Monday, July 30, 2012


Every Wednesday night, Philco brings you Bing Crosby on “Philco Radio Time,” his one and only radio show. A Philco radio-phonograph with the patented Dynamic Reproducer and other exclusive achievements of Philco research brings you his glorious records as well as his program at their best. For good listening, enjoy America’s greatest singing personality on a Philco.

Here is a beautiful advertisement Bing did for Philco. I only wonder what record Bing was holding!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Bing Crosby played a promotional event at the White Bear Yacht Club in 1963. He is show here with Betty Swanson, who scored the round. I wish I would have taken up golf, it looks like such a relaxing sport...

Friday, July 20, 2012


After Bing Crosby defeated Rudy Vallee and Gene Austin to become king of the crooners in the 1930s, he faced very little competition for the better part of a decade. His real competition was the rise of Frank Sinatra in the 1940s. Despite the competition, Bing and Sinatra were good friends and appeared together often:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

CELESTE HOLM (1917-2012)

We lost another legend who had a great link to Bing Crosby and his memory. His co-star in High Society (1956), Celeste Holm has passed away. Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday, a relative said. She was 95.

Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration after a fire in actor Robert De Niro's apartment in the same Manhattan building. She had asked her husband on Friday to bring her home, and she spent her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Holm's who answered the phone at Holm's apartment on Sunday.

Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, Phillips said.

"I think she wanted to be here, in her home, among her things, with people who loved her," she said.

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Holm played everyone from Ado Annie — the girl who just can't say no in "Oklahoma!"— to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy "I Hate Hamlet" to guest star turns on TV shows such as "Fantasy Island" and "Love Boat II" to Bette Davis' best friend in"All About Eve."

She won the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in "Gentlemen's Agreement" and received Oscar nominations for "Come to the Stable" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950).

Holm was also known for her untiring charity work — at one time she served on nine boards — and was a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association.

She was once president of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, which treats emotionally disturbed people using arts therapies. Over the years, she raised $20,000 for UNICEF by charging 50 cents apiece for autographs.

President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts in 1982. In New York, she was active in the Save the Theatres Committee and was once arrested during a vigorous protest against the demolition of several theaters.

But late in her life she was in a bitter, multi-year legal family battle that pitted her two sons against her and her fifth husband — former waiter Basile, whom she married in 2004 and was more than 45 years her junior. The court fight over investments and inheritance wiped away much of her savings and left her dependent on Social Security. The actress and her sons no longer spoke, and she was sued for overdue maintenance and legal fees on her Manhattan apartment.

The future Broadway star was born in New York on April 29, 1919, the daughter of Norwegian-born Theodore Holm, who worked for the American branch of Lloyd's of London, and Jean Parke Holm, a painter and writer.

She was smitten by the theater as a 3-year-old when her grandmother took her to see ballerina Anna Pavlova. "There she was, being tossed in midair, caught, no mistakes, no falls. She never knew what an impression she made," Holm recalled years later.

She attended 14 schools growing up, including the Lycee Victor Duryui in Paris when her mother was there for an exhibition of her paintings. She studied ballet for 10 years.

Her first Broadway success came in 1939 in the cast of William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life." But it was her creation of the role of man-crazy Ado Annie Carnes in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" in 1943 that really impressed the critics.

She only auditioned for the role because of World War II, she said years later. "There was a need for entertainers in Army camps and hospitals. The only way you could do that was if you were singing in something."

Holm was hired by La Vie Parisienne, and later by the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel to sing to their late-night supper club audiences after the "Oklahoma!" curtain fell.

The slender, blue-eyed blonde moved west to pursue a film career. "Hollywood is a good place to learn how to eat a salad without smearing your lipstick," she would say.

"Oscar Hammerstein told me, 'You won't like it,'" and he was right, she said. Hollywood "was just too artificial. The values are entirely different. That balmy climate is so deceptive." She returned to New York after several years.

Her well-known films included "The Tender Trap" and "High Society" but others were less memorable. "I made two movies I've never even seen," she told an interviewer in 1991.

She attributed her drive to do charity work to her grandparents and parents who "were always volunteers in every direction."

She said she learned first-hand the power of empathy in 1943 when she performed in a ward of mental patients and got a big smile from one man she learned later had been uncommunicative for six months.

"I suddenly realized with a great sense of impact how valuable we are to each other," she said.

In 1979 she was knighted by King Olav of Norway.

In her early 70s, an interviewer asked if she had ever thought of retiring. "No. What for?" she replied. "If people retired, we wouldn't have had Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud ... I think it's very important to hang on as long as we can."

In the 1990s, Holm and Gerald McRainey starred in the CBS's"Promised Land," a spinoff of "Touched by an Angel." In 1995, she joined such stars as Tony Randall and Jerry Stiller to lobby for state funding for the arts in Albany, N.Y. Her last big screen role was as Brendan Fraser's grandmother in the romance "Still Breathing."

Holm was married five times and is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. Her marriage in 1938 to director Ralph Nelson lasted a year but produced a son, Theodor Holm Nelson. In 1940, she married Francis Davies, an English auditor. In 1946, she married airline public relations executive A. Schuyler Dunning and they had a son, Daniel Dunning.

During her fourth marriage, to actor Robert Wesley Addy, whom she married in 1966, the two appeared together on stage when they could. In the mid-1960s, when neither had a project going, they put together a two person show called "Interplay — An Evening of Theater-in-Concert" that toured the United States and was sent abroad by the State Department. Addy died in 1996.

Funeral arrangements for Holm haven't been made. The family is asking that any memorial donations be made to UNICEF or to The Lillian Booth Actors Home of The Actors Fund in Englewood, N.J...


Saturday, July 14, 2012


Here is a great picture of Bing putting the finishing touches on his brand new and custom made Cadillac in 1947...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' inspired WWII generation
by Jeff Messer

May 29th marked the 70th anniversary of Bing Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas,” a song about someone living in Los Angeles and dreaming of the snowy Christmases of their past. When I read that, I thought it strange it was recorded in May, but, then, I guess they needed time to market it by Christmas of that year. It hit the charts on Oct. 3 and became the biggest selling single in history and held that spot longer than any single in history, a record unbroken for more than 50 years. I know all of this not because I am the world’s biggest geek, although I probably am, but because I looked it up on the Internet — a skill I learned last week while keeping my grandsons.

According to what I read on the Internet, Irvin Berlin’s “White Christmas,” sung by Bing Crosby, served to boost the morale of not only our nation, but the American troops that were six months into a declaration of war on the world. In 1942, we had just come through the Dust Bowl, were still in a depression and now a world war. We needed something to hope for and “dreaming of a white Christmas” was just the thing. Thinking about “tree tops that glisten” and “children that listen for sleigh bells in the snow” seemed to give our nation a new hope that the dust would settle, the economy would strengthen and our young men and women would come home.

What kind of song would inspire us today? With “White Christmas” as a guide I think it would, first of all, need to be fairly simple. Not that we are a simple people, but our inspiration to greatness often times comes from the simplicity of life. It would need to inspire us to dream of things that might seem to be impossible. Glistening trees and listening for sleigh bells in the middle of Los Angeles was a stretch for the imagination, but, then, that is what dreams are made of.

It also would need to inspire us toward the future while remembering the past. “Just like the ones I use to know…” can be comforting but it should never make us comfortable. Yesterday’s snow has melted away; “Frosty” is not here to stay. The dream is of a new snow that is fresh, clean and bright. It might be “like the ones I use to know…” but it won’t be the same nor should it be.

And what about a White Christmas anyway? A person in LA who is from New York might dream of a White Christmas, but what about someone in New York that is from LA? He might sing, “I am dreaming of a sun shiny Christmas just like the ones I use to know, with the beaches a clutter, and highways a flutter with horns honking all the time.”

I don’t know, but I do know that songs are about being inspired, and boy, do we need to be inspired today. Hey, what about a Groundhog Day song?

As always I am just thinking...


Friday, July 6, 2012


On July 6, 2002 my world changed forever. On that day my grandfather died suddenly at the age of 73. I can not believe it has been ten years since that sad day. However, from that sad day came a new beginning in my life. My grandfather is gone but he left with me countless lessons and teachings that have guided me through my adult life. Needless to say, he was the one that got me interesting in Bing Crosby as well!

I became interested in Bing Crosby through my grandfather. As a little boy, I would wander down his basement with him, and we would listen to his countless 78's all day long. I would call my grandparent's messy basement as "record heaven". It was a heaven and a happy escape for me. I was never close to my father, so I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He instilled in me a love of Bing and all the other great singers!

By listening to Bing Crosby, it has helped me out many times when I was feeling down. When my grandfather had heart failure in 1991, I listened to Der Bingle's version of "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams", and I felt better. Whenever a relationship with a girl was not successful, I could listen to Bing's "I've Never Been In Love Before", and it seems that Bing is singing about how I feel. Later on still when my grandfather had more heart problems, I played his favorite Bing recording..."Pennies From Heaven" as I prayed for my grandfather's recovery.

Just as my grandfather helped me through the various obstacles a young adult faces, so has listening to Mr. Crosby. In the past I had troubles with graduating from college, finding a suitable job, and the hardest...finding that special someone. It was all put to ease whenever I heard a Bing Crosby recording and/or my grandfather's words of encouragement. Now ten years later, I have a family of my own and the wisdom of my grandfather and love of Bing Crosby I love passing on. Both seemed to be saying in their own little ways that it was important to wrap your troubles in dreams and dream your troubles away.

Thanks Grandpap...