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BING CROSBY

Harry Lillis Crosby
Vocalist, Actor, Lyricist, Drummer, Golfer
(1903-1977)

Bing Crosby was one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. He was the first white male singer deeply influenced by jazz and a great admirer of jazz artists, especially Louis Armstrong.

Crosby’s career began as a drummer and vocalist with college chum Al Rinker (brother of vocalist Mildred Bailey). The two drove from Tacoma, Washington to Los Angeles in 1926, where Bailey found them work in vaudeville. They were soon hired by orchestra-leader Paul Whiteman, who teamed them with pianist/vocalist/composer Harry Barris billing them as The Rhythm Boys. As a part of the trio, Crosby made his first film appearance in the King of Jazz in 1930.

The jazz-playing members of Whiteman’s orchestra impressed Crosby, especially cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, and he later employed Joe Venuti (violin) and Eddie Lang (guitar), who became his permanent accompanist in 1932.

Crosby and the Rhythm Boys were fired by Whiteman in 1930 and went to work for Los Angeles bandleader Gus Arnheim. That year the trio appeared in the film Check and Double Check accompanied by Duke Ellington’s Orchestra. Also during this period Crosby cemented his life-long friendship with Louis Armstrong, eventually leading to appearances together in film.

Arnheim encouraged Crosby and featured him more often without Barris and Rinker, and his popularity soared with live radio broadcasts and recordings. In mid-1931 Crosby left Arnheim to follow a solo career, which quickly took off with 16 recordings in the charts, three of which were number one.

His first feature film appearance was in The Big Broadcast of 1932 and he starred in 20 more features during the 1930s. In the 1940s he teamed up with Bob Hope in a series of Road pictures, beginning with The Road to Singapore (1940). His role as an easy-going priest in Going My Way (1944) won him an Oscar as Best Actor, and in it he sang Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen’s Oscar-winning “Swinging on a Star.” He received two more Oscar nominations: for The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and for his role as an alcoholic in The Country Girl (1954).

For over 50 years his recording of Irving Berlin’s Oscar-winning “White Christmas,” introduced in the film Holiday Inn (1942), which first paired him with Fred Astaire, was a best-seller. In their next film, Blue Skies (1946), they danced and sang their way through an Irving Berlin score.

Short, stocky and balding, Crosby was not your typical leading man, but he was appealing--from his almost comical dress to his lackadaisical manner and passion for golf. He starred in his own radio and television shows and introduced some of our most enduring standards: “I Surrender, Dear” (1931), “Pennies from Heaven” (1936), “Moonlight Becomes You” (1942), “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (1944), and the Oscar-winning “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” (1951). Crosby contributed lyrics to his theme song, “Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day” (1931) and to “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You” (1932).

The most memorable of his later films, High Society (1956), reunited him with Louis Armstrong, featured him with supposed-rival Frank Sinatra, and included a memorable scene crooning “True Love” to Grace Kelly. He died on tour while playing golf in Spain.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Classical Artist | Non-Classical Artist | Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Non-Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ANDREWS SISTERS: Hit the Road (1938-1944) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120550
Nostalgia
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Sing It, Satchmo (1945-1955) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 8) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120818
Jazz
BERLIN, Irving: Say It Isn't So - Songs of Irving Berlin (1919-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120829
Nostalgia
BLUE VELVET - 60 Nostalgia All Time Classics Naxos Nostalgia
8.103018
Nostalgia
BORGE, Victor: Unstarted Symphony (1942-53) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120859
Nostalgia
CHRISTMAS Julstamning - De klassiska melodierna och de alskade sangerna (Christmas Spirit - The Classic Melodies and Beloved Songs) Naxos
8.503157
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Classic Crosby (1930-1934) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120507
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Rhythm King (1926-1930) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120696
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Some of These Days (1931-1933) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120562
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (1927-1931) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120697
Nostalgia
DORSEY BROTHERS: Stop, Look And Listen (1932-1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120762
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: It Don't Mean a Thing (1930-1934) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120526
Jazz
GARLAND, Judy: Over the Rainbow (1936-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120563
Nostalgia
GERSHWIN, G.: 'S Wonderful - Songs of George Gershwin (1929-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120828
Nostalgia
Heifetz, Jascha: Miniatures, Vol. 1 (1944-1946) Naxos Historical
8.111379
Vocal
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 5: 1956 Pop, Part 1 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82510
Pop and Rock
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 7: 1957 Pop, Part 1 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82518
Pop and Rock
HITS OF THE 1930s, Vol. 1 (1930): Happy Days Are Here Again! Naxos Nostalgia
8.120634
Nostalgia
HITS OF THE 1930s, Vol. 2 (1931-1933) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120842
Nostalgia
HITS OF THE 1940s, Vol. 1 (1940): I'll Never Smile Again Naxos Nostalgia
8.120636
Nostalgia
HITS OF THE 1950s, Vol. 1 (1950): Music! Music! Music! Naxos Nostalgia
8.120637
Nostalgia
HOPE, Bob: Thanks for the Memories (1938-1955) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120836
Nostalgia
KERN: The Song Is You (1925-1945) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120827
Nostalgia
RODGERS, Richard: Easy to Remember - Songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (1925-1946) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120830
Nostalgia
SONGS of IRELAND (1916-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120640
Nostalgia
STARS of the GOLDEN ERA Naxos Nostalgia
8.120754-55
Nostalgia
THAT CHRISTMAS FEELING: 21 Vintage Seasonal Hits (1932-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120564
Nostalgia
ULTIMATE VOCAL COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120863-64
Nostalgia
WHITEMAN, Paul: Paul Whiteman and His Dance Band Naxos Nostalgia
8.120511
Nostalgia
WHITEMAN, Paul: A Pops Concert (1927-1929) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120520
Nostalgia

Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
CROSBY, Bing: Classic Crosby (1930-1934) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120507
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Rhythm King (1926-1930) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120696
Nostalgia
CROSBY, Bing: Some of These Days (1931-1933) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120562
Nostalgia
HAMPTON, Lionel: Air Mail Special (1937-1946) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120651
Nostalgia
YOUNG, Lester: Lester Leaps Again (1942-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120764
Jazz

Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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