Monday, March 20, 2023


Marjorie Reybolds starred in one of the most beloved movies of the 1940s Holiday Inn. However, she was not only overshadowed by co-star Bing Crosby's singing but she was in the background due to the introduction of the most popular song ever written "White Christmas". Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles.

Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore. Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career.

The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather non-challenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare.I had the opportunity to interview Marjorie's daughter shortly after her mother's death, and she remembers her mother saying Bing was sometimes cold to herm because he had wanted Mary Martin for the role. However, she said Bing was professional. Despite what Bing might have thought of Marjorie in Holiday Inn, he thought there was enough chemistry to choose her as his leading lady again in 1943's Dixie, which was another hit for Bing.

Marjorie continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and Heaven Only Knows (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion.

Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series The Life of Riley (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that.

Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Linda was named after her mother's character from Holiday Inn. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985.

Long retired, Marjorie made her last movie appearance in 1962's The Silent Witness. However, she did continue to have sporadic television roles until 1978.  Marjorie died  on February 1, 1997 of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared...

Friday, March 3, 2023


 Bing was more athletic than he appeared, and he enjoyed exercise including riding a bike. Here are some great pictures capturing those moments...

with Bob Hope

with his four sons

with Nicole Maurey, Claude Dauphin, and Maria Mauban

Saturday, February 18, 2023


 I love taking a look at some of the letters that Bing wrote through the years. This one is from 1965, where Bing talks about football. I know Bing was a baseball fan, but I love reading his thoughts on football too. It's a very interesting letter...

Friday, February 17, 2023


Actress Stella Stevens (1938-2023) recently passed away. She appeared with Bing in 1959's Say One For Me. RIP Stella Stevens...

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Legendary star Mitzi Gaynor remembers her time with Bing...

"I adored Bing Crosby. My first movie at Paramount when I signed a contract with them was Anything Goes with my old friend Donald O'Connor and Bing. It was Bing's last movie at Paramount, so we joked that it was my first movie and his last movie. 

The movie music industry was changing in 1956. Anyways, Bing new I was an avid bike rider, so on my first day on the set he gifted me a beautiful English bike to get around the lot on. He included a name plate for the bike which was a joke about me working at the 20th Century Fox salt mines. Bing had a great sense of humor, and the time I had filming Anything Goes ranks up there as some of my fondest memories. This is mostly due to Bing Crosby!" - Mitzi Gaynor

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

BING'S DISCOGRAPHY: January 18, 1942

On this day, January 18th, some 81 years ago - Bing was in the Decca studio with the great Woody Herman & His Orchestra...

Date: 1/18/42
Location: Los Angeles, Calif
Label: DECCA (US)

Bing Crosby (voc), Woody Herman and his Woodchoppers (orc)

a. DLA2827-A I Want My Mama(Vicente Paiva, Al Stillman, Jararaca) - 2:22
EMI -AXIS (Australia) CDCDAX 701594 — BING SWINGS IT (1990)

b. DLA2828-A Deep In The Heart Of Texas(Don Swander, June Hershey) - 2:39

c. DLA2829-A I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes(Alvin Pleasant Carter) - 3:11

All titles on:


Sunday, January 1, 2023


Fishing for smiles with Bing Crosby

By Jim Abrams

My dad passed away when I was 13 years old, and one of the many lingering voids that encircled me included the loss of my fishing mentor. I was really just learning the outdoor ropes and was left to find my own way. I was involved in Scouts and that helped, and a couple of my friends' dads tried to make an effort to include me in activities, but most of them were more adept at tossing a baseball than a Jitterbug or Hula-Popper. It wasn’t the same.

Baseball and football were certainly fun, and most of the girls I knew were beginning to draw some interest, but these weren’t enough — part of me was missing. Then I met Bing Crosby.

It was a Sunday afternoon and we had just gotten home from church. I flipped on the TV and was waiting for it to warm up, hand poised over the dial ready to flip through the four or five channels that came in clear enough to be viewed. An announcer began booming before the picture cleared: “Welcome to the American Sportsman. Today, we will be fly fishing for Atlantic salmon with Bing Crosby.” I plopped onto the floor with one of the sofa pillows.

I don’t really remember all the details of that broadcast, but I do recall being mesmerized by the scenery and the seemingly endless, graceful motion of the rod. I’d never heard of fly fishing before, and what Bing was doing seemed like magic.

Bing Crosby looked like he had just left church himself, complete with a tie and dapper felt fedora. He sported some kind of chest-high boots and was waiving a rod that must have been 10 feet long. The line was thick and traveled in long, looping arcs that he repeated until he allowed it to float gently to the water. After following its drift down the current, he would gracefully pull back, tugging the line with a swift gentleness back into its aerial ballet. Back and forth, back and forth — until once again, allowing it to settle on the water’s surface.

His jaw was clenched down on a briar pipe, just as I’d seen my father do a thousand times — an invisible drift of a cherry blend tobacco wafted through a lost memory. Bing wasn’t performing for the camera. This wasn’t some old movie — he was having the time of his life. He was truly happy.

Suddenly, he lifted the rod high and with a sudden jerk, which I knew meant that a fish had been fooled into striking his lure. After an aquatic tug-of-war, he landed one of the Atlantic salmon the announcer had promised. Pulling the briar from his lips, he broke into a smiling chorus of what sounded like an Irish brogue that only Bing could pull off. This was no act; this was pure enjoyment of an experience.

I didn’t understand the rod, the reel, what fly fishing was, or its techniques. I really had no idea what Bing was doing. I only knew that I wanted to try this kind of fishing. I wanted to be that happy again.

It was February, but I still picked up a glass 7-weight rod and a Daiwa automatic reel at a local sporting goods dealer — even though I had no idea what I was buying or how to use them. I stopped at the local library and checked out every book on the shelf concerning fly fishing, as if I was readying to write my next term paper. My first casts with that rod were made across our snow-swept yard. I’m certain that the neighbors thought I’d finally fallen off Grandma’s rocker and hit my head.

Bing and I never met, and he never knew what he had done for one lost kid. He gave me back a piece of something I thought was lost forever. He taught me that smiles sometimes take effort, but that they’re still inside just waiting for the opportunity to burst. He taught me that joy can be remembered and recaptured, and dreams can be netted from sunken hides. He showed me that joy can be found while standing alone on an uncrowded stream.

Today, so many of the shows about hunting and fishing concentrate too much upon the catch, the kill or the trophy. It has to be the biggest, the most, or at least the coolest video. They turn something natural into a competition. That just isn’t how most sportsmen operate — at least, I hope not.

I wish that Bing’s kind of show still played on a Sunday afternoon — I know that there are a lot of kids that need it. You don’t need to be the best or own the best — you just need to get out and search for what makes you happy. Amazingly, it can be something as simple as a quiet trip along a stream...