A Tribute to Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis (Bing) Crosby
Born: Tacoma, Washington, 3 May 1903
Died: Madrid, Spain, 14 October 1977
Recommended book: Bing Crosby - A Pocketful of Dreams: The Early Years, 1903-1940 by Gary Giddens (Little, Brown and Company, 2001, 728 pages). Excerpt from the Introduction:
"It is impossible to regard Bing Crosby as a historical figure without considering some of his statistics. If nothing else they reveal his predominance over popular entertainment from Prohibition until the mid-1950s, when his decline as the nation's predominant muse was signaled by the comeback of a newly charged Sinatra and the arrival of Elvis - the former marketed to adults, the latter to their children. During Crosby's reign, that split did not exist.
- He was the first full-time vocalist ever signed to an orchestra.
- He made more studio recordings than any other singer in history (about 400 more than Sinatra).
- He made the most popular record ever, 'White Christmas,' the only single to make American pop charts twenty times, every year but one between 1942 and 1962. In 1998. after a long absence, his 1947 version hit the charts in Britain.
- Between 1927 and 1962 he scored 368 charted records under his own name, plus twenty-eight as vocalist with various bandleaders, for a total of 396. No one else has come close; compare Paul Whiteman (220), Sinatra (209), Elvis (149), Glenn Miller (129), Nat "King" Cole (118), Louis Armstrong (85), the Beatles (68). He scored the most number one hits ever, thirty-eight .
In his CD notes to the Crosby Centennial Anthology, Canadian/America Representative of the Crosby Club F.B. (Wig) Wiggins wrote:
During a spectacular career that spanned more than fifty years, Bing Crosby was the best known and most popular singing star of the 20th century, famous the world over as well as in America.
Bing was also the first multi-media superstar. In addition to making hundreds of best-selling recordings, he was also one of the biggest stars on radio for three decades, serving as host of popular musical variety shows on each of the major networks. He was also one of the leading actors in Hollywood, being voted number one at the box office for an unequaled five consecutive years (1944 - 1948).
Bing's singing is still unequaled in pop music for its smooth clarity and clean diction.
Even Sinatra was an ardent admirer of Der Bingle.
Let's not only remember him as "The Voice of Christmas."
In fact he could sing any kind of music, from country & western to jazz, from Irish songs to Hawaiian pop tunes, from love ballads to snappy uptempo numbers. He sang them all extremely well in his easygoing distinctive baritone voice.
He was "King of Popular Singers."
Wow, could he sing!
--Roger Hall, May 2008
Here are some recommended Bing Crosby Single CDs and Sets:
- Bing Crosby: A Centennial Anthology of His Decca Recordings (2 CDs)
- Bing! His Legendary Years, 1931-1957 (MCA, 4 CDs, 1993)
- Bix 'N' Bing (Bix Beiderbecke and Bing Crosby)(ASV Living Era, 1992, 20 tracks)
- Cowboy Country Crosby Style (Jasmine, 2003, 21 tracks)
- Going Hollywood, Vol. 1: 1930-1936 (Jasmine, 1998, 2 CDs)
- Going Hollywood, Vol. 2: 1936-1939 (Jasmine, 2000, 2 CDs)
- Going Hollywood, Vol. 3: 1940-1944 (Jasmine, 2002, 2 CDs)
- Going Hollywood, Vol. 4: 1944-1949 (Jasmine, 2003, 2 CDs)
- I'm an Old Cowhand - Bing Crosby (ASV Living Era, 1995, 25 tracks)
- It's Easy to Remember (Proper Box - 4 CDs, 2002)
Recommended DVDs of Bing Crosby Musicals:
See how many Bing Crosby songs are on this list:
Top 100 Songs of the 20th Century
To read about Bing's Christmas hit records, go to:
Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs
For more about Bing Crosby, see these recommended web sites:
Bing and Bob Centennials
Bing Crosby - A Celebration of His Life
Bing's Friends & Collectors Society
International Crosby Circle
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100 Essential Songs (1861-1961)