BING CROSBY’S COMMERCIAL RECORDINGS: From 78s to CDs
A superb discography covering Bing’s commercial recordings has been put together by Wig Wiggins and Jim Reilly to universal acclaim. Keith Parkinson reviewed the discography in an edition of BING magazine and here’s an extract:
"Bing Crosby's Commercial Recordings" is a superior softback running to 150 plus pages printed on good quality paper and illustrated with dozens of record labels and sleeves, most of which would take pride of place in my own Crosby collection if only I knew where to obtain them. It bears some resemblance to the long out of print four volume discography "The Road to Bing Crosby". Author Wig defines it as an "easy-to-use chronological reference guide" and it is that and more. Recording date, song title, matrix (and take) number, accompanist, original commercial release catalogue number and CD reissue identification follow the established discographical format. In addition, composers are shown. The original release detail almost invariably shows the USA catalogue number although where a recording was first issued outside North America this information is readily found in the identification table in the book's preface along with the issuing record company.
There are three supplements to the main listing. A further chronological index lists "Other Commercial Recordings". This will confuse older collectors who are used to seeing the likes of "Blow, Gabriel. Blow" and "True Love" listed with Bing's mainstream studio recordings. However, Wig accurately sidelines those Crosby recordings made in the first instance for film soundtracks like the two examples given. This secondary index covers all recordings made initially for use in another medium. So the songs from "High Tor" also receive a listing under "Other Commercial Recordings". There is an "Index of Compact Discs" which is inevitably out of date as soon as the book reaches the printer. Nor can it contain the detail found in Jim Reilly's CD publications of Crosby's compact disc recordings, but it does list what was available as at the end of last year. Finally, an alphabetical index provides a short cut to finding any given recording. The index can also be used to track songs contained on some CD issues. Even the most dedicated collector will find some revealing tit-bit in this definitive work.
"Bing Crosby's Commercial Recordings" is an affordable work of reference aimed at Crosby collectors. Buy a copy now and in five years' time it should be dog-eared after being regularly lifted from the bookshelf.
Contact Wig Wiggins at 5608 North 34th. St., Arlington. Virginia 22207 (phone: 703-241-5608) or Jim Reilly at 27 Beaulieu Rd., North End, Portsmouth, Hampshire P02 ODN, UK (phone: 02392 666677) to obtain your copy. Price: USA & Canada US$17.50 (postpaid) and in the UK £10 (postpaid). Mainland Europe & Ireland £11 (inc. p. & p.). This is a limited edition so make sure of a copy while you still can! Make cheques payable to F. B. Wiggins, or in the UK to Jim Reilly.
Page last updated: June 30, 2012