head1

 

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

 As Christmas comes. it is that time of year when Bing Crosby serenades us as we wander down the supermarket aisles throughout the world. His voice has almost become synonymous with the festive season.

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr.  May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977 was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark warm bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, having sold over one billion analog records and tapes, as well as digital compact discs and downloads around the world.

The first multimedia star, from 1931 to 1954 Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations such as the microphone. This allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was the person who had done the most for American soldiers' morale during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive",

Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 motion picture Going My Way and was nominated for his reprise of the role in The Bells of St. Mary's opposite Ingrid Bergman the next year, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character.

 

From " Going My Way " 

Crosby influenced the development of the postwar recording industry. After seeing a demonstration of an early Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorder he placed a large order for their equipment and convinced ABC to allow him to tape his shows. He became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape.

In 1929, the Rhythm Boys appeared in the film The King of Jazz with Whiteman but Bing's growing dissatisfaction with Whiteman led to the Rhythm Boys leaving his organization. They joined the Gus Arnheim Orchestra performing nightly in The Coconut Grove of the Ambassador Hotel. Singing with the Arnheim Orchestra, Bing's solos began to steal the show. Harry Barris wrote several of his subsequent hits including  "I Surrender Dear", and "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams".

In the early months of 1931, a solo recording contract came Bing's way. Bing had married Dixie Lee in September 1930 and after a threatened divorce in March 1931, he started to apply himself seriously to his career. His gramophone records in 1931 broke new ground as his powerful and emotional singing started to change the face of popular music forever.

On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio debut. Before the end of the year, he signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15-minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit. His songs "Out of Nowhere", "Just One More Chance", "At Your Command" and "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)" were all among the best selling songs of 1931.

 

 

As the 1930s unfolded, Bing Crosby became the leading singer in America. Ten of the top 50 songs for 1931 featured Crosby, either solo or with others.

By 1936, he'd replaced his former boss, Paul Whiteman, as host of the prestigious NBC radio program Kraft Music Hall, the weekly radio program where he remained for the next ten years. Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day), which showcased one of his then-trademark whistling interludes, became his theme song and signature tune.

Also in 1936, Bing exercised an option from Paramount to make a film out-of-house. Quickly signed to a one-picture agreement with Columbia, he dreamt of having his icon and friend Louis Armstrong, an African-American, who largely influenced his singing style, in a screen adaptation of The Peacock Feather called Pennies from Heaven.

 

The female singer is Frances Langford

Armstrong's musical scenes, along with some comical dialogue as well, heightened his career. Bing also had it that Armstrong made high billing alongside his white co-stars, one of the first times ever for a black performer in a wide-audience film. Louis starred as himself in many more films to come and had a large appreciation for Bing's unracist views, often thanking him in his later years.

Crosby's much-imitated style helped take popular singing beyond the kind of "belting" associated with boisterous performers like Al Jolson and Billy Murray, who had been obliged to reach the back seats in New York theaters without the aid of the microphone. As Henry Pleasants noted in The Great American Popular Singers, something new had entered American music, a style that might be called "singing in American" with conversational ease. This new sound led to the popular epithet "crooner".

"White Christmas" is a 1942 Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the world's best-selling single with estimated sales in excess of 100 million copies worldwide. Other versions of the song, along with Crosby's, have sold over 50 million copies.

 

Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song. He often stayed up all night writing—he told his secretary, "Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I've ever written—heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!"

During the Second World War, Crosby made numerous live appearances before American troops fighting in the European Theatre He also learned how to pronounce German from written scripts and would read propaganda broadcasts intended for the German forces. The nickname "Der Bingle" was common among Crosby's German listeners and came to be used by his English-speaking fans. In a poll of U.S. troops at the close of World War II, Crosby topped the list as the person who had done the most for G.I. morale, ahead of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General Dwight Eisenhower, and Bob Hope.

 

Crosby starred with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in seven Road to musical comedies between 1940 and 1962, cementing Crosby and Hope as an on-and-off duo, despite never officially declaring themselves a "team" in the sense that Laurel and Hardy or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were teams. The series consists of Road to Singapore (1940), Road to Zanzibar (1941), Road to Morocco (1942), Road to Utopia (1946), Road to Rio (1947), Road to Bali (1952), and The Road to Hong Kong (1962). When they appeared solo, Crosby and Hope frequently made note of the other in a comically insulting fashion. They performed together many times on stage, radio, film, and television.

 

Crosby was one of the first singers to exploit the intimacy of the microphone, rather than using the deep, loud "vaudeville style" associated with Al Jolson and others. He was, by his own definition, a "phraser" or a singer who placed equal emphasis on both the lyrics and the music. Crosby's love and appreciation of jazz music helped bring the genre to a wider mainstream audience. Within the framework of the novelty-singing style of the Rhythm Boys, Crosby bent notes and added off-tune phrasing, an approach that was firmly rooted in jazz. He had already been introduced to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith prior to his first appearance on record. Crosby and Armstrong would remain professionally friendly for decades, notably in the 1956 film High Society, where they sang the duet "Now You Has Jazz".

"Now You Has Jazz" is a song written by Cole Porter for the 1956 film High Society, where it was introduced by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. The song describes what instruments are needed to create jazz.

 

Sol C. Siegel, the producer of the film High Society, paid Cole Porter $250,000 for his first original film score in eight years. When Porter learned that Louis Armstrong was to appear in the film, he decided that he would have to write a jazz number. To help with his research, he called Fred Astaire and suggested that they attend a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert. Later, he spoke to jazz impresario Norman Granz on the telephone and Granz gave him a short introductory course in jazz terms. The eventual song was “Now You Has Jazz.”

Help us cover our monthly costs

$ 283 $ 500
4 days left,  57% Completed

During the early portion of his solo career (about 1931–1934), Crosby's emotional, often pleading style of crooning was widely popular. But Jack Kapp (manager of Brunswick and later Decca) talked Crosby into dropping many of his jazzier mannerisms, in favor of a straight-ahead clear vocal style. This approach's wide appeal helped Crosby become highly successful, charting number-one hits in the genres of Christmas music, Hawaiian music and Country music, as well as top-thirty hits in Irish music, French music, Rhythm and blues, as well as Ballad songs. Crosby also elaborated on a further idea of Al Jolson's: phrasing, or the art of making a song's lyric ring true.

His success in doing so was influential. "I used to tell Sinatra over and over," said Tommy Dorsey, "there's only one singer you ought to listen to and his name is Crosby. All that matters to him is the words, and that's the only thing that ought to for you, too."

 

Vocal critic Henry Pleasants wrote:

[While] the octave B flat to B flat in Bing's voice at that time [1930s] is, to my ears, one of the loveliest I have heard in forty-five years of listening to baritones, both classical and popular, it dropped conspicuously in later years. From the mid-1950s, Bing was more comfortable in a bass range while maintaining a baritone quality, with the best octave being G to G, or even F to F. In a recording he made of 'Dardanella' with Louis Armstrong in 1960, he attacks lightly and easily on a low E flat. This is lower than most opera basses care to venture, and they tend to sound as if they were in the cellar when they get there.

Crosby's was among the most popular and successful musical acts of the 20th century.

He sang four Academy Award-winning songs – "Sweet Leilani" (1937), "White Christmas" (1942), "Swinging on a Star" (1944), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (1951) – and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Going My Way (1944).

Crosby charted 23 Billboard hits from 47 recorded songs with the Andrews Sisters, whose Decca record sales were second only to Crosby's throughout the 1940s. Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne were his most frequent collaborators on disc from 1939 to 1952—a partnership that produced four million-selling singles: "Pistol Packin' Mama", "Jingle Bells", "Don't Fence Me In", and "South America, Take it Away".

 

His last TV appearance was a Christmas special filmed in London in September 1977 and aired weeks after his death. It was on this special that he recorded a duet of "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace on Earth" with rock star David Bowie. Their duet was released in 1982 as a single 45-rpm record and reached No. 3 in the UK singles charts. It has since become a staple of holiday radio and the final popular hit of Bing Crosby's career. At the end of the 20th century, TV Guide listed the Crosby-Bowie duet as one of the 25 most memorable musical moments of 20th-century television.

 

 What better way to end this tribute to Bing Crosby than a wish for a kinder and better world and a world where men of goodwill live in peace again.

Have a very Merry Christmas and thank you for allowing me to share with you this year. 

You can listen to the show on my podcast https://www.mixcloud.com/Galen3/

Malcolm

Date
Clear filters
Responsive Grid for Articles patriotrealm
Date
Clear filters