Saturday, November 25, 2023


 Jimmy Cagney and Bing Crosby never got to work together on film, but they knew each other and got to work together briefly during the war selling war bonds. Here is a story Jimmy had about that time...

"At our opening show in Soldier Field, Chicago, there was a crowd of 130,000 .... Bing walked out to a reception for which the adjective "triumphant" is inadequate. He stood there in that very humble, charming way of his .... After the audience explosion died down, Bing said, "Whadda yez wanna hear?" and they exploded again until the stadium walls nearly buckled. After they subsided, he said, "Ya wanna leave it to me?" and they blew up again. Finally, he said, "Hit me, Al," and our orchestra conductor, Al Newman, started his boys off on "Blues in the Night." They had played only the first two bars when the audience went into rapturous applause once more. Bing finished the song, and never in my life have I heard anything like it. I got the traditional goose pimples just standing there, listening. He did another, same thing .... When Bing came offstage, the perspiration on him was an absolute revelation to me. Here he had been to all appearances perfectly loose and relaxed, but not at all. He was giving everything he had in every note he sang, and the apparent effortlessness was a part of his very hard work."

with Carole Lombard

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


 I lost a dear friend this week with the passing of Nick Nardella of Chicago. He was a lifelong member of The International Club Crosby, and Bing Crosby was one of his favorite singers. I personally met him in 1999, and we started a taping correspondence. He was there in my life for all of the important points of my life like my marriage and birth of my children. I have known Nick longer than I have known my wife. He always had encouraging words for me, and he was a geniune and good person. His music collection was as big as his heart.

Nick passed away peacefully on November 19, 2023. Nick is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Laverne M. Nardella nee Peterson; caring brother of John Nardella and Geraldine Kruger; cherished brother-in-law to the late Jim (Kathy) Peterson, Marilyn (James Sr.) Nemecek, the late Eileen Tomazin; fond uncle to Michael and Richard (Kim) Kruger, James Jr. (Michelle) Nemecek, Tracy (Joseph) Buchholz, Eric Peterson, Julie (David) Westerman, TJ Tomazin; caring great-uncle to Brooke (Cody) Mudd, Seth and Emily Kruger, Justin, Jacob, Jared, and Makayla Buchholz, Charlie and Danny Westerman; devoted great-great-uncle to Amberleigh Mudd. He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Antoinette Nardella.

Nick proudly served in the Army as an Administrator, stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War era. Upon returning from his time in the service he fondly worked at World Book, and several years later went on to meet the love of his life, Laverne. Music and sports were Nick’s second love, being a devout fan of artists from the 1940’s and all sports teams from Chicago. He also was a member of "The Browsers", a Chicago based record collector group that shared their knowledge on local radio. 

I am a better person because I had the honor of knowing Nick Nardella....

Sunday, November 12, 2023


Bing recorded some great standards during this early days at Decca. He recorded these songs on November 12, 1935 in Hollywood. Hard to believe these recordings are 88 years old...

Bing Crosby (voc), Victor Young and his Orchestra (orc)

a. DLA253-A Red Sails In The Sunset(Jimmy Kennedy, Hugh Williams) - 3:10
b. DLA253-B Red Sails In The Sunset(Jimmy Kennedy, Hugh Williams) - 3:10

c. DLA254-A Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle(Walter G Samuels, Teddy Powell, Leonard 
d. DLA254-B Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle(Walter G Samuels, Teddy Powell, Leonard Whitcup) - 2:41
e. DLA255-A On Treasure Island(Edgar Leslie, Joe Burke) - 2:59
f. DLA255-B On Treasure Island(Edgar Leslie, Joe Burke) - 2:57
g. DLA255-C On Treasure Island(Edgar Leslie, Joe Burke) - 2:58
h. DLA256-A Adeste Fideles(Canon Frederick Oakley, John Francis Wade) - 3:18
i. DLA256-B Adeste Fideles(Canon Frederick Oakley, John Francis Wade) - 3:16