

Thanks!

John, It was not particularly new for Bing to act as producer for his recordings - he had been making and leasing out recordings since the end of the 1950s through his "Project" label, and though he had an agreement with UA in 1975 it would not be correct to call them "his" label.

At the time Bing had agreed to a five record deal with United Artists for recordings to be produced by Ken Barnes. Outside this agreement Bing recorded "A Southern Memoir" in January 1975 and "Bingo Viejo" later in the year whilst the UA recordings were started in February.

Bing offered his two independent albums to UA also but they were reluctant to issue them in advance of the records he had agreed with them, so he concluded a leasing agreement with British Decca, which issued them.
 

Fascinating. Thanks Richard, appreciate it!

 

20/5/2020 10:45 am  #17


Re: "Bing Viejo"

Richard Baker wrote:

If anyone has wider knowledge please come in and add suitable words of wisdom.
 

However in advance of any more informed answers I'll undertake some guesswork. Whether informed or intelligent guesswork others can decide.

Guess 1 The fact that Decca UK did not issue the LPs in North America on their London label suggests the lease from Bing only included UK (and other areas usually covered by Decca using their own label - i.e. areas where they did not conflict with Decca US).

Guess 2 Bing offered American rights to others. Why the two areas were kept apart who can tell - but presumably Anahuac were the only ones interested, and they only in Bingo Viejo. They are based in Los Angeles but specialise in Spanish language records, so it is easy to understand their choice.

Guess 3 - the fact of rights to N America being leased to Anahuac, reinforces  Guess 1 - that Decca UK did not acquire any rights to N America. 

That leaves an unanswered question - Why was A Southern Memoir not taken up by any label in N America?. Bing was still a big name and over the next year or two saw a major revival such that it might be thought that Southern Memoir would be a seller, yet on the scant evidence that I have seen copies only drifted in via a few specialist dealers or imported directly by keen fans. And I suspect that Anahuac, with their specialised product line, may have had limited sales outlets that i turn would have restricted their sales of Bingo Viejo.

Whatever the situation then surely any leasing arrangements have long since expired and absolute ownership now rests with the Crosby organisation. 
 


 

 

 

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