Thursday, August 11, 2011

SPOTLIGHT ON LINDSAY CROSBY

Lindsay Crosby has the unfortunate distinction of being a child of a famous person. Well, he was more than a child of someone famous. He was the child of a legend...Bing Crosby. Whereas his older brothers had more traits of their father, Lindsay was much like his mother Dixie Lee. Lindsay not only was the youngest, but he was most sensitive and probably the most troubled.

Lindsay Crosby was born in California on January 5, 1938 and named for his father's closest friend and Thoroughbred horse racing partner, Lindsay Howard. He was educated with his three brothers at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California. He was remembered by his friends for having a special laid back clever wit like his father Bing. He performed with his brothers Gary, Dennis and Phillip Crosby as the Crosby Boys during the late 1950s in nightclubs and on The Ed Sullivan Show on American television.

The Crosby Boys had a promising start to life, but the pressures of show business and their own inability to cope blighted their lives. They were greatly affected by their mother's decline into alcoholism and a premature death from cancer in 1952. Heavy drinking and their emotional problems took their toll on all the boys but probably it affected Lindsay the most.


After his mother's death, Lindsay was distraught by her death. To help console him, Bing took him out of school in March 1953. They went on an extended tour of Europe, including an audience with Pope Pious XII.

Before their departure, Bing and Lindsay recorded several duets that were broadcast on Bing’s General Electric Show during their travels. Although the radio broadcasts announced that the recordings were made in France, they were actually recorded in Palm Springs. The series also spotlighted several Lindsay solos. The following year, Lindsay joined Bing and Gary for several nostalgic barbershop routines on the General Electric Show. Lindsay also contributed several solos and duets to The Bing Crosby Show (1954-56) where his radio banter with his father revealed a keen sense of comedy timing. In addition, Lindsay was a special guest on Bing’s legendary Edsel Show in 1957.


With Bing’s help, Lindsay got a recording contract with RCA in 1958, and enjoyed a modest hit with “Friendship Ring.” He went on to appear in a slew of B movies such as The Girls from Thunder Strip and Zebra Force.

Lindsay was married three times to: Barbara D. Fredrickson from 1960-1962, Janet Sue Schwartze from 1966-1967, and to Susan Marlin from 1968-1978. He also had four sons: David Crosby, Adam Crosby, Sean Crosby, and L. Chip Crosby.

On December 1, 1989 Lindsay and his three brothers had been told by attorneys that the oil investments their mother made for them had gone broke, said Marilyn Reiss, spokeswoman for Lindsay's older brother, Gary. For Lindsay, the news was the "last straw" after years of battling alcoholism, depression and the strain of living under the shadow of his famous father, Reiss said.


"Maybe if he had been a meaner person, he could have handled it," Reiss reported Gary Crosby saying after learning of his brother's death. "He was too sensitive."

Crosby, 51, was found dead on December 11, 1989. Crosby had been staying at the apartment on Bravo Lane while undergoing treatment for alcoholism in nearby Calabasas, Reiss said. He was due to return home to his third ex-wife, Susan, and two sons in Sherman Oaks this weekend, she said. Crosby had two other sons by previous marriages.

Since Lindsay's unfortunate death in 1989, the memory of Bing Crosby has suffered due to the tragedy. Many critics have blamed Bing and his parenting for attributing to Lindsay's death. That is just not true. While Bing might have been an absent father for most of Lindsay's life, in my opinion (which does not mean much) it was Lindsay that could not cope with life. It was unfortunate because all of the Crosby boys had talent - however, unlike their father, they did not have the drive or the determination to make something of their lives. That is the real tragedy...

4 comments:

  1. Great post. A sad life indeed.

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  2. I enjoy many old-Hollywood stars for their screen presence; but most made awful parents and spouses.

    Two out of four Crosby sons (from his first marriage) killed themselves. Those odds speak volumes about the development of their self-esteem during their formative years.

    No one knows the truth about another's parenting skills. I can only say with certainly that Bing was blessed with a unique singing voice.

    That's really the ONLY thing any of us can say about Bing.

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  3. Where is Lindsay's first wife, Barbara Fredrickson, today?

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    1. I only recall Janet Sue Schwartze who was Lindsay's second wife. She was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority and lived right down the block from me on Richmond Drive in Columbia, MO. We both attended the University of Missouri. I remember Janet Sue as being blonde and very prettyl

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