Friday, April 25, 2014


I usually don't post videos on my blog, but this is an interesting video which sort of eludes to some sort of Bing Crosby VS Jerry Lewis feud.

I doubt that is the case, but the video is interesting...

Club Crosby President Malcolm Macfarlane had this to say about it: "Jerry obviously has a selective memory as he has forgotten the times he subsequently golfed with Bing, had dinner with him in London and was invited to play in the Crosby Pro-Am. Bing and Dean Martin also gatecrashed the Eddie Fisher show on which Jerry was guesting in 1958".

Knowing how Bing was, he avoided people with swelled egos, and I believe that it was not so much a feud as Jerry Lewis was not the type of person Bing would want to hang out with...

Friday, April 18, 2014


Bing Crosby made quite an impact as a leading man in his first feature film The Big Broadcast in 1932. Paramount Studios quickly signed him up to a contract and next up for Bing would be the college musical College Humor. In this film at least they had the decency to cast 30 year old Bing as a professor. As students they had 30 year old Jack Oakie and 34 year old Richard Arlen! This film was basically a Jack Oakie movie with Bing thrown in for added appeal.

Barney Shirrel (Jack Oakie) starts his first semester at Mid West University and works his way up in the fraternity with the help of Tex Roust (Joe Sawyer) and Mondrake (Richard Arlen), an alcoholic college football star. Barney is passionate about engineering and the law, and between his varied studies, football, and the fraternity, he neglects his girl friend Amber (Mary Kornman).

In the next term, Mondrake gives his class sweater to Barney's sister Barbara (Mary Carlisle). His drinking problem intensifies, however, when he learns that Barbara is falling in love with Professor Danvers (Bing Crosby), the singing drama teacher. When Mondrake fails to show up at an important football game against a rival university, Danvers finds him in jail. With the school's reputation at stake, Danvers has him released and takes him to the football field in time to play in the game.

Afterwards, Danvers is called before the college president (Lumsden Hare). Although rivals for Barbara's affections, Danvers stands up for Mondrake. The college president expels Mondrake for drunkenness and forces Danvers to resign because of his involvement in the matter. Feeling guilty over causing Mondrake's expulsion, Barbara proposes marriage to him. Later, however, she admits that she is not in love with him, but with Danvers. Mondrake bows out of the relationship, and Barbara rushes to Danvers' side before he leaves.

During the next term, Barney has followed Mondrake's example and taken up drinking and smoking, which is not appealing to Amber. At the big football game, Barney is in sorry shape. Mid West is losing until he receives inspiration from Tex, who has returned to watch the game. After being knocked out, Barney recovers and wins the game for Mid West.

Some time later, Barney and Amber get married and they move to his father's dairy, where Barney works his way up from the lowest position. Barney and Amber enjoy listening to Danvers singing his song on the radio.

The best part of the film was Bing's singing, and he sang some good ones like: "Down The Old Ox Road", "Moonstruck", and "Learn To Croon". Another wonderful draw of the film is Mary Carlisle, who is with us as of this writing, at the age of 101. She is probably the last person alive who was involved in this 80 year old film. There was not enough Bing and Mary Carlisle, and too much Jack Oakie for my taste. The only movie I ever liked Oakie in was The Great Dictator in 1940. I loved my years in college, but I only remotely liked this collegiate offering. If it was not for Bing, this film would have been a horrible bomb...


Friday, April 11, 2014


Here is a new Bing Crosby CD, from the label Sounds Of Yesteryear. Nothing really rare, but a great bunch of songs...

The year of Bing Crosby's peak of popularity was 1944. On this CD we have naturally included Bing's 1944 recordings but also his 1943 and 1945/6 recordings so that you can hear the build up to his peak and the slight slide in popularity too. We calculate that Bing had ten entries into America's popular music charts in 1943. He doubled that to twenty in 1944. His tally for 1945 was eighteen, a drop of only ten percent. Bing would often use other popular singers of the day to harmonize with him and that is the case on a lot of these recordings.

Also featured with him are: The Andrews Sisters, The Ken Darby Singers; Trudy Erwin and The Sportsmen's Glee Club; The Williams Brothers Quartet; Bob Hope; The Charioteers and The Jesters. The featured orchestras are Vic Shoen and His Orchestra, John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra, Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra; Les Paul and His Trio; Carmen Cavallero and His Orchestra and Bob Haggart and His Orchestra...

track listing:
1. Sunday, Monday Or Always
2. If You Please
3. People Will Say We're In Love
4. Oh! What A Beautiful Mornin'
5. Pistol-Packin' Mama
6. Victory Polka
7. Jingle Bells
8. San Fernando Valley
9. I Love You
10. I'll Be Seeing You/Swinging On A Star
11. Going My Way
12. It Could Happen To You
13. Too-Re-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)
14. Don't Fence Me In
15. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate-The Positive
16. The Three Caballeros
17. You Belong To My Heart
18. If I Loved You
19. Along The Navajo Trail
20. It's Been A Long, Long Time
21. The Road To Morocco
22. I Can't Begin To Tell You
23. Aren't You Glad You're You?
24. In The Land Of Beginning Again
25. The Bells Of St. Mary's
26. McNamara's Band


Thursday, April 3, 2014


Not many people know the name Eb Lottimer. I wanted to research him because he not only is interesting but he would go on to be Bing's first son-in-law. He married Bing Crosby's only daughter Mary Frances Crosby after Bing died, but he did meet Bing in 1976.

"I wasn't really intimidated at the prospect of meeting Mr. Crosby," Eb recalls. "But, legend that he was and because I myself was entering the music business, I would have liked to have gotten to know him a little better than I did. I mean, I respected the fact that he was very protective of his only daughter, but ...." "What happened," Mary says, interpreting her husbands tactfulness, "is Daddy came downstairs, said, 'How do you do?' then proceeded to turn on the baseball game -- which he watched all during lunch. The primo moment came when we were saying grace. There's Daddy, checking Eb out from the corner of his eye, making sure he's crossing himself."

Eb Lottimer was born on June 21, 1951 in Richmond, Virginia, USA as Edmund Lottimer. He is an actor and director, known for Fright Night (2011), Breakin' (1984) and Beyond the Call of Duty (1992). He was the son of a Virginia investment man and his landscape architect wife. He married Bing's only daughter in late 1978 and remained married to her until they divorced in 1989. They had one child together. On his former wife Mary Crosby: If my career were taking off at the same time as Mary's, I couldn't enjoy her success nearly as well". "This way, I am a part of her success, and when I hit, she will enjoy that with me."

He also wrote, produced and directed the indie film, Divorce: A Contemporary Western (1998), which is a somewhat autobiographical piece about his breakup with his ex-wife, Mary Crosby. Just Shoot Me! (1997) series regular, Wendie Malick, played the Mary equivalent in the film. Denise Crosby, daughter of Dennis Crosby also appeared in the film. It does not seem like he ever remarried, but I am not sure about that. He is currently a Filmmaker in Residence at the Florida State University school of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts....