Monday, January 2, 2012
SPOTLIGHT ON EVERETT CROSBY
Everett was already a truck salesman in Los Angeles when Bing arrived in 1925. Bing relied on his big brother for all kinds of necessities, including borrowing a dress shirt when he secured an audition to perform at a popular LA café. When Bing was arrested for reckless driving during the filming of King of Jazz, it was Everett who got him moved from a downtown Los Angeles jail to one in more convenient Hollywood. As Bing became more established in show business, he asked Everett to promote him.
When Everett learned that William S. Paley, owner of the CBS radio network, was in search of a new singer, Everett sent him Bing’s recordings of “I Surrender, Dear” and “Just One More Chance.” An impressed Paley contacted Everett, who secured Bing’s first solo radio series. Bing also had Everett to thank for booking his record-breaking 1931 engagement at the New York Paramount and for negotiating his lucrative contracts with Paramount Pictures. Everett was put in charge of Bing Crosby Enterprises, established to oversee his brother’s multi-facetted business enterprises. An Everett brainchild was “Bing’s Things”, a company devoted to the manufacture of unique household products and gadgets.
In Call Me Lucky, Bing reflected on his brother’s influence on his extraordinary success and knack for getting things done. “Everett fired me with a spirit of git-up-and-go at a time when things were static for me. He came into my picture when I was disgusted and had little faith in my future. He supplied the ambition I seemed to lack. I’m glad I went along with him for the ride. He’s a hustler. He knows how to deal with people. He’s tireless at negotiating with motion picture producers, radio sponsors, advertising agencies – anyone who feels that he needs my services and with whom it is necessary to strike a contract or revise one already made. He seems fond of bickering with these people, and he’ll drag the discussions out happily for days, weeks, months, even years, if he thinks he can get me a better shuffle. As a result, he is sometimes called ‘The Wrong Crosby.’”
In 1962 Everett purchased Fair Acres, a farm in Connecticut where he and his wife Florence raised Morgan and Arabian stallions. Everett died from throat cancer in Salisbury, Connecticut on July 13, 1966. He was survived by Mary Sue, a daughter from his first marriage...