Given the collective memory loss, I am sure that few people under fifty automatically know who Bing Crosby is, which is a pity.  Their loss.  I fell in love with the sound of his voice when I was a child (I even came to appreciate the distorted renditions of WHITE CHRISTMAS played through loudspeakers throughout December) and my reverence for his work has only grown with time.  Add to that his delight in working with jazz players, his insouciant yet hilariously erudite film persona, and you have an Icon.  By the way, the second volume of Gary Giddins’ Bing tome is supposed to be published before the end of 2019: something to read while the days grow short.

Incidentally, the question of “Is X a jazz singer?” is not terribly interesting to me.  “Does it sound good? Does it move the listener?  Is it artfully done?” are the questions that do.

Here’s what he sounded like three days before his death: lovely, apparently casual, full of feeling:

and some forty years later, a recording that the fine singer Dawn Lambeth told me about, very loose, with the guitarist Perry Botkin the only accompaniment — a splendid song, taken in a light-hearted,  jovial way:

You may prefer other singers, but he remains inimitable.

May your happiness increase!

4 responses to ““TWO BINGS, PLEASE!”

  1. Don ""Zoot" Conner

    I agree with you,Michael,,at least my head does.However my heart only goes out to his 1929-1940 records when he was,indeed,a jazz singer who could move me to tears(Sad-glad) along with Billie,Pres and others.I enjoyed the two sides you posted.

  2. Mark Voitenko

    That’s the first time I’ve heard the verse to “Once in a While.” Very nice.

  3. Steve Burstein

    If I say “Bing Crosby” to younger people they don’t recognize the name, but if I explain he was the Man who sang “White Christmas” and starred in the movie, then they know.

  4. At one time probably the most known entertainer in the world. Sold more records than Elvis and the Beatles. Taught Frank and Dino how to sing and all the others that followed. He could do things that others could not. Just listen to him sing Dinah and than White Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s