What a wonderful time we had in the run-up to Christmas in the UK! The new CD “Bing at Christmas” was imaginatively and energetically promoted in all forms of the media by Decca Records and by Robert Bader and the Crosby family and they were rewarded by putting Bing back in the British album charts. Mary Crosby in particular deserves our special thanks for the energetic way she put herself about in the UK and Irish media. Peaking at No. 9, the album spent 5 weeks in the UK album charts and at the same time “White Christmas” reached No. 31 in the British singles chart.
Some of the older Crosby enthusiasts may well prefer the original recordings, but “Bing at Christmas” is a very sensible and commercial approach to bringing the tracks up-to-date and making them more relevant to modern audiences. Well done all concerned in putting this prestigious project together.
I wonder whether it would be a commercial proposition for Decca to give the London Symphony Orchestra treatment to Bing’s hits of the 40s and 50s. It would certainly be interesting.
One of Bing’s radio series that has not been mined too extensively is Philco Radio Time and we have been working with Sepia Records to put together a 2-CD set of selected songs from the series. See Keeping Track for full details. An insert is enclosed with this issue for you to order it. You’ll be delighted with the quality.
In “Bing on the Box” we give details of the showing of seven Crosby Christmas specials by getTV and Jon Oye has put together a montage of screen shots from the shows which we have used as our back cover. Also in this issue, we reproduce extracts from the massive newspaper coverage in the UK of the “Bing at Christmas” album and Graham Pascoe tells us about the impact in Australia too. David Lobosco considers Double or Nothing, John Bassett issues a challenge about a rare record and Martin McQuade looks at Bing’s relationship with Judy Garland. Jason Liddiard reports on his latest club meetings and Perry Huntoon went to see a very special show in his locality. Mike Kaptanis looks at the Crosby imitators and Ken Crossland wonders if everything old is new again. In short, there’s a lot for you digest.
Malcolm Macfarlane - Editor
To see details of earlier issues, click here.
CONTENTS OF THE SPRING ISSUE
Secretary / Treasurer's report
Frontis Burbank Wiggins Jr
Bing back in the charts
Bing’s letters to US soldiers
The real father Christmas? My dad
Harry on family disputes and THAT song
Why we’re still dreaming of a White Xmas
Calling all Bing Crosbys
The Story of Bing Crosby
The Bing Crosby House
Spokane remembers Bing
Gary Giddins wins another award
Going My Way in Warrington, UK
Shooting Quail at Pinebloom
Judy - With a Little Help from Her Friends
A Salute to Bing & The Andrews Sisters
The Crosby Imitators
One Sweet Letter from You
Ken Crossland’s Crosbyana
A Note from Australia
Bing on the Box
Once in a While
The Way We Were