Monday, March 28, 2016


Here is an article from nearly 35 years ago in regards to the controversial Bing Crosby Estate auction...

Published: May 30, 1982

SAN FRANCISCO, May 29— Bing Crosby fans, from as far afield as Europe and Australia, gathered at an auction house here Friday to bid on 1,400 lots of the late singer's possessions, including his pipes, his golf clubs, pocket watches, gold clips and some of his shirts, ties and socks.

The memorabilia auction was the finale of a four-day sale of some of Mr. Crosby's possessions, held at Butterfield's, one of the city's oldest and most famous auction houses. The items included his 1967 silver gray Aston Martin, with only 2,700 miles on the odometer, which was sold for $15,000, and his desk, which went for $1,800.

A spokesman for Butterfield's said the Crosby furniture, jewelry and paintings had sold for $120,000, and that the total for the memorabilia sale was at least $300,000.

''I bought two of Bing's watches, but I'd rather not disclose how much I paid for them,'' said Gerald Rand, 56 years old, who said that he had been a fan of Mr. Crosby's for 45 years and had come from England for the auction. ''Whatever I paid for them, I would have paid 10 times as much.'' Five Years to Reach Decision

Mrs. Crosby, the singer's wife for almost 20 years, has attended every day of the sale. She held a buffet lunch for bidders on Friday. In an interview, Mrs. Crosby said that it took her five years to decide to sell her husband's possessions after he died of a heart attack in Spain in 1977 at the age of 73.

When Mr. Crosby was alive, the family had six homes in which to house their possessions, in Los Angeles; Elko, Nev.; Hayden Lake, Idaho; Pebble Beach and Palm Springs, Calif., and in Mexico. Over the years the houses were sold, but ''the furniture remained with us always,'' Mrs. Crosby said.

Now, she said, she was pleased that her late husband's fans ''will be able to have a little part of him.'' Not all of his fans agreed with Mrs. Crosby. ''I'm not in sympathy with this auction,'' said Anne Gunn, a member of the Bing's Friends and Collectors Society, a group of 40 people who live in Menlo Park, near Mrs. Crosby's residence. ''I don't want to contribute to Mrs. Crosby's estate even though I like to listen to her husband's records.'' Mrs. Crosby Is Also Spending

The Crosby possessions were sold along with other items at the auction house, and on Thursday Mrs. Crosby said she had spent on a ''two to one'' basis more than she had earned at the sale. Among the things she had purchased were a pair of ornate lapis lazuli and bronze columns, dating from from early 19th century. According to Arlene Horowitz, a spokesman for Butterfield's, the columns brought $85,000.

Not all the items reached the minimum selling price set by Mrs. Crosby, who has not disclosed what she would do with the money. A man bid $290,000 for a painting by Sir Alfred Munnings called ''On The Moor,'' a hunting scene, and Mrs. Crosby had wanted $300,000. The painting was not sold.

Responding to accusations from some of Mr. Crosby's friends that it was not in good taste for her to sell her husband's possessions, Mrs. Crosby said, ''As Bing used to sing, 'You've either got or you haven't got style.' And if you look at his ties up for auction, you'll see who didn't have style.''

Monday, March 21, 2016


Here is what the NY Times thought of the second Road movie, The Road To Zanzibar. This was written by Bosley Crowther ans was published on April 10, 1941...

Pity the poor motion picture which ever again sets forth on a perilous (?) African safari, now that Bing Crosby and Bob Hope have traversed the course! For the cheerful report this morning is that the Messrs. Crosby and Hope, with an able left-handed assist from a denatured Dorothy Lamour, have thoroughly ruined the Dark Continent for any future cinematic pursuits. Never again will be hear those jungle drums throbbing menacingly but what we envision Bing and Bob beating a gleeful tattoo upon them. And never again will we behold a file of natives snaking solemnly through the trees without seeing in our mind's eye the gangling Crosby-Hope expedition as it ambles in and along the Paramount's "Road to Zanzibar," which arrived at that house yesterday. Yessir, the heart of darkest Africa has been pierced by a couple of wags.

Or perhaps we should really say it is pierced by a steady barrage of gags, for the quantity and quality of these account for the principal joy in this footloose film. Maybe Director Victor Schertzinger had a map of sorts when he started out, but the travelers on the "Road to Zanzibar" make little use of it. Taking as a mere point of departure the assumption that Bing and Bob are a couple of carnival performers cast adrift in a land far from home, they and the picture seem to follow the line of least resistance and most fun. Somewhere along the way they pick up Una Merkel and Miss Lamour, also a couple of shysters whose "pitch" is selling Miss Lamour as a slave. And together the four set out on a tour of the hinterland, running afoul of romance and trouble, which are indistinguishable. The limitations of time rather than ingenuity finally call a halt.

And all along things happen with the most casual and refreshing spontaneity. Miss Lamour and Bing go boat-riding on a jungle pond. They laughingly remark how motion pictures put an orchestra in the middle of the woods when occasion calls for a song. An orchestra forthwith plays, and Bing goes into his act. Or again, when a group of painted cannibals begin debating the gastronomic potentialities of Bing and Bob, the chattered dialogue is translated by amusing subtitles. And both of the boys are ever ready with a fast quip to keep the farce going.

Needless to say, Mr. Crosby and Mr. Hope are most, if not all, of the show—with a slight edge in favor of the latter, in case any one wants to know. Miss Lamour, who is passingly amusing in her frequent attempts to be, assists in the complications and sings a couple of songs. And Miss Merkel and Eric Blore do well in minor roles. Farce of this sort very seldom comes off with complete effect, but this time it does, and we promise that there's fun on the "Road to Zanzibar." This time, as Mr. Hope puts it in one of his pungent phrases, they're cooking with gas...

Monday, March 14, 2016


Bing Crosby had so many hobbies and interests. I feel he had more fun with his hobbies that he did entertaining and making a living. One of his keen interests was horses. He found Del Mar Racetrack in 1937, and for the next 40 years his love of horses were widely known. Here are some pictures of Bing with some beautiful horses...

Monday, March 7, 2016


Often it is said that Bing's "Hey Jude Hey Bing" album from 1969 was his worst outing in his great recording history. I tend to disagree. I think it is Bing's prior album "Thoroughly Modern Bing" which was much worse in my opinion...

Thoroughly Modern Bing was a long-playing vinyl album recorded by Bing Crosby for Pickwick Records at Mastertone Recording Studio in Long Island City, New York. The orchestral tracks were conducted by "Bugs" Bower with a vocal group under the direction of Don Marshall. Crosby subsequently over-dubbed his vocals at two separate sessions in February 1968.

Another song, "Where the Rainbow Ends" was also recorded on February 12, 1968 but did not appear on the original vinyl album. It was included on a LaserLight CD in 1991. A song called "That's All I Want from You" (written by M. Rotha) was also recorded on the same day but has never surfaced.

The album was issued on CD in 1991 by LaserLight as "Bing Crosby - A Visit to the Movies (CD: 15 411) and by Pickwick Records in 1997 as "Bing Crosby at His Best" (1128-2).The song "(I Call You) Sunshine" was not included on the LaserLight CD.

The British publication "The Gramophone" commented: "Meanwhile there is overwhelming evidence that Mr. Crosby has lost none of his charm or skill in Thoroughly Modern Bing (Stateside SL10257). He works his lasting magic on “Talk to the Animals,” “Love Is Blue,” “Chim Chim Cheree,” and other modern songs of quality plus the oldie “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” with the same ease and warmth that was discernible in 1928. He even transforms a blatant flag-waver like “What’s More American” into something tolerable, and is the first singer to hold my attention throughout “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” without causing a single wince."