The Bing Crosby Information File
Originally compiled by Jim Reilly for what was then the International Crosby Circle.
Click on the links below.
As put together by Gary Giddins, in his marvellous book, Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams – the Early Years 1903-1940, published by Little, Brown in 2001.
Bing was the first full-time vocalist ever
signed to an orchestra.
He made more studio recordings than any other
singer in history.
He made the most
popular record ever, “White Christmas,” the only single to make American
pop charts twenty times, every year but one between 1942 and 1952. In 1998, after a long absence, his 1947
version hit the charts in Britain.
Between 1927 and 1962 he scored 368 charted records
under his own name, plus twenty-eight as a vocalist with various bandleaders,
for a total of 396. No one else has come
close; compare Paul Whiteman (220), Frank Sinatra (209), Elvis Presley (149),
Glenn Miller (129), Nat “King” Cole (118), Louis Armstrong (85), the Beatles
He scored the most number one hits ever, 38,
compared with 24 by the Beatles and 18 by Presley.
In 1960 he received a platinum record as First
Citizen of the Record Industry for having sold 200 million discs, a number that
doubled by 1980.
Between 1915 and 1980 he was the only
motion-picture star to rank as the number one box-office attraction five times
(1944-48). Between 1934 and 1954 he
scored in the top ten fifteen times.
“Going My Way” was the highest-grossing film in
the history of Paramount Pictures until 1947; “The Bells of St. Mary’s” was the
highest-grossing film in the history of RKO Pictures until 1947.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for best
actor three times and won for “Going My Way”.
He was a major radio star longer than any other
performer, from 1931 until 1954 on network, 1954 until 1962 in syndication.
He appeared on approximately 4,000 radio
broadcasts, nearly 3,400 of them his own programs, and single-handedly changed
radio from a live-performance to a canned or recorded medium by presenting, in
1946, the first transcribed network show on ABC – thereby making that also-ran
network a major force.
He financed and popularized the development of
tape, revolutionizing the recording industry.
He created the first and longest-running
celebrity pro-am golf championship, playing host for thirty-five years, raising
millions in charity, and was the central figure in the development of the Del
Mar racetrack in California.
He made the largest number of V-discs and army
broadcasts of any American entertainer and raised $14.5 million in war bonds (a
“Yank” magazine poll declared him the individual who had done more for GI
morale during World War II).
Harry Lillis Crosby in Tacoma, Washington, May 3, 1903.
There has always been some dispute over his actual birth date and even his mother at one time said it was May 2, 1904. This is the date quoted in his official biography and shown on his gravestone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles. His correct date of birth has been confirmed to be May 3, 1903, from his baptismal certificate. Bing was the fourth of seven children born to Harry Lincoln (sometimes Lowe) Crosby and his wife Catherine Helen (nee Harrigan) Crosby at 1112 North Jay Street, Tacoma. Bing’s mother was of Irish descent and his father was descended from a maritime family. In all, there were seven Crosby children: Laurence (born 1895), Everett (born 1896), Edward (born 1900), Bing (born 1903), Catherine (born 1904), Mary Rose (born 1906), and George Robert (born 1913). The family moved to Spokane in 1906 where Bing grew up and attended Gonzaga High School and Gonzaga University until he left home to seek his fame and fortune in California with friend Al Rinker in 1925.
He was known as “Bing” from a young age, when he got the nickname from the comic “The Bingville Bugle.” Other nicknames included The Old Groaner, El Bingo, Le Bing and Der Bingle.
Bing’s hobbies included golf, fishing, hunting, and horse racing.
Dixie Lee, 1930–1952 (born 1911, died 1952);
Kathryn Grant, 1957–1977 (born 1933).
First marriage—Gary (born 1933, died 1995), twins (born 1934) Phillip (died 2004) and Dennis (died 1991), Lindsay (born 1938, died 1989).
Second marriage—Harry Lillis Jr. (born 1958), Mary Frances (born 1959), and Nathaniel (born 1961).
October 14, 1977, on La Moraleja Golf Course near Madrid, Spain. He had just completed a successful round of golf when he collapsed as the result of a massive heart attack. He had been playing with Spanish golfers Manuel Pinero, Valentine Barrios, and club president Cesar de Zulueta. Bing’s last words were reportedly, “That was a great game of golf fellas. Let’s go have a Coca-Cola.”
Bing Crosby—The Recording Artist
Bing made recordings in every year of his career which spanned fifty-one years, and he recorded some 2000 titles. He was the most successful recording artist of the twentieth century, with well over 300 hits to his name and twenty-two official Gold Records. Bing recorded with many stars including the Andrews Sisters, Patti Andrews, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Connee Boswell, the Boswell Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, Dixie Lee Crosby, Gary Crosby, Trudy Erwin, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Grace Kelly, Frances Langford, Peggy Lee, Mary Martin, Johnny Mercer, the Mills Brothers, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Richards, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and Jane Wyman among others.
First recording—“I’ve Got the Girl,” a duet with Al Rinker and Don Clark and his Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orchestra, recorded October 18, 1926.
Last recording—“Once in a While” with Gordon Rose and his Orchestra recorded for the BBC, October 11, 1977, in London.
Bing’s Forty Top Hits
1931—1. Out of Nowhere, 2. Just One More Chance, 3. At Your Command.
1932—4. Dinah (with the Mills Brothers), 5. Please.
1933—6. Brother Can You Spare A Dime, 7. You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me, 8. Shadow Waltz.
1934—9. Little Dutch Mill, 10. Love in Bloom, 11. June in January.
1935—12. Soon, 13. It’s Easy to Remember, 14. Red Sails in the Sunset.
1936—15. Pennies from Heaven.
1937—16. Sweet Leilani, 17. Too Marvelous for Words, 18. The Moon Got in My Eyes, 19. Remember Me, 20. Bob White (with Connie Boswell).
1938—21. I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams, 22. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (with Connie Boswell), 23. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.
1940—24. Sierra Sue, 25. Trade Winds, 26. Only Forever.
1942—27. White Christmas.
1943—28. Moonlight Becomes You, 29. Sunday Monday or Always.
1944—30. San Fernando Valley, 31. I Love You (Porter), 32. I’ll Be Seeing You, 33. Swinging on a Star, 34. A Hot Time in the Town of Berlin (with the Andrews Sisters), 35. Don’t Fence Me In (with the Andrews Sisters).
1945—36. It’s Been a Long Long Time, 37. I Can’t Begin to Tell You.
1948—38. Now Is the Hour.
1949—39. Far Away Places.
1950—40. Play a Simple Melody (with Gary Crosby).
Note: Titles 1–38 were number one hits and titles 39–40 reached the number two spot in the charts. Bing’s recording “White Christmas” was the most successful single recording in the world for more than fifty-five years. His latest success with the song was in 1998, when “White Christmas” charted for three consecutive weeks over the festive season in the U.K. reaching the number twenty-nine spot.
Bing’s Gold Records
(titles 1 to 21–Decca, 22–Capitol)
1. Sweet Leilani.
2. New San Antonio Rose.
3. White Christmas.
4. Silent Night.
5. Sunday Monday or Always.
6. Pistol Packin’ Mama (with the Andrews Sisters).
7. Jingle Bells (with the Andrews Sisters).
8. I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
9. Swinging on a Star.
11. Don’t Fence Me In (with the Andrews Sisters).
12. I Can’t Begin to Tell You.
13. McNamara’s Band.
14. South America Take It Away (with the Andrews Sisters).
15. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (with Al Jolson).
16. The Whiffenpoof Song.
17. Now Is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song).
18. Galway Bay.
19. Dear Hearts and Gentle People.
20. Play a Simple Melody (with Gary Crosby).
21. Sam’s Song (with Gary Crosby).
22. True Love (with Grace Kelly).
Bing’s voice was at its peak in the thirties and early forties and throughout this period he had no equal. During his career, he sang every imaginable kind of song including romantic ballads, country and western, patriotic, religious, Irish and Hawaiian favorites as well as light opera and jazz classics. No singer has ever matched Bing when it comes to Christmas; his Yuletide offerings remain preeminent throughout the world. Some 1500 of Bing’s recordings (both commercial and radio) are currently available on compact disc and more are released all over the world on a regular basis. Over 500 Crosby CDs have been issued since the advent of the compact disc as confirmation that thirty three years after his death Bing remains ever popular.
See www.jazzdiscography.com/Artists/Crosby/crosby.html for further information.
Bing Crosby—On Radio
Bing first appeared on radio during 1928 as a soloist with Paul Whiteman and with Al Rinker and Harry Barris as the Rhythm Boys. His first solo nationwide broadcast took place in New York on the Columbia Broadcasting System on September 2, 1931, when he sang “Just One More Chance” and “I’m Thru with Love.” After that Bing continued to star on radio for more than thirty years; his most successful period being the thirties through the fifties, which were the halcyon days of radio. As with his recording career, Bing sang the most popular songs of the day and often appeared with other leading entertainers on his radio broadcasts. From the early thirties, Bing’s theme song was “Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day.”
Bing was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, on October 11, 1998, and his wife Kathryn Crosby accepted the posthumous award.
The Radio Programs
1929–1930, Old Gold Cigarettes Presents Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, from New York.
1930–1931, The Cocoanut Grove Presents Gus Arnheim from Los Angeles.
1931, Presenting Bing Crosby from CBS, New York.
1931–1932, Bing Crosby—Cremo Singer from CBS, New York.
1933, Chesterfield Cigarettes Presents “Music That Satisfies” from CBS, New York.
1933–1935, Bing Crosby Entertains, for Woodbury Facial Soap, from CBS, Los Angeles.
1935–1946, The Kraft Music Hall from NBC, Los Angeles.
1946–1949, Philco Radio Time from ABC, Los Angeles.
1949–1952, The Bing Crosby Show for Chesterfield from CBS, Los Angeles.
1952–1954, The Bing Crosby Show for General Electric from CBS, Los Angeles.
1954–1956, The Bing Crosby Show from CBS, Los Angeles.
1957–1958, The Ford Road Show from CBS, Los Angeles.
1960–1962, The Bing Crosby–Rosemary Clooney Show from CBS, Los Angeles.
For more detailed information, click here.
Bing was one of the most successful stars ever to appear on the silver screen. For a period covering fifteen years, Bing was among the top ten box office stars and for five consecutive years (1944–1949) he achieved the number one spot. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1944 for his portrayal of Father Chuck O’Malley in the film Going My Way. He was also nominated for two additional Best Actor Awards for his performances in The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and The Country Girl (1954).
In a great many of his films, he played lighthearted comedy and musical roles as a singer or songwriter. His usual casual approach belied the fact that Bing was a fine dramatic actor as witnessed by his portrayals in Little Boy Lost (1953), The Country Girl (1954), Man on Fire (1957), and his last major film Stagecoach (1966). No one who saw his powerful performance as an alcoholic in The Country Girl could ever doubt his ability as a serious actor. It is somewhat ironic that Bing’s film career may be best remembered for his seven zany Road films in which he starred with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
In all, Bing appeared in 104 films made for the cinema including short comedies, feature-length films, cameos, and guest appearances. He also starred in several films made especially for television.
Mack Sennett Shorts (1931–32)—I Surrender Dear, One More Chance, Dream House, Billboard Girl, Sing Bing Sing, and Blue of the Night.
Paramount shorts (1933)—Please and Just an Echo.
MGM short (1935) Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove.
Reaching for the Moon, Confessions of a Coed, The Big Broadcast of 1936, My Favorite Blonde, Star-Spangled Rhythm, The Princess and the Pirate, Duffy’s Tavern, Variety Girl, My Favorite Brunette, Angels in the Outfield, The Greatest Show on Earth, Son of Paleface, Scared Stiff, Alias Jesse James, Let’s Make Love, Pepe, Cancel My Reservation, and That’s Entertainment.
(Dates shown are the film release dates and the songs listed are those sung by Bing in each film.)
King of Jazz—1930 (color). A Universal Picture featuring the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Songs include: “Music Hath Charms,” “Mississippi Mud,” “So the Blackbirds and the Bluebirds Got Together,” “A Bench in the Park,” and “Happy Feet.”
The Big Broadcast—1932 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Stuart Erwin, George Burns and Gracie Allen. Songs include: “Where the Blue of the Night,” “I Surrender Dear,” “Dinah,” “Here Lies Love,” and “Please.”
College Humor—1933 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Wesley Ruggles starring Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, and Mary Carlisle. Songs include: “Learn to Croon,” “Moonstruck,” and “Down the Old Ox Road.”
Too Much Harmony—1933 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by A. Edward Sutherland starring Bing Crosby, Judith Allen, Jack Oakie. Songs include: “Boo Boo Boo,” “Thanks,” “The Day You Came Along,” and “Buckin’ the Wind”.
Going Hollywood—1933 (black & white). An MGM Production for Cosmopolitan Pictures directed by Raoul Walsh starring Bing Crosby, Marion Davies, Fifi D’Orsay, Ned Sparks, and Stuart Erwin. Songs include: “Going Hollywood,” “After Sundown,” “We’ll Make Hay While the Sun Shines,” “Temptation,” “Beautiful Girl,” and “Our Big Love Scene.”
We’re Not Dressing—1934 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Norman Taurog starring Bing Crosby, Carole Lombard, Leon Errol, Ethel Merman, and Ray Milland. Songs include: “Goodnight Lovely Little Lady,” “I Positively Refuse to Sing,” “She Reminds Me of You,” “May I?” “Love Thy Neighbor,” and “Once in a Blue Moon.”
She Loves Me Not—1934 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Elliott Nugent starring Bing Crosby, Kitty Carlisle, and Miriam Hopkins. Songs include: “I’m Hummin’ I’m Whistlin’ I’m Singin’,” “Love in Bloom,” and “Straight from the Shoulder.”
Here Is My Heart—1935 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Kitty Carlisle, and Roland Young. Songs include: “June in January,” “With Every Breath I Take,” and “Love Is Just around the Corner.”
Mississippi—1935 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by A. Edward Sutherland starring Bing Crosby, W. C. Fields, and Joan Bennett. Songs include: “Swanee River,” “Down by the River,” “Soon,” and “It’s Easy to Remember.”
Two for Tonight—1935 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Joan Bennett, and Mary Boland. Songs include: “Two for Tonight,” “I Wish I Were Aladdin,” “From the Top of Your Head,” “Takes Two to Make a Bargain,” and “Without a Word of Warning.”
Anything Goes—1936 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Lewis Milestone starring Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Charles Ruggles, and Ida Lupino. Songs include: “You’re the Top,” “My Heart and I,” “Sailor Beware,” and “Moonburn.”
Rhythm on the Range—1936 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Norman Taurog starring Bing Crosby, Frances Farmer, Bob Burns, and Martha Raye. Songs include: “Empty Saddles,” “I Can’t Escape from You,” “Roundup Lullaby,” and “I’m an Old Cowhand.”
Pennies from Heaven—1936 (black & white). A Major Pictures Production for Columbia Pictures directed by Norman Z. McLeod starring Bing Crosby, Madge Evans, Donald Meek, Edith Fellows, and Louis Armstrong. Songs include: “Pennies from Heaven,” “One Two Button Your Shoe,” “Let’s Call a Heart a Heart,” and “So Do I.”
Waikiki Wedding—1937 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Shirley Ross, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, George Barbier, Leif Erikson, and Anthony Quinn. Songs include: “Sweet Leilani,” “Blue Hawaii,” “In a Little Hula Heaven,” and “Sweet Is the Word for You.”
Double or Nothing—1937 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Theodore Reed starring Bing Crosby, Mary Carlisle, Martha Raye, Andy Devine, and William Frawley. Songs include: “Smarty,” “The Moon Got in My Eyes,” “It’s the Natural Thing to Do,” and “All You Want to Do Is Dance.”
Doctor Rhythm—1938 (black & white). A Major Pictures Production for Paramount Pictures directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Mary Carlisle, Beatrice Lillie, and Andy Devine. Songs include: “My Heart Is Taking Lessons,” “On the Sentimental Side,” and “This Is My Night to Dream.”
Sing You Sinners—1938 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Wesley Ruggles starring Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and Donald O’Connor. Songs include: “I’ve Got a Pocketful Of Dreams,” “Don’t Let That Moon Get Away,” “Laugh and Call It Love,” and “Small Fry.”
Paris Honeymoon—1939 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Tuttle starring Bing Crosby, Franciska Gaal, Akim Tamiroff, and Shirley Ross. Songs include: “I Have Eyes,” “You’re a Sweet Little Headache,” “Funny Old Hills,” and “Joobalai.”
East Side of Heaven—1939 (black & white). An Independent Production for Universal Pictures directed by David Butler starring Bing Crosby, Joan Blondell, and Mischa Auer. Songs include: “Happy Birthday,” “Sing a Song of Sunbeams,” “Hang Your Heart on a Hickory Limb,” “That Sly Old Gentleman,” and “East Side of Heaven.”
The Star Maker—1939 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Roy Del Ruth starring Bing Crosby, Louise Campbell, Linda Ware, and Ned Sparks. Songs include: “Jimmy Valentine,” “A Man and His Dream,” “If I Was a Millionaire,” “Go Fly a Kite,” “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now,” “In My Merry Oldsmobile,” “An Apple for the Teacher,” “Schooldays,” and “Still the Bluebird Sings.”
Road to Singapore—1940 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Charles Coburn, Anthony Quinn, and Jerry Colonna. Songs include: “Captain Custard,” “Too Romantic,” and “Sweet Potato Piper.”
If I Had My Way—1940 (black & white). A Universal Picture directed by David Butler starring Bing Crosby, Gloria Jean, Charles Winninger, and El Brendel. Songs include: “Meet the Sun Halfway,” “I Haven’t Time to Be a Millionaire,” “If I Had My Way,” “April Played the Fiddle,” and “Pessimistic Character.”
Rhythm on the River—1940 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Basil Rathbone, and Oscar Levant. Songs include: “Rhythm on the River,” “Only Forever,” “What Would Shakespeare Have Said,” “That’s for Me,” and “When the Moon Comes over Madison Square.”
Road to Zanzibar—1941 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Una Merkel, and Eric Blore. Songs include: “You Lucky People You,” “It’s Always You,” and “On the Road to Zanzibar (African Etude).”
Birth of the Blues—1941 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Victor Schertzinger starring Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Brian Donlevy, Carolyn Lee, and Jack Teagarden. Songs include: “Birth of the Blues,” “Memphis Blues,” “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” “Wait till the Sun Shines Nellie,” “My Melancholy Baby,” “The Waiter and the Porter and the Upstairs Maid,” and “St. Louis Blues.”
Holiday Inn—1942 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Mark Sandrich starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, and Walter Abel. Songs include: “I’ll Capture Your Heart,” “Be Careful It’s My Heart,” “Lazy,” “White Christmas,” “Happy Holiday,” “Let’s Start the New Year Right,” “Easter Parade,” “Abraham,” “Song of Freedom,” and “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For.”
Road to Morocco—1942 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by David Butler starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Anthony Quinn, and Dona Drake. Songs include: “Road to Morocco,” “Ain’t Got a Dime to My Name,” and “Moonlight Becomes You.”
Star Spangled Rhythm—1942 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by George Marshall starring Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Victor Moore, Eddie Bracken, and Walter Abel. Bing sings “Old Glory.”
Dixie—1943 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by A. Edward Sutherland starring Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Marjorie Reynolds and Billy de Wolfe. Songs include: “Sunday Monday or Always”, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “If You Please,” “Old Dan Tucker,” “She’s from Missouri,” “A Horse That Knows the Way Back Home,” and “Dixie.”
Going My Way—1944 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Leo McCarey starring Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, Stanley Clements, Jean Heather, and Rise Stevens. Songs include: “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral,” “The Day After Forever,” “Going My Way,” “Ave Maria,” “Silent Night,” and “Swinging on a Star.”
Here Come the Waves—1944 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Mark Sandrich starring Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Sonny Tufts, Ann Doran, and Gwen Crawford. Songs include: “That Old Black Magic,” “Let’s Take the Long Way Home,” “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive,” and “I Promise You.”
The Bells of St. Mary’s—1945 (black & white). A Rainbow Production for RKO Pictures directed by Leo McCarey starring Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers, Dickie Tyler, and Joan Caroll. Songs include: “Aren’t You Glad You’re You,” “Adeste Fideles,” “In the Land of Beginning Again,” “O Sanctissima,” and “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”
Road to Utopia—1946 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Hal Walker starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Douglas Dumbrille, and Jack La Rue. Songs include: “Goodtime Charlie,” “Welcome to My Dream,” “It’s Anybody’s Spring,” and “Put It There Pal.”
Blue Skies—1946 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Stuart Heisler starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Joan Caulfield, Billy de Wolfe, and Olga San Juan. Songs include: “I’ve Got My Captain Working for Me Now,” “All by Myself,” “I’ll See You in Cuba,” “A Couple of Song and Dance Men,” “Blue Skies,” “Everybody Step,” “You Keep Coming Back Like a Song,” “Getting Nowhere,” and “Medley: Any Bonds Today/This Is the Army, Mr. Jones/White Christmas.”
Welcome Stranger—1947 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Elliott Nugent starring Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Joan Caulfield, and Wanda Hendrix. Songs include: “Smile Right Back at the Sun,” “Country Style,” “My Heart Is a Hobo,” and “As Long as I’m Dreaming.”
The Emperor Waltz—1948 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Billy Wilder starring Bing Crosby, Joan Fontaine, Roland Culver, and Richard Haydn. Songs include: “I Kiss Your Hand Madame,” “The Kiss in Your Eyes,” “The Friendly Mountains,” and “The Emperor Waltz.”
Road to Rio—1948 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Norman Z. McLeod starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Gale Sondergaard, and the Andrews Sisters. Songs include: “Apalachicola FLA,” “But Beautiful,” and “You Don’t Have to Know the Language.”
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court—1949 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Tay Garnett starring Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, William Bendix, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Songs include: “If You Stub Your Toe on the Moon,” “Once and for Always,” and “Busy Doing Nothing.”
Top o’ the Morning—1949 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by David Miller starring Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Ann Blyth, and Hume Cronyn. Songs include: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Kitty of Coleraine,” “The Donovans,” “You’re in Love with Someone,” “Top o’ the Morning,” and “O ‘Tis Sweet to Think.”
Riding High—1950 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Capra starring Bing Crosby, Coleen Gray, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Frances Gifford, and Charles Bickford. Songs include: “Sure Thing,” “Someplace on Anywhere Road,” “Sunshine Cake,” “The Horse Told Me,” and “Camptown Races.”
Mr. Music—1950 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Richard Haydn starring Bing Crosby, Nancy Olsen, Charles Coburn, and Ruth Hussey. Songs include: “And You’ll Be Home,” “High on the List,” “Wouldn’t It Be Funny,” “Accidents Will Happen,” “Wasn’t I There,” and “Life Is So Peculiar.”
Here Comes the Groom—1951 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by Frank Capra starring Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman, Franchot Tone, and Alexis Smith. Songs include: “Your Own Little House,” “In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening,” “Misto Cristofo Columbo,” “O Promise Me,” and “Bonne Nuit.”
Just for You—1952 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Elliott Nugent starring Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman, Bob Arthur, Natalie Wood, Cora Witherspoon, and Ethel Barrymore. Songs include: “I’ll Si-Si Ya in Bahia,” “Zing a Little Zong,” “The Live Oak Tree,” “On the Ten-Ten from Ten-Ten Tennessee,” and “Just for You.”
Road to Bali—1953 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Hal Walker starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, and Murvyn Vye. Songs include: “Chicago Style,” “Whiffenpoof Song,” “Hoot Mon,” “To See You Is to Love You,” and “The Merry-Go-Run-Around.”
Little Boy Lost—1953 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by George Seaton starring Bing Crosby, Nicole Maurey, Claude Dauphin, and Christian Fourcade. Songs include: “The Darktown Strutters Ball,” “A Propos De Rien,” “Cela M’Est Egal (If It’s All the Same to You),” and “The Magic Window.”
White Christmas—1954 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Michael Curtiz starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger, and Mary Wickes. Songs include: “Snow,” “Mandy,” “I’d Rather See a Minstrel Show,” “Count Your Blessings,” “What Can You Do with a General,” “Gee I Wish I Was Back in the Army,” “The Old Man,” and “White Christmas.”
The Country Girl—1954 (black & white). A Paramount Picture directed by George Seaton starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and William Holden. Songs include: “It’s Mine It’s Yours,” “The Search Is Through,” “The Land around Us,” and “Dissertation on the State of Bliss.”
Anything Goes—1956 (color). A Paramount Picture directed by Robert Lewis starring Bing Crosby, Donald O’Connor, Zizi Jeanmaire, Mitzi Gaynor, and Phil Harris. Songs include: “Ya Gotta Give the People Hoke,” “You’re the Top,” “All through the Night,” “A Second-Hand Turban and a Crystal Ball,” and “Blow Gabriel Blow.”
High Society—1956 (color). An MGM Picture directed by Charles Walters starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Celeste Holm. Songs include: “Little One,” “True Love,” “I Love You Samantha,” “Now You Has Jazz,” and “Well Did You Evah.”
Man on Fire—1957 (black & white). An MGM Picture directed by Ronald MacDougall starring Bing Crosby, Inger Stevens, Mary Fickett, and E. G. Marshall. Song: “Man on Fire.”
Say One for Me—1959 (color). A Bing Crosby Production for Twentieth-Century-Fox directed by Frank Tashlin starring Bing Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, Robert Wagner, and Ray Walston. Songs include: “Say One for Me,” “I Couldn’t Care Less,” and “The Secret of Christmas.”
High Time—1960 (color). A Bing Crosby Production for Twentieth-Century-Fox directed by Blake Edwards starring Bing Crosby, Fabian, Tuesday Weld, and Nicole Maurey. Songs include: “The Second Time Around,” “You Tell Me Your Dream,” and “It Came upon a Midnight Clear.”
The Road to Hong Kong—1962 (black & white). A Melnor Films Production for United Artists directed by Norman Panama starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Joan Collins, Dorothy Lamour, and Robert Morley. Songs include: “Road to Hong Kong,” “Teamwork,” and “Let’s Not Be Sensible.”
Robin and the Seven Hoods—1964 (color). A Frank Sinatra Production for Warner Brothers directed by Gordon Douglas starring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Falk, and Barbara Rush. Songs include: “Style,” “Mr. Booze,” and “Don’t Be a Do-Badder.”
Stagecoach—1966 (color). A Twentieth-Century-Fox Production directed by Gordon Douglas starring Bing Crosby, Ann Margret, Michael Connors, Alex Cord, Red Buttons, Van Heflin, Slim Pickens, and Stephanie Powers.
Bing’s last major film appearance was as one of the narrators in the MGM compilation film That’s Entertainment (part one) which was made in 1974. Many of Bing’s films are now available on commercially recorded DVDs.
For more detailed information, search at the Internet Movie Database.
Bing Crosby—On Television (1948–1977)
The first of Bing’s television appearances was on December 19, 1948, when he sang “Silent Night” with the Mitchell Boys’ Choir. This first telecast can still be seen today on the video The Magic Of Bing Crosby Part 1. Bing did not undertake much TV work over the next few years although notable exceptions were his participation in a fourteen-hour telethon in 1952 and two half-hour shows he recorded for General Electric in 1954. In 1956 he appeared in the first film especially made for television—High Tor—which also featured a young Julie Andrews and Nancy Olsen.
However his real breakthrough into TV came in 1957 when he hosted the award winning program The Edsel Show with guests Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Rosemary Clooney. The huge success of that show led to a major contract for Bing with ABC-TV and he then began a pattern of making two “specials” each year which were invariably very well received. In 1964, Bing starred in a weekly situation comedy program, which only ran for one season. More suited to Bing’s talents was his frequent role as host of the Hollywood Palace variety shows. His thirty-two appearances made him the most employed presenter of the series, which ran from 1964 to 1970. He also starred in the TV movie Doctor Cook’s Garden in 1971 and won much critical acclaim for his performance. Bing also could often be seen in television advertisements, with his Minute Maid and Shell performances being the best known.
Bing will probably be most remembered for his Christmas TV specials which started in the 1960s and became the highlight of the festive season each year, being watched by very large audiences. His last television appearance was in “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” which was taped in England and shown in the U.S.A. on November 30, 1977 and in the U.K. on December 24, 1977. This final show was also made available on commercial video.
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Bing originally developed his skills on the vaudeville and theater stage and enjoyed a record run of over twenty weeks at the Paramount theaters in New York and Brooklyn in 1931–32. Appearances at numerous theaters across the U.S.A. followed before Bing went into films. His heavy commitment in films and radio virtually ended his concert work until World War II when he became a prolific entertainer at military camps and at bond rallies. Thereafter he made very few live performances until 1976 when, to everyone’s surprise, he returned to the concert stage with a vengeance.
Bing starred in concerts in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami Beach, New Orleans, Pasadena, San Jose, Preston (England), Dublin (Ireland), Edinburgh (Scotland), Manchester (England), and Oslo (Norway) as well as headlining two sell-out seasons at the London Palladium in 1976 and 1977. His marvelous performances endeared him to all that saw them. Bing’s last public engagement was at Brighton, England, on October 10, 1977.
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Founded as the British Bing Club in March 1950 and converted to the International Crosby Circle in January 1966. The International Crosby Circle merged with the American Club Crosby in 2003. The main aims of the ICC are to preserve and promote Bing Crosby’s incomparable musical legacy throughout the world and to provide information for members on all matters related to Bing’s career. The ICC magazine BING is published three times a year; spring, summer and winter. Members can advertise for their wants or Crosby-related services that they can offer in the magazine. The annual general meeting of the ICC is held in Leeds, England, on the first Sunday in October, unless otherwise advised. The ICC also sponsors research and supports the publication of books about Bing’s life and career as well as arranging the issue of a Crosby calendar each year.
For further details of the International Club Crosby, contact:
Michael Crampton, 19 Carrholm Crescent, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 2NL, United Kingdom. e-mail: email@example.com
F. B. Wiggins, 5608 North 34th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22207, USA. Telephone: 703–241–5608 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Currington, 34A Geoffrey Street, Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia 2074. Telephone: (02) 9440 2434 e-mail: email@example.com