21/6/2022 11:48 am  #1

A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

Many of you may be aware of this, but Malcolm recently forwarded this YouTube link to me with what purports to be a 'lost' Bing Crosby demo..! 

“In The Twilight Rays” LOST Bing Crosby demo! - YouTube

For what it's worth, I've listened to it a number of times and although it's an uncanny impersonation, I'm convinced it's not Bing. There are several tiny clues in the vocal delivery (mainly in the use of the mordent, which Bing used completely naturally, but which here sounds a bit 'forced') but they are tiny, and I can completely understand anyone being convinced - at a first hearing - that it is Bing! Also, the piano accompaniment is perfectly adequate, but to my ear sounds rather 'clunky', maybe suggesting an amateur pianist. (Absolutely no disparagement to amateur pianists intended..!)

Have a listen and share your thoughts on CFW.

Malcolm has done some research on the songwriter, some of the results of which you can see in the YouTube comments section...


21/6/2022 5:33 pm  #2

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

I didn't even have to listen to more than 30 seconds before I could tell this was NOT Bing.  It sounded more like one of those imitators you'd hear in cartoons of the time when they would use a Bing character in the cartoon.   Nope, I could tell almost immediately this was not Bing.  Just not the same voice or natural way he had of singing.


22/6/2022 1:51 am  #3

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

It's an  interesting one, isn't it? Before I even heard it (oh, arrogant little me!) and even before reading the related YouTube comments, I thought it may well turn out to be US singer and major Crosbyphile, Steve Mason. Clearly it isn't him but he was/is (?) an effective early Bing-era/Russ Colombo soundalike. During the 1970's, he recorded in this vein a few independently distributed albums, sponsored by US nostalgia buff and decades long New York based chat show host, Joe Franklin. The link is to Bing's 1976 appearance on Franklin's show which just over thirty minutes in, briefly features said Steve Mason and one of his albums. Bing runs through some of the tracks.


As for this one, it's great fun but clearly this gentleman  just on listening, lacks the power, breathing and depth of Bing's actual voice. The tone seems a bit similar, though. I also can't place any specific "Bing era" to his voice. 

However, thanks to Jeremy (and Malcolm on YouTube) for providing a bit of amusement, research and intrigue. Took me back to the days when people such as Mike Yarwood would impersonate the singing of Sinatra, Joe Longthorne = Shirley Bassey, Billy Crystal = Sammy Davis Jr and Sammy Davis jr impersonating … everyone else! This has also at least now benefitted a US  Ebay seller in the states, tonight who's now a Steve Mason LP lighter! 


22/6/2022 1:31 pm  #4

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

I posted this link on Facebook, and I regretted posting it because some people insisted it was Bing Crosby. To us true fans we know it is not Bing.

I listened to it about 10 times - it almost sounded like Curt Massey to me. Anyone remember him? The voice might be like Bing but the tone is definitely not his. 


23/6/2022 2:37 am  #5

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

I must confess, David - I've never heard of Curt Massey. Was he fairly big on your side of the pond?


23/6/2022 1:15 pm  #6

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

Ian Kerstein wrote:

I must confess, David - I've never heard of Curt Massey. Was he fairly big on your side of the pond?

Not real huge. He was mostly famous for singing the theme song to TV's "Petticoat Junction".


23/6/2022 2:28 pm  #7

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

Ahhh, yes, Curt Massey.  That name seemed familiar to me for some reason but I didn't know why.   Yes, I have his records of him singing the Petticoat Junction theme.  There is also a very neat scene of him singing the "Petticoat Junction Hotterville Hop" song as the girls on the show do the dance to the Hooterville Hop.  Really neat dance scene here to the song with the girls on the show you can see it here and hear Curt Massey singing.


26/6/2022 6:08 am  #8

Re: A lost Bing Crosby demo..?!

Doesn't sound like Bing to me. I wondered when the song was written but couldn't find it on the Data Base of Popular Music.


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