Monday, November 24, 2014


Don Clark, a former member of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, offered Bing and Al Rinker an opportunity to make their first record while they waited to join the Whiteman band. On October 18, 1926, Bing and Al recorded "I've Got the Girl" accompanied by Don Clark's Biltmore Hotel Orchestra in Los Angeles.

The song was recorded using an electrical, not acoustic, microphone. "I've Got the Girl" was released on a 78rpm disk as Columbia #824-D. On the flip side was Don Clark's instrumental version of "Idolizing." Two months later Bing and Al joined the Whiteman Orchestra in Chicago, where they cut their first records with Whiteman -- "Wistful and Blue" and "Pretty Lips" -- on Dec. 22.

If anyone has a 78rpm copy of this first record for sale, please contact me. I have been searching for it for my collection....

Monday, November 17, 2014


Sadly the news of this show is a little late, but I am so happy that Bob Pasch is still going strong...

A Tribute to Bing starring Bob Pasch is heading to the Old Creamery Theatre for one show only on Saturday, November 15 at 2 p.m. A Dean Martin Tribute was originally scheduled at this time, however due to an emergency surgery he has had to cancel the show. The Old Creamery Theatre wishes him a speedy recovery. Lucky for you, we found an incredible Tribute to Bing Crosby to come to the Old Creamery Theatre!

Bob Pasch has delighted audiences for more than 30 years with his good, clean humor and his remarkable likeness in sound, appearance, and mannerisms to Bing Crosby. His tribute shows are endorsed by Kathryn Crosby, Bing’s widow, as well as all the major Bing Crosby fan clubs.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students. Reservations are recommended. Call the box office for tickets and information 319-622-6262 or visit us online at


Saturday, November 15, 2014


July 10, 1944...
Bing Crosby was the headline attraction at the Super-Star Bond Show held at Atascadero Golf Club. Bing played the crowd of 600 bond buyers at the microphone and then played the course in a nine-hole exhibition. He was one of the best golfers. After the war his golf tournament, the Crosby Clambake, up in Carmel would become famous.
Other celebrities included golf trick shot artist "Mysterious" Montague, welterweight boxer Jimmy McLarnin, heavyweight boxer Jim Jeffries and football player Bronko Nagurski...

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Allison Schuster remembers when Bing Crosby built a summer home next to her family’s place on Hayden Lake.

She was married with young children of her own at the time. She’s 93 now.

She saw the Slice question about how many around here can say they knew Crosby.
“He was always friendly,” she said. “He always waved.”

She said you could always tell when his friend Phil Harris, also an entertainer, was visiting for the week. “You could hear him laugh.”

Today Schuster occasionally encounters people who don’t recognize the name Bing Crosby. “Can you imagine that?”


Saturday, November 1, 2014


Ian Fraser, whose 11 Emmy Awards and 21 additional nominations made him the most-honored musician in television history, died of complications from cancer Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

All of Fraser’s Emmy noms and wins were in the music direction category, for supervising and conducting television specials, including 14 of the annual “Christmas in Washington” events over the past 30 years.

Fraser was also in his 10th term as a governor of the Television Academy. He conducted the 1984, 1993 and 2002 Emmy shows, as well as the 1984 Oscar telecast, and served as musical director for many of the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame ceremonies.

He was also nominated for a 1970 Oscar for adapting Leslie Bricusse’s song score for “Scrooge.”

Fraser had long professional relationships with Bricusse as well as with Julie Andrews and with Anthony Newley.

Fraser was born in Hove, England, in 1933, and served in the Royal Artillery band and orchestra as pianist, harpist and military-band percussionist. In the late 1950s he worked as a pianist in London nightclubs and began a career as an arranger.

He first worked with singer-songwriter Anthony Newley in 1960, arranging his songs and adapting his theatrical ventures including, with Bricusse, “Stop the World — I Want to Get Off,” which he supervised and orchestrated for Broadway in 1962.

Also for Broadway, he later conducted Bricusse’s “Pickwick” in 1965 and Henry Mancini and Bricusse’s stage version of their film hit “Victor/Victoria” in 1995.

His film career began in 1965 as vocal supervisor for the musical “Doctor Dolittle” and as associate musical supervisor on “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” both of which sported Bricusse song scores.

Fraser’s professional association with Julie Andrews started with his work as vocal arranger for her 1972 ABC variety series. They later did five TV specials, two Christmas albums and two Broadway albums together, with Fraser arranging and conducting the music.

He served as musical director on dozens of TV specials beginning in the mid-1970s, many of them produced by the team of Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith.

He won Emmys for “America Salutes Richard Rodgers,” “Ben Vereen: His Roots,” “Baryshnikov on Broadway,” Linda Lavin’s “Linda in Wonderland,” “SAG 50th Anniversary Celebration,” two of the “Christmas in Washington” specials, “Julie Andrews: The Sound of Christmas,” a “Great Performances” Julie Andrews concert, the “American Teacher Awards” and the “52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala.”

Fraser was the last person to conduct “White Christmas” for Bing Crosby, on Crosby’s final TV special in 1977. He also scored several films including “Hopscotch,” “First Monday in October” and “Zorro, the Gay Blade.”

Survivors include his wife Judee, three children, five grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer...


With new mammoth Universal box release of some twenty Bing Crosby movies on DVD, you would think that the loyal allegiance of Bing Crosby fans would be clamoring to buy the expensive and yet seemingly extensive collection of Bing films. However, I do not think it will be the case, because all of these films have already been issued on DVD – sometimes for the fifth and sixth time. It got me thinking of the countless Bing Crosby movies that have never seen the light of day. Here are five films that in my opinion deserve to be released:

It is really shocking that this early musical is not on DVD yet. It was never even been issued on video. It not only was Bing’s first feature film for Paramount Studios, but it also had a huge cast of radio superstars in addition to Bing like: George Burns, Gracie Allen, Kate Smith, The Boswell Sisters, and The Mills Brothers just to name a few. Bing gets so sing some great standards as well like: “Please”, “Here Lies Love”, and “Dinah”. The old days of radio may seem outdated these days, but it is fun to see how the most important medium of 1932 worked.

2. THE STAR MAKER (1939)
This forgotten film was Bing’s first movie where he played a character based on a real person. Bing played entertainer Gus Edwards (1879-1945). Edwards did not want his life made into a movie, so they changed Bing’s name in the movie to Larry Earl. The movie did not really touch upon the songwriting ability of Gus Edwards but more about his work as a child show producer. Bing sings some great vintage numbers like “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” and “School Days” as well as singing some new songs like “An Apple For The Teacher” and “Still The Blue Birds Sing”. Again, it amazes me that such a cheerful and fun movie has not even been released on video, let alone DVD.

3. DIXIE (1943)
I do not think the film Dixie will ever see the light of day because of how racist blackface is viewed as. It is an outdated and sort of embarrassing genre of entertainment, but I believe it is a part of American history no matter how it is perceived now. Bing again played a real person, songwriter Dan Emmett (1815-1904) who wrote the popular song “Dixie”. This film was important because it was Bing’s first movie in color, and the story is actually pretty good. Aside from Bing trying to make it as a song writer and performer he had an interesting love triangle with Marjorie Reynolds and Dorothy Lamour. A nicely remastered version of this Technicolor film would be great to see.

4. MR. MUSIC (1950)
Of the five Bing films I put on this list, Mr. Music is the only film that was released on video. So it is a shame it is not on DVD. The movie is not great, and unfortunately the songs are not that memorable either, but Bing was in great voice. The film is the charming story of a lazy songwriter (another songwriting role) who is facing financial ruin if he does not start writing again. The cast included guest appearances by Groucho Marx, Peggy Lee, and Dorothy Kirsten to name a few. Bing and Kirsten duet on “Accidents Will Happen”, which is a sleeper favorite of mine, and Bing is great on the number “And You’ll Be Home”. The movie was no Holiday Inn, but it is a breezy fun movie in my opinion.

5. MAN ON FIRE (1957)
Man On Fire was one of the four films Bing made at MGM Studios. The other three were Going Hollywood (1933), High Society (1956), and That’s Entertainment (1974). This 1957 film is distinctive because it was one of the few movies Bing did not sing it. The film is a tense drama about a husband divorcing his wife and fighting for the custody of his only son. Many people do not like this dramatic side of Bing Crosby’s movie career, but I enjoy the film. TCM plays the movie from time to time, but it has yet to be released on DVD. Viewing this movie even makes me wish Bing would have done more dramas.

All five of these films are worthy to be released on DVD. Maybe in time they will be. Fortunately I have been able to get bootleg copies of all five movies, but again they deserve an official studio release…