Monday, April 20, 2015

BING AND HIS RECORDING CAREER





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).



BING'S GOLD RECORDS:
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)



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