Wednesday, June 29, 2022


I have always loved the Road movies, so I figured I would review my favorite film of the series – 1946’s Road to Utopia. The pairing of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope was comedy gold, although I have to admit that I have never cared for Bob Hope much. I liked Bob in the Road movies and his more dramatic roles (especially 1959’s Beau James), but other than that I never cared much for his movies. The duo of Bing and Bob definitely had fun in these movies, and Road to Utopia, the fourth film in the series, was no different. Filmed between December of 1943 and March of 1944, the film was not released until 1946 because the studio did not want the movie to overshadow Bing’s role in Going My Way, which the studio was pushing for him to get an acting nomination for at the Academy Awards. Of course, as we all know Bing got the nomination and took home the best actor award.

The plot of the movie, like most of the other Road movies did not seem to matter much. In my opinion the plot of Road to Utopia was the most complicated of any of the Road movies. The opening of the movie finds Bob and his wife (Dorothy Lamour) now elderly. There’s a knock on their door, and in walks Bing and the trio reminisce about their adventure in the Klondike. In the next scene we flashback to the turn of the twentieth century. Bing and Bob are vaudeville performers and minor scam artists. They open with a rousing song “Goodtime Charlie” that I wish they would have recorded commercially. They try to scam their audience at a performance, but they are discovered and try to run away to Alaska. They stow away on a ship going to Alaska, and while on the boat they bump into two real life murdering criminals called Sperry and McGurk. Bing and Bob manage to tie up the real criminals, and they steal their identity not fully knowing who they came across. Bing and Bob stole Sperry and McGurk’s jackets to look more tough as well. Unknowingly to the boys, the one jacket has a copy of a map which was the directions to a gold mine worth millions.

Arriving in Alaska, the boys were amazing that everyone was afraid of them. At a local saloon they meet up with Dorothy Lamour and are instantly smitten. Dorothy, thinking the boys are Sperry and McGurk tries to seduce both of them to get the map off of them. Bing and Bob discover they have the map, and they decide to split the map in two with each of them getting a piece one will not be able to scam the other. Dorothy follows them, and the boys admit to Dorothy at this point that they are not Sperry and McGurk. Dorothy realizes how much she loves Bing, but she still steals the map for the owner of the saloon where she sang. Bing and Bob are finally confronted by the real Sperry and McGurk, who they escape from again, but at this point the boys realize that Dorothy stole the map.

Bing and Bob manage to escape from the real killers and go back to town to find Dorothy. They try to readopt their Sperry and McGurk personas but discover that they are likely to be hanged for their past crimes. The boys scare off the posse who wants to hang them with a stick of dynamite and rescue Dorothy. Bing and Bob leave the dynamite lit just as the real Sperry and McGurk arrive, and the explosion kills the real criminals. Bing, Bob, and Dorothy escape, but the ice splits on the frozen tundra leaving Bob and Dorothy on one side, and Bing on the other side with the mob quickly approaching. Bing throws Bob his portion of the map, and Bing tells Bob to take care of Dorothy as Bing turns around to face the mob. The movie scene then changes to the present, with the aged Bing telling Bob and Dorothy how he escaped the mob. Bing is surprised to hear that Bob and Dorothy have a son. The son walks down the stairs and looks exactly like Bing. At this point Bob looked into the camera and said, “We adopted him.” By far, this is one of the greatest endings of any Road movie, and I am actually surprised this got by the censors....


Monday, June 20, 2022


New from Sepia! 68 tracks from the Kraft Music Hall broadcasts from 1936 to 1946 sung by host Bing Crosby, many appearing on CD for the first time. Most of these songs were never commercially recorded by him....


1. You're a Double Lovely
2. I've Been Floating down the Old Green River
3. Someone Else May Be There While I'm Gone
4. I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)
5. We've Come a Long Way Together
6. South of the Border
7. Just A Dream of You, Dear
8. After All
9. Silver Threads Among the Gold
10. Confucius Say
11. Say Si Si
12. Love Is All
13. I've Got My Eyes on You
14. The Woodpecker Song
15. Cecilia
16. Playmates
17. Make Believe Island
18. Ferry-Boat Serenade
19. The Moon Won't Talk
20. You Ain't Kiddin' - with Connee Boswell
21. My Mind's On You
22. Two Hearts That Pass in the Night
23. All Through the Night
24. The Band Played On 
25. Blues in the Night
26. Chattanooga Choo-Choo
27. Rose O'Day - with Mary Martin 
28. Home on the Range
29. Who Calls?
30. Darling Nellie Gray
31. Make Believe
32. Mary
33. People Like You and Me - with Mary Martin 
34. For Me and My Gal
35. Brazil
36. Nevada


1. I've Heard That Song Before
2. Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey
3. Cuddle Up a Little Closer
4. The Way You Look Tonight - with Trudy Erwin 
5. Wonderful One
6. Candlelight and Wine 
7. My Ideal
8. Old Folks at Home 
9. Louise 
10. Something to Remember You By - with Marilyn Maxwell 
11. So Do I - with Eugenie Baird 
12. Dance with a Dolly
13. Blue Hawaii
14. Sweet Leilani
15. Empty Saddles
16. Down by the River
17. We'll Make Hay While the Sun Shines
18. Here Lies Love 
19. Dinah
20. Please 
21. I Haven't Time to Be a Millionaire 
22. I Dream of You (More than You Dream I Do)
23. That Old Black Magic
24. A Little on the Lonely Side
25. After a While 
26. Like Someone in Love
27. Candy
28. May I? / Good Night Lovely Little Lady 
29. The Funny Old Hills 
30. I Have Eyes
31. There's a Small Hotel
32. Hang Your Heart on a Hickory Limb / That Sly Old Gentleman 


Friday, June 10, 2022



Mel Torme was definitely an admirer of Bing. He got to record with Bing early on in Mel's career in the 1940s, and he continued to have great stories about Der Bingle:

"In 1945, my Mel-Tomes and I walked into Decca recording studios in Hollywood to cut our very first record with Bing. We didn't know what to expect. Bing Crosby. A terror? Haughty? Difficult? When he walked in, grinning, relaxed, and friendly, we relaxed as well and proceeded to make what I feel was a very good record. Bing treated us as though we were old friends, making, not forcing, suggestions. There were a few solo spots for me, and I sang them hesitantly. Bing encouraged me to 'sing out' and egged me on during the actual making of the record .... If there is anyone I have modeled myself after over the years, I would have to say it is Bing Crosby.

In 1975 he invited me and my family to lunch at his home just outside of San Francisco. Mary Frances and Harry, Bing's kids, were on hand as well as Kathryn, and it was a funny, jolly, loving luncheon, full of stories and remembrances. After lunch, Bing, sans hairpiece, asked Harry to go get his guitar. We adjourned to the music room, and, just like that, Bing sat down and began to sing. He did about eight tunes, invited me to join him, which I did, and that's the way the afternoon went .... That night he brought the whole family to the Fairmont, sat at a front table (still sans toupee), and stayed through my whole performance. I never quite got over that."