Friday, February 21, 2003

I picked up a great CD at the library the other day... Bing Crosby-Radio Days. It was a compilation of songs from Bing's radio show in the 1940s and had him performing a bunch of songs I had not heard before as well as singing with a wide array of guests such as Peggy Lee, Bob Hope, Burle Ives, Judy Garland, Maurice Chevalier, Dennis Day and Nat King Cole. I sure wish I could find more of this stuff.
I'm still reading the Bing Crosby biography "A Pocketful of Dreams" by Gary Giddins. I got on this Bing kick after hearing him on the Ken Burns Jazz CDs that I got last year. You might have missed him if you weren't paying attention. He is certainly not featured and barely even mentioned in the Ken Burns series. But one song they include in the collection by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra "Ain't No Sweet Man Worth the Salt of Your Tears" has a vocal section by The Ryhthm Boys, which included Bing in his earliest incarnation. That little bit of singing in the midst of what was mostly an instrumental piece was enough to set me off on a quest for Bing Crosby music.
Fortunately for me and my pocketbook, I found a four-disc compilation of the Best of Bing Crosby at the library and recorded it. Now Bing is right up there in my pantheon of greatest singers along with Elvis, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

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