The American entertainer, Bing Crosby (1903-1977), used his baritone voice in combination with new recording technology to develop a personal singing style that made him the nation's top entertainer for a generation beginning in the mid-1930's. Young people probably know little if anything about Crosby but I think he sits at the pinnacle of the 20th century American entertainment industry along with his close friend, Bob Hope. Crosby's contributions are well worth exploring if you enjoy popular culture, and are essential if you are a fan of the Great American Songbook.
|Crosby publicity photo from the 1930's|
Bing Crosby has sold close to one billion records, tapes, compact disks and digital downloads around the world. He may be the biggest recording artist of all time. Only The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson can rival Bing's sales record.
For the full story, I suggest readers visit his official site after reading the Wikipedia link above.
It would be inappropriate to write about Crosby without providing readers with a few examples of his talent. Here is Swinging On A Star, a song he introduced in the 1944 film, Going My Way. The song was an Academy Award winner that year.
And here Crosby sings the lyrics of his good friend, Johnny Mercer, who as songwriter, singer, and entrepreneur, was another major presence shaping American entertainment in the 20th century.
May 3 marks the 114th anniversary of Crosby's birth.