Monday, May 18, 2015


Here is a great article from the New York Sun of October 12, 1944...

Bing, Back, Tells of Exciting Eight-week Tour.

A two-man invasion of German-held territory in France and a two-minute capture of a town in the Metz area was accomplished by Bing Crosby, who is used to capturing top honors in crooning, and an Army lieutenant, while Der Bingle was on a U. S. O. Camp Shows tour in France. The singer recalled the experience today at the Waldorf-Astoria as he discussed his eight-week tour in which he sang for G. I. audiences numbering anywhere from a dozen to 15,000 soldiers.

Bing’s misadventure occurred early one morning when, after he attended Mass by himself, a lieutenant offered to drive him to a point near the front lines a few miles from where he was scheduled to sing.

“After we had traveled for ten or fifteen minutes,” the singer stated, “I became concerned because the telephone lines had run out and when you don’t see them, you know you’ve gone too far. Then we got to this town and I was surprised because I had looked at the war map earlier and it was still in German hands. I asked the lieutenant and he said that he was lost, and I said, ‘let's get out of here fast.’” Talking to a commanding officer that night Bing mentioned that he had been in the town.

“You couldn’t have been.”
“I sure as hell was,” Crosby replied.
“It was in German hands,” the officer protested.
“Well, we had it for two minutes.”
Lost 10 Pounds on Trip.

Crosby, who lost ten pounds during the trip, put on his show while under German gunfire on numerous occasions and was in London while buzz bombs, which he described as “frightening and devastating,” were falling. Though he had lunch with Gen. Eisenhower and visited Gen. Bradley and other high officers, he played only for enlisted men.

Praising the morale of the troops as “terrific,” Bing said: “The boys want to get home, but there is no whining. They want to know that the people at home are staying behind them and there is no weakening, and the needed supplies will be gotten to them. They are somewhat concerned about a complacent attitude. They’ve read about postwar planning discussions, and they don't want to hear about post-war plans. They want to get the war won first.

Crosby, who was dressed in a tan and blue sports combination, puffed occasionally on a big briar pipe while being interviewed. Asked if the report that he was a member of the Hollywood for Dewey Committee was true, he answered: “I don’t know anything about that.” He said that the men asked him mostly about Bob Hope (whom Crosby claimed the G. I.'s like most of all the entertainers), his children, his horses and Brooklyn. He mentioned that “a lot of pictures” have their premieres overseas.

In discussing the soldiers’ preference in songs, Crosby said that the ones they most requested him to sing were “White Christmas,” “Swinging on a Star” and “San Fernando Valley.” He declared that he had made recordings of songs for propaganda broadcasts to Germany, singing in German from words written out phonetically. “They told me I was adequate,” he said.

Although a great many German prisoners watched the shows and smiled, they probably didn’t know what was going on, Bing said. When asked if he had converted any of them, he answered with a grin: “I probably widened the breach.”

He lauded the Red Cross workers and members of his troupe which included Joe de Rita, Jean Darrell, singer; Darlene Garner, dancer; Buck Harris, guitarist, and Earl Baxter, accordionist. He said that he would leave for the coast tomorrow night and resume his radio program late this month...

Monday, May 11, 2015


Bing Crosby Goes to Work on Wehrmacht With Assistance of Phonetic German

LONDON, Sept. 3, 1944 (UP)—While Hitler is fooling around with buzzbombs and pick-a-back planes we're hurling a real secret weapon at Germany—der Bingle.
Der Bingle is what the Germans call it. Back home it's Bing Crosby.

From a position dangerously near its launching platform (a grand piano in the studio of the American Broadcasting system in Europe) I watched der Bingle go to work on the Wehrmacht. It was beautiful to see and hear and experts of psychological warfare said its effect would be beautiful too.

Der Bingle took off first in a snappy chat to the Wehrmacht which, the most powerful transmitters in Europe will smash right at the quivering ears of Hitler's "Herrenvolk." He astounded frontline observers by using reasonably good German. Since he doesn't speak German, der Bingle was later asked how come.

"I don't do it with mirrors," he said. "I do it with phonetics."

Der Bingle is a great favorite with the Germans and the gents from psychological warfare conceived the idea of having him do a little something direct, for the staggering Wehrmacht which probably doesn't appreciate what Generals Bradley and Patton are doing to it.

Thus, as Bing stepped to the microphone to make a recording, there was a mental image in my mind of a harried Hun, gasping and breathless and resting by the roadside ready to listen to anything as a change from the shell spitting tanks of his pursuers.

Bing, consulting his phonetic chart, began:
"Hello, German soldiers. Here speaks Bing Crosby. I've just arrived from America—the country where nobody is afraid of the gestapo and where everybody has a right to say and write what he thinks."

Der Bingle, rippling through the Teutonic gutturals with complete ease, told the Germans about constitutional rights, adding, "I sincerely hope that our rights and our freedoms soon will be observed again in your country. That's what we Americans are fighting for."

Letting this sink in for a brief instant, der Bingle signalled Corp. Jack Russian, pianist of Major Glenn Miller's band, and said: "But I didn't come here to preach. I came here to sing a few songs."
Bing then sang a song from a film in which he starred, except that the lyrics were cleverly twisted so that the sense of the song was really: "Come with me out of that nasty Hitlerland and back to the free world."

After that, because many Europeans such as forced laborers in Germany understand French, Bing did a song in that language. His phonetic French was not bad either.

A typist passing by asked what was going on inside the studio. "Bing Crosby is singing to the Nazis," she was told.

Increduously, the typist exclaimed: "To the Nazis! What kind of punishment is that?"

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Today would have been Bing's 112 birthday. To this day there is confusion on the year and sometimes even the day that Bing was born on. It is pretty much accepted now that Bing was born Harry Lillis Crosby on May 3, 1903, in a house that his father, Harry Lowe Crosby, built at 1112 North J Street, Tacoma, Washington. Bing had no birth certificate, and the actual date of his birth was shrouded in mystery until after his death. 

Even Bing's immediate family assigned at least 3 different years for his birth. For example, Ted Crosby's 1937 biography of his younger brother never actually lists Bing's birthdate, but from the ages he assigned to Bing throughout the book Ted implies that Bing was born the first week of May in 1901. This early birth is 9 months after Ted's (July 30, 1900). This seems most improbable if you consider that typical human females do not regain their fertility for at least 6 weeks following childbirth. The early May 1901 birth would require that Bing be born at least a month premature, but there is no account of any such premature birth. Meanwhile, archival documents of Bing's high school and college years at Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, indicate that Ted's placement of many events in Bing's school days is at least a year before their actual occurrence.

During most of his lifetime Bing celebrated May 2, 1904 as his birthdate. After Bing's death in 1977 a Tacoma priest disclosed Roman Catholic Church baptismal records that revealed Bing's actual birthdate. Contemporary newspaper reports of Bing's birth also confirm the date as May 3, 1903:

The Tacoma Daily News Wednesday, May 6, 1903:
"Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Crosby are receiving congratulations on the arrival of a son at their household May 3."
Tacoma Daily Ledger, Thursday May 7, 1903:
"A little son arrived May 3 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Crosby".

Apparently the family began celebrating May 2nd as Bing's birthday in deference to his sister, Mary Rose, who was also born on May 3 in 1906.

So happy birthday Bing - no matter how old you really are!

Monday, April 27, 2015


Despite his easygoing manner, Crosby had a reputation as a hard worker. And he was an achiever, leaving a fortune that may range from $80 million to $100 million.

It's easy to see where all the money came from: Crosby starred in 57 films, sold more than 300 million records, earned top-dollar for years as a radio, television and nightclub performer.

Few have earned as much money as Crosby did. Even fewer have handled whatever they had with equal wisdom or with the rampant luck that was his peculiar bounty. His was one of the greatest of Hollywood fortunes, probably ranking behind those of Bob Hope and Fred MacMurray alone.

Years ago Crosby acquired vast landholdings in California and oil wells in Texas, at a fraction of their present worth.

His part-ownership of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, music publishing ventures, income from his infrequent but top-rated TV appearances reflected and contributed to his great wealth.

He once held distribution rights for a frozen orange juice, now the Minute Maid division of the Coca Cola Company, in which his holdings were believed to be significant. Later, he appeared in orange juice commercials and TV specials with his second family.

His Bing Crosby Enterprises marketed a variety of wares. He owned a luxurious trailer village at Palm Springs, Calif., a 20,000-acre cattle ranch near Elko, Nev., and a ranch in Argentina.

He received a few million dollars worth of stock when Cox Broadcasting Corporation bought Bing Crosby Productions, his TV production company. He had three homes: a ranch at Rising River in northern California, a hacienda at Las Cruces in Baja California and a French chateau-like mansion at Hillsborough, Calif (photo below).

Only last year Crosby and Phil Harris, the comedian, formed a company to import and market tequila and a beverage made of various citrus juices to be slipped with the tequila.

Bob Hope once recounted how he and Crosby parlayed a modest stake into a bundle that was the beginning of Hope's stupendous wealth.

"I met a guy in Texas, shrewd guy. He persuaded me and Bing to put some money into an oil-well drilling operation. We were lucky. Bing and I came out with $3.5 million each. That was in 1949," Hope said.

Crosby may have acquired his business acumen as a youngster. While still a schoolboy, he worked at several jobs -- delivering papers, mopping floors, doing topography work at a loggers' camp in his native Washington state.

"Dad was in hock most of the time," he once explained. "As soon as he finished paying for a sewing machine, he'd buy a Victrola or a lawnmower or one of us would need new clothes. We soon found out there wasn't a lot of money on hand for baseball bats and sodas. Whatever we got, we earned."

Even Bing's interest in sports paid off in spades. An avid sports buff, he once held the major share in the Del Mar Race track. His yearly $150,000 Bing Crosby Invitational Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach, Calif. became of the most coveted events for pro and amateur golfers alike.

Indeed, the improbably luck of the star was such that, only hours after he bought part-interest in a thoroughbred named Meadow Court, it won the Irish Derby and went on to win at Ascot...

Monday, April 20, 2015


Bing recorded around 1700 songs for commercial release beginning in 1926 and ending in 1977. He recorded songs in each of these 51 years. His first recording, I've Got the Girl, was released on the Columbia label. He recorded on the Victor label for Paul Whiteman from 1926-28, then for Columbia again until 1931. From 1931-34 Crosby's discs were released on the Brunswick label. In 1934 a Brunswick executive, Jack Kapp, founded a new recording company, Decca, and signed Crosby as its first recording artist. Crosby recorded for Decca exclusively through 1955, then free-lanced with several recording companies, including one founded by Frank Sinatra in the '60s (Reprise). The bulk of Bing's recordings were for Decca, which was bought by MCA in 1962. In 1996 MCA became the Universal Music Group.

At the time of his death Bing was widely recognized as the world's most successful singer in terms of record sales. Bing's records have sold in the hundreds of millions worldwide. Bing's recordings have been released on so many different labels and in so many different combinations that there are no definitive data on his total sales. As of 2000, for example, there were more than 100 compact discs of Bing's recordings for sale on various labels worldwide. Some of his recordings have not been out of print for more than 60 years.

Bing earned 23 gold records in his lifetime, signifying sales of at least a million copies. Most of Bing's gold records were for singles. Most of the singles were released as 78 rpm discs and all except True Love were released on the Decca label. One of Bing's gold records, "Sam's Song" and "Play a Simple Melody" with son Gary, was the first double-sided gold disc. Bing was awarded platinum discs for his two biggest selling singles, White Christmas (1960) and "Silent Night" (1970).

1937: Sweet Leilani
1941: San Antonio Rose
1942: White Christmas
1942: Silent Night
1943: I'll be Home for Christmas
1943: Sunday, Monday or Always
1943: Pistol Packin Mama (w Andrews Sisters)
1943: Jingle Bells (w Andrews Sisters)
1944: Swinging on a Star
1944: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra
1944: Don't Fence Me In (w Andrews Sisters)
1945: I Can't Begin to Tell You
1946: McNamara's Band
1946: South America, Take it Away (w Andrews Sisters)
1947: Alexander's Ragtime Band (w Al Jolson)
1947: Whiffenpoof Song
1948: Now is the Hour
1949: Galway Bay
1949: Dear Hearts and Gentle People
1950: Sam's Song / Play a Simple Melody (w Gary Crosby)
1956: True Love (w Grace Kelly)
1956: High Society soundtrack
1970: Merry Christmas (an album anthology)
1977: Seasons (Bing's last album went gold in England)

Monday, April 13, 2015


Bing Crosby began to donate items to Gonzaga University in preparation for the opening of the Crosby Library in 1957. Bing donated gold and platinum records, trophies, placques, and photographs to addorn the room. In addition to the generous donations of materials by Bing prior to his death, Crosby fans and family began to recognize the Crosby Library as the home of all things Crosby. In June 1993, the University received the entire collection from the Bing Crosby Historical Society in Tacoma, Washington. Additionally, several collectors have given major donations of Crosby recordings.

Today, the Crosbyana Room in the Crosby Student Center serves as a museum for Crosby fans. Each year over 2500 visitors sign the guest book in the Crosbyana Room. These visitors come from all fifty states and at least 20 foreign countries. Crosby fans recognize Spokane and Gonzaga as being his hometown and alma mater and make the trek to see the sites. Visitors can see approximately 200 items, including the duplicate Oscar he won in 1944 for "Going My Way". There are twenty-two gold and two platinum records from such titles as "White Christmas," "Silent Night", and “Swinging on a Star.” Also displayed are movie stills and photographs, record albums, books, and sheet music. There are many trophies and awards he received over the years from various organizations. There are also items from the Crosby Research Foundation, such as the “Trip Trap,” a mousetrap that the foundation invented. There is also a health device that Crosby endorsed called "Stretch to Your Health with the Stars.”

What you see today in the Crosbyana Room is just a portion of the total amount of trophies and citations that Bing won over the years. Space does not permit us to show all of his treasures. What is not on display is housed in the Special Collections vault in the Foley Center Library. This vault also houses the University’s Rare Book Collection, the University Archives, the Jesuit Oregon Province Archives, and other manuscript collections.

The Crosby Collection includes: approximately 1400 records and albums, 800 audio cassettes, 2000 discs of radio shows, 300 pieces of sheet music, and an extensive magazine and clipping file about Bing's life and career. There are numerous scrapbooks created by his adoring fans, Crosby's correspondence with Gonzaga, and hundreds of photographs depicting his high school, college, and career days. The collection also contains books by and about Bing and his contemporaries, and publications by various Crosby fan clubs from throughout the world.

A major donation to Gonzaga University from Bing Crosby in 1957 was the massive collection of his radio shows. Nearing 2000 discs, the collection contains “The Bing Crosby Show,” “Kraft Music Hall,” “Minute Maid Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice,” “Philco Radio Time,” and other titles. In all, this is a major holding of Crosby’s radio work from 1943 to 1954. What makes this collection even more impressive is the fact that these 16-inch discs are in excellent playing condition and they are fairly complete.

The Gonzaga Collection has a few of his personal effects. Some of these items such as his pipes can be viewed at the Crosby Alumni House. Located at 508 E. Sharp this building, which was Crosby's boyhood home, is open weekdays to the public free of charge...

Monday, April 6, 2015


The V-Disc was a product of the War Department of the U.S. government during World War II and for a short time afterward. They were performed by the biggest names in the entertainment industry supporting the military effort and were used extensively by the Armed Forces Radio Service. They were unique transcriptions, many from radio air checks and motion picture soundtracks. They were not made for the general public, and after they were deemed at the end of their usefulness they were ordered destroyed, which most of them were. Once in a while some are discovered and provide a wonderful snapshot in sound of a bygone era. They are sometimes saved for posterity as on a recent CD set of V-Discs by Frank Sinatra.

The Bing Crosby V-Discs are from a variety of sources, many from his transcribed radio broadcasts. A great source of the information used in this listing comes from the V-Disc Discography section in "The Road to Bing Crosby", a 4-volume work by Richard Harding, Fred Reynolds, Bob Roberts and Derek Parkes published in 1980 by Greenwood Press, and Richard S. Sears' book, "V-Discs: A History and Discography". Unless otherwise noted, the orchestra is conducted by Bing's long time musical collaborator, John Scott Trotter...

ADESTE FIDELIS (From 12-21-44 Kraft Music Hall).
Skitch Henderson, piano. Intro. by Bing and Ken Carpenter. Audience joins in on second verse. (From 12-25-46 Philco Radio Time)
ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND Al Jolson, Intro. by Bing and Al. (From 5-7-47 Philco Radio Time )
ALL BY MYSELF (Film: Blue Skies). Al Jolson, intro by Bing and Al. (From 5-7-47 Philco Radio Time)
ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS DANCE (From 3-15-45 Kraft Music Hall).  
ALWAYS (Parody). Dick Haymes, Andy Russell, Dennis Day, Phil Harris Orch (From 3-16-47 Jack Benny Lucky Strike Radio Show)
AMOR (From 5-18-44 Kraft Music Hall)
ARTHUR MURRAY TAUGHT ME DANCING IN A HURRY Intro. by Bing and Ken Carpenter. (From 5/17/45 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
BLESS 'EM ALL (From 5-25-41 Kraft Music Hall)
BLUE HAWAII(Film: Waikiki Wedding). Intro. by Bing. (From 12-7-44 Kraft Music Hall)
BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON Charioteers, James Sherman, piano (From 4-15-43 Kraft Music Hall) 
BY THE WATERS OF THE MINNETONKA Community sing, with male chorus, piano and Hammond organ, led by Bing. 
CHRISTMAS SONG Skitch Henderson, piano, Intro. by Bing and Ken Carpenter. (From 12-25-46 Philco Radio Time)
CLEMENTINE Music Maids & Hal Hopper(From 6-14-41 Decca master DLA-2437)
COUNTRY STYLE (Film: Welcome Stranger). Chorus(From 5-7-47 Philco Radio Time)
DARLING, JE VOUS AIME BEAUCOUP (From 4-1-43 Kraft Music Hall)
DEAR OLD DONEGAL (From 3-14-46 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
DEAR OLD GIRL Charioteers, James Sherman, piano. Introd. by Bob Burns and Bing.
DOWN BY THE RIVER (Film: Mississippi). Henderson Choir(From 1-18-45 Kraft Music Hall)
DOWN THE OLD OX ROAD(Film: College Humor). Henderson Choir,(From 1-11-45 Kraft Music Hall)
EASTER PARADE (Film: Holiday Inn). Al Jolson,. (From 5-7-47 Philco Radio Time)
EMPTY SADDLES (Film: Rhythm on the Range)Ken Lane Singers Intro. by Bing. (From 12-28-44 Kraft Music Hall)
FOR ME AND MY GAL Community Sing, with male chorus, piano and Hammond organ, led by Bing. 

FRIEND OF YOURS (Source unknown)
GOING MY WAY (Film: Going My Way) (From 6-29-44 Kraft Music Hall)
I CAN'T ESCAPE FROM YOU (Film: Rhythm on the Range) Intro. by Bing. (From 12-28-44 Kraft Music Hall)
I PROMISE YOU(Film: Here Come the Waves). Henderson Choir (From 11-30-44 Kraft Music Hall)
I REMEMBER YOU Henderson Choir Intro. by Bing and Ken Carpenter. (From 5-17-45 Kraft Music Hall)
I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Henderson Choir. (From 12-7-44 Kraft Music Hall)
I'LL GET BY, AS LONG AS I HAVE YOU Paul Weston O. (Source unknown)
I'M AN OLD COWHAND (Film: Rhythm on the Range)Intro. by Bob Hope and Bing. (From 12-28-44 Kraft Music Hall
IN A LITTLE HULA HEAVEN (Film: Waikiki Wedding). Henderson Choir Intro. by Bing. (From 12-7-44 Kraft Music Hall)
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME Community Sing, with male chorus, piano and Hammond organ, led by Bing VP1235-D5TC188. V-Disc 203-A (Navy); 423-A
IN THE LAND OF BEGINNING AGAIN (Film: The Bells of St. Mary's). Henderson Choir Intro. by Bing. (From 2-14-46 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO Dinah Shore, Gordon Jenkins Orch ( Aug. 1943 Dinah Shore Program)
IT CAN'T BE WRONG (From 6-24-43 Kraft Music Hall)
IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU (From 5-18-44 Kraft Music Hall)
IT'S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY Dinah Shore, Gordon Jenkins Orch (2-24-43 Command Performance No. 54)
IT'S EASY TO REMEMBER (Film: Mississippi). Henderson Choir(From 1-18-45 Kraft Music Hall)
I'VE GOT MY CAPTAIN WORKING FOR ME NOW (Film: Blue Skies). MGM Orch (From film soundtrack)

JINGLE BELLS Ken Lane Singers(From 12-21-44 Kraft Music Hall)
JINGLE BELLS Charioteers, Henderson Choir, Skitch Henderson, piano(From 12-25-46 Philco Radio Time)
JUNE IN JANUARY (Film: Here Is My Heart). Henderson Choir (From 11-30-40 Kraft Music Hall)
KENTUCKY BABE Charioteers, James Sherman, piano (From 8-26-43 Kraft Music Hall)
LAST ROSE OF SUMMER (Film: Dixie). Rise Stevens; intro. by Bing. (From 11-23-44 Kraft Music Hall)
LAST ROUNDUP Lennie Hayton Orch (From 9-27-33 Brunswick master LA-20)
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! (2-14-46 Kraft Music Hall)
LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART Community Sing, with male chorus, piano and Hammond organ, led by Bing. (From Army Signal Corps film soundtrack).
LET'S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (Film: Here Come the Waves) (From 1-4-45 Kraft Music Hall)
LOUISE (From 5-25-44 Kraft Music Hall)
LOVE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER (Film: Here Is My Heart) Charioteers (From 11-30-44 Kraft Music Hall)
MOONLIGHT BAY Charioteers, James Sherman, piano. (From 8-5-43 Kraft Music Hall)
MR. PAGANINI. (Film: Rhythm on the Range). Charioteers(From 12-28-44 Kraft Music Hall)
MY HEART AND I (Film: Anything Goes) Henderson Choir (From 3-8-45 Kraft Music Hall)
ONE ALONE Trudy Erwin, Orch. (From 11-22-43 AFRS rec. session)
ONE I LOVE BELONGS TO SOMEBODY ELSE Al Jolson (From 1-15-47 Philco Radio Time)
ONE MORE DREAM Charioteers (From 3-21-46 Kraft Music Hall)
ONE, TWO, BUTTON YOUR SHOE (Film: Pennies from Heaven). Ken Lane Singers Intro. by Bing. (From 11-16-44 Kraft Music Hall)
ONLY FOREVER (Film: Rhythm on the River). Henderson Choi(From 1-18-45 Kraft Music Hall)
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (Film: Pennies from Heaven). Tommy Dorsey Orch (From 6-18-44 All Time Hit Parade)
PLEASE (Film: The Big Broadcast of 1932) (From 7-29-43 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
POINCIANA (SONG OF THE TREE) (From 11-22-43 AFRS rec. session)
SHE'S FROM MISSOURI (Film: Dixie). Charioteers Intro. by Bing. (From 11-23-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SHOO FLY PIE AND APPLE PAN DOWDY Charioteers, Eddie Duchin, piano Intro. by Bing. (From 3-14-46 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
SILENT NIGHT Kraft Choral Club(From 12-21-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SILENT NIGHT Henderson Choir(From 12-25-46 Philco Radio Time)
SIOUX CITY SUE. Charioteers (Source unknown)
SKELETON IN THE CLOSET (Film: Pennies from Heaven). Charioteers, James Sherman, pianoIntro. by Bing, (From 11-16-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SMALL FRY (Film: Sing You Sinners). Tommy Dorsey Orch Intro. by Bing. (From 6-18-44 All Time Hit Parade)
SMALL FRY Johnny Mercer, Paul Weston Orch (From 7-27-44 Johnny Mercer's Music Shop)
SO DO I (Film: Pennies from Heaven). Eugenie Baird Intro. by Bing. (From 11-16-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SOMEONE STOLE GABRIEL'S HORN Dorsey Bros. Orch (from Brunswick master)
STRANGE MUSIC (From 12-28-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SUMMERTIME Dinah Shore, Gordon Jenkins Orch (From August 1943 Dinah Shore Program)
SUNDAY, MONDAY, OR ALWAYS (Film: Dixie) Intro. by Bing. (From 11-23-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SWEET LEILANI (Film: Waikiki Wedding). Henderson Choir Intro. by Bing. (From 12-7-44 Kraft Music Hall)
SWING  LOW, SWEET CHARIOT (Film: Dixie). Charioteers, Henderson Choir. Intro. by Bing (From 11-23-44 Kraft Music Hall
SWINGING ON A STAR (Film: Going My Way). Charioteers (Source unknown)
TANGERINE Intro. by Bing Crosby and Ken Carpenter (From 5-17-45 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
THAT SLY OLD GENTLEMAN (Film: East Side of Heaven). Henderson Choir (From 4-26-45 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
(THERE'LL BE A) HOT TIME IN THE TOWN OF BERLIN Andrews Sisters, Vic Schoen Orch (From 6-30-44 Decca master L-3449)
THERE'S A SMALL HOTEL Eddie Duchin, piano Intro. by Bob Hope. (From 2-28-46 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
THESE FOOLISH THINGS (REMIND ME OF YOU) Charioteers, Henderson Choir (From 2-7-46 Kraft Music Hall)
THESE FOOLISH THINGS (REMIND ME OF YOU) Frank Sinatra(from 11-16-44 Kraft Music Hall)
TOO-RA-LOO-RA-LOO-RAL (Film: Going My Way). (From 6-22-44 Kraft Music Hall)
TOO ROMANTIC (Film: Road to Singapore) Henderson Choir (From 3-22-45 Kraft Music Hall)
WAIT 'TIL THE SUN SHINES, NELLIE (Film: Birth of the Blues). Community Sing(From Army Signal Corps film soundtracks)
WAITER AND THE PORTER AND THE UPSTAIRS MAID (Film: Birth of the Blues) Mary Martin & Jack Teagarden with Jack Teagarden Orch
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE INFANTRY? Chorus(From 8-5-43 Kraft Music Hall rehearsal)
WHITE CHRISTMAS (Films: Holiday Inn and White Christmas) (From 12-14-44 Kraft Music Hall broadcast)
WHITE CHRISTMAS (From 12-25-46 Philco Radio Time)
WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE  (Film: Here Is My Heart)(From 11-30-44 Kraft Music Hall
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE (From 2-24-43 Command Performance No. 54)
YOU CALL EVERYBODY DARLIN' Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires (From 11-3-48 Philco Radio Time)

Monday, March 30, 2015


Bing Crosby wore this hat in the 1962 film The Road to Hong Kong, the last of the seven-film Road to… series starring himself and his longtime friend Bob Hope. Instead of Dorothy Lamour, Joan Collins starred in this film. Lamour appeared in a cameo. There was to be an eighth film, Road to the Fountain of Youth, but this was derailed by Crosby’s death in 1977.

This hat is a part of the Bing Crosby Collection at Gonzaga University in Washington.

Monday, March 23, 2015


On November 10, 1959 June Kuhn Crosby, the sister in law of Bing Crosby was arrested for trying to stab his band leader brother. I always thought the family life of  Bob Crosby (1913-1993) was happy.

He had three boys and two girls through his marriage to June Kuhn. The couple were married on October 9, 1938 when the bandleader was 25 and June was only 19. It was the second marriage for Crosby. The Crosbys stayed together until the bandleader's death in 1993. The marriage was seemingly happy, but there was a rough patch in the 1950s when the couple talked about divorce, and reportedly June has a few nervous breakdowns.

From the Los Angeles Times:
"Nov. 10, 1959: June Crosby stabs her husband, Bob, with a 10-inch letter opener during a fight.

She tells Beverly Hills police that she grabbed the letter opener to fight him off after he pushed her down during a violent argument. Her husband says she fell when they were struggling over the letter opener.

"We've had family arguments before," the bandleader says. "I guess this one just exploded. She seemed to go into a rage. She was so hysterical. The first thing I knew she came at me with both her fists.

Hopefully this was just a small rough patch of their marriage, and they remained happy for the rest of their lives together...

Monday, March 16, 2015


Somebody just told me Bing Crosby was jailed for drunk driving in 1929. Right here in Hollywood even. I had no idea. 1929 was the middle of Prohibition. And Hollywood had been a dry town to begin with, before the movies came. So they hauled him in. They wouldn’t have dared a decade later, but this was 1929, and Bing was still a jazz singer then, and cops didn’t particularly like jazz singers. Or jazz trumpeters…the LAPD busted Louis Armstrong for marijuana possession a couple years later, in 1931. Vice cops were busy saving the city back then. They knew about Bing’s drinking back then. Who didn’t? But did they know that Bing and Louis would hang out smoking reefer in Chicago just a bit before? Probably not. That was a secret.

We didn’t know it, not in our family. Along with Jack Kennedy (or simply Jack), Bing Crosby (simply Bing) were icons in our house. Jesus and Jack on the wall, Bing on the Hi Fi. We didn’t know about the jailed for drunk driving, and we certainly know that he’d been a viper, getting high and cracking wise and singing with Satchmo…but we knew generally that he was quite the heller in his young days. That was a good thing, being quite the heller in your young days. It was expected. A drunk driving bust would have been perfectly understandable. Besides, the cops probably set him up anyway. That’s what we would have said. I don’t believe he was set up. I just think he was drunk. Bad luck. Somebody smacked into his car. Rear ended him. What can ya do? Looked it up–he was busted on Hollywood Blvd right there in front of the Roosevelt Hotel. No doubt I’ll think of that now every time I pass .Every time.

My mother called me the day he died. Bing died she said. It was like losing a grandfather’s brother, a relation you never saw in person, but knew all about. When my grandmother told my grandfather that Bing had died, my grandfather went pale. You aren’t gonna die on me too now, she asked. He recovered. No, No, I’m not going anywhere. But he did not long after.

There’s never been Irish Americans as important to American Irishmen since Jack and Bing. Jack’s story is too sad for words (and Bobby’s even sadder), but Bing’s ended just right. That was a great game, fellas. And it was.