Sunday, December 31, 2023


 Here's to 2024 and all the Bingfans out there!

Friday, December 22, 2023


 No one in the modern world meant more to Christmas than Bing Crosby. Here are som candid shots from his Christmas specials through the years...

with Frank Sinatra

Monday, December 18, 2023


 Here is the original review of the classic Holiday Inn. This appeared in the NY Times on August 5, 1942...

That man Irving Berlin has been whistling to himself again. Not content with turning out the most rousing Broadway show in years, he has scribbled no fewer than thirteen tunes for "Holiday Inn," the light-heartedly patriotic musical which opened last night at the Paramount in conjunction with a gala stage show for the benefit of the Navy Relief Society.

 Mr. Berlin may not know a great deal about notes, as he confesses, but he does know a lot about music. If there are no tunes in "Holiday Inn" that quite match those of his army show, Mr. Berlin still has created several of the most effortless melodies of the season—the sort that folks begin humming in the middle of a conversation for days afterward. At present Paramount prices Mr. Berlin's tunes are being sold dirt cheap.As it happily happens, the film has caught the same effortless moods of the music. Mark Sandrich, director and producer, has taken the inevitable melange of plot and production numbers and so deftly pulled them together that one hardly knows where the story ends and a song begins—a neat trick if you can do it. That it comes off, of course, is largely due to the casual performances of Bing Crosby, who can sell a blackface song like "Abraham" or turn an ordinary line into sly humor without seeming to try, and Fred Astaire, who still owns perhaps the most sophisticated pair of toes in Christendom. 

Mr. Astaire has rarely danced with more alert, carefree abandon than among the exploding torpedoes and red devils of "Say It With Firecrackers." And in Marjorie Reynolds, a very fetching blonde young lady, Mr. Astaire has a new partner who can hold her own at all speeds.Mainly "Holiday Inn" is a series of musical episodes, each of which takes an American holiday for cue. But they have been strung ever so neatly on the amorous rivalries of Mr. Astaire, who wins all the battles except the last, and Mr. Crosby, a musical lazybones who retires to a New England farm which he converts into a night club for holidays only—thus leaving him 300-odd days a year for pure loafing.

And while the pair desperately conspire against each other for the hand of Miss Reynolds, Mr. Berlin's music sets the moods from the romantic "Be Careful, It's My Heart," to nostalgic "Easter Parade," tender "White Christmas" and rollicking "Let's Start the New Year Right."Along the way the author and director have bobbed up with some engaging tricks such as the befuddled Thanksgiving turkey hopping from one Thursday to another or the Washington's Birthday Minuet, in which a bland Mr. Crosby continually breaks up Mr. Astaire's precise and dainty footwork with hot licks in the accompaniment. It is all very easy and graceful; it never tries too hard to dazzle; even in the rousing and topical Fourth of July number it never commits a breach of taste by violently waving the flag. Instead it has skipped back over the year in an affectionate and light-hearted spirit. In a month without a holiday, "Holiday Inn" offers a reason for celebration not printed in red ink on the calendar.

HOLIDAY INN, screen play by Claude Binyon; adaptation by Elmer Rice; based on an original idea by Irving Berlin; produced and directed by Mark Sandrich for Paramount; music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. At the Paramount.Jim Hardy . . . . . Bing CrosbyTed Hanover . . . . . Fred AstaireLinda Mason . . . . . Marjorie ReynoldsLillie Dixon . . . . . Virginia DaleDanny Reid . . . . . Walter AbelMamie . . . . . Louise BeaversCigarette Girl . . . . . Judith GibsonHat Check Girl . . . . . Katharine BoothGirls and Dancers . . . . . Barbara Slater, Aline Brandes, Louise La Planche, Laurie Douglas, Lynda Grey, Lora Lee

Monday, December 11, 2023


I thought Bing sang this underrated Christmas song on his radio show, but it looks like there is just the commercial recording. I recommend this great song. Frankie Laine also recorded a nice version of the song... 


11 May 1949 Rec. L 5009-A

The Ken Lane Singers, Victor Young and his Orchestra

Monday, December 4, 2023


The Voice of Christmas: The Complete Decca Christmas Songbook is a two-disc collection of Christmas music recorded by Bing Crosby for the Decca label between 1935 and 1956, released by Universal Music Group on October 6, 1998. Crosby was the first popular singer to record Christmas songs, and his 1942 recording of "White Christmas" for the movie Holiday Inn is the best-selling single of all time. The most prolific period for his Christmas recordings was between 1942 and 1955, including his Christmas songs recorded with The Andrews Sisters. Crosby continued to record Christmas titles for other labels later in his career.

Most of the tracks included were originally issued on 78 RPM records. This collection contains all of Crosby's Decca label Christmas recordings, including some duplications of titles recorded at different times. The 1947 recording of "White Christmas" is the most played and considered the "standard" version; this re-recording was made due to the acetate of the 1942 version, and its flip side "Silent Night," becoming too degraded in quality to reproduce further copies.

Tracks are presented in loose chronological order, with collaborations appearing in chronological order on disc two from tracks nine through twenty. Two tracks are previously unreleased songs: an alternate version of his original May 29, 1942, recording of "White Christmas"; and a February 21, 1935, recording of "Silent Night." The 1935 version of "Silent Night" was not released due to Crosby's feelings that a popular entertainer should not profit on such a religion-based song however, once the proceeds were arranged to be donated to charity, a second recording of the song was released as a single in 1935 and was later packaged as part of a 1940 album...