1944 - 1945 Season with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra   

The Hooper rating for the season is 25.8 which makes it the top-rated music show and leaves it in third place. Bob Hope’s show tops the Hooper ratings with 34.1.

 

No.  345  9th November 1944

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Ethel Smith.

 

*Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?                         (a)        with The Charioteers & Choir

*Always                                                                      (b)        with Eugenie Baird

*I’ll Remember April

  Tico-Tico                                                                               Ethel Smith (Organ)

  It Could Happen To You                                                        Eugenie Baird

  Little David, Play On Yo’ Harp                                              The Charioteers

 

Medley from “Going My Way

*The Day After Forever                                                            with Choir

  Going My Way                                                                        Ethel Smith (Organ) with Choir

*Swinging On A Star                                                                 with The Charioteers & Choir

*Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral

 

Note:

(a)        Spokane 10 - “Der Bingle - Volume Two”

            Double Gold DBG53042 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - Those Great World War II Songs”

            JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(b)         Bing Crosby Enterprises CD: "Bing Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook"

 

(For many years the shows have opened with Ken Carpenter announcing, “The Kraft Music Hall, with Bing Crosby etc....and here’s Bing (Crosby)!”  Now, the programme commences with Bing singing his familiar theme song, “When (sic) The Blue Of The Night”.  The Music Maids and “Ukie” have disappeared and Marilyn Maxwell has been replaced by Eugenie Baird.  There also seems to be less “chat” and more emphasis on musical content.  This format was maintained for the remainder of Bing’s stay with Kraft.)

 

Somewhere along the line that heretofore, sock, Bing Crosby-Kraft-Comedy-Musical format that Carroll Carroll invariably succeeded in wrapping up into one of the boff night time radio shows has been lost in the shuffle.  Unfortunately, what the Groaner came up with on his initial broadcast of the new season, last Thursday (9th) was a far cry from the entertaining stanza that made the 9 to 9.30 NBC Thursday niche a valuable showmanship commercial time segment. 

Apparently, Crosby, if reports are accurate, has won his way.  He’s long wanted to de-emphasise the show’s comedy pattern and stay closer to a musical format.  He’s done it in spades, with a resultant lustreless quality that made the tee-off stanza, at times, almost unidentifiable except for the fact that the Groaner’s singing, now, as always is in a class by itself but from the production standpoint the show’s qualities were nil. 

The Crosby banter that was part and parcel of the programme’s warmth and infectiousness was completely gone and what was left was something that approximated the insertion of an ordinary daytime, Crosby, transcribed show into night time programming.  The initial rating won’t tell the story, for, unquestionably the Groaner’s legion of fans were on hand to welcome him back, expecting the usual fare but as a safe bettor, the Hooper’s and the Crosley’s, in the next five or six weeks will be very revealing if Crosby stands pat on the format that prevailed last Thursday.

Crosby has contracted a new femme singer, Eugenie Baird, whom he caught in Chicago while she was singing with the Casa Loma Orchestra.  She has a pleasant enough voice but nothing particularly outstanding.  Her ‘Always’ and ‘It Could Happen To You’ registered well, as did her duet with Crosby on the medley of ‘Going My Way’ tunes (‘Always’ was her duet with Crosby not the medley - Compiler) but she won’t burn up those kilocycles and even Crosby’s segueing into the ‘pic’ medley had a definite corny quality, somewhat in keeping with the new switch in tempo and somehow suggestive of the ‘...and then I wrote’ boys.

Ethel Smith, the organist who appeared in Metro’s ‘Bathing Beauty’ was the initial guest and while there is rhythm and dexterity in her fingering, the question is still in order, ‘What’s she doing on the Crosby show’, even if it was a last minute substitution after Rise Stevens cancelled herself out.  The Charioteers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra came through in their usual fine manner and Ken Carpenter’s commercials were models of restraint but for a Crosby show, this was all very strange”

 (“Variety” 15th November 1944)

(The above quotation tends to prove that you can never please anyone - ever!  From way back, “Variety” has been one of the leaders in condemning the Kraft show for ‘too much chat’ and ‘not enough music’.)

 

“Both NBC and William Esty took J. Walter Thompson off a fluttery spot when Rise Stevens cancelled out on Kraft, Thursday (9th) and Ethel Smith pulled up with a broken finger, daring to risk only ‘Tico Tico’ with her injured digit.  J. Walter Thompson found out that the tune had been cleared for Abbot & Costello, an hour later.  Realising that it was too late to make any changes, NBC agreed to make an exception to the ‘two-hour clearance’ rule on music and Esty waived ‘prior right’”

(“Variety” 15th November 1944)

 

(Bold italics are the compiler’s. It’s not April Fools’ Day but the above quote had to be included for its (unintentional) comedic value.  Surely, with a fractured finger, “Chopsticks” would have been more appropriate!)

 

No.  346  16th November 1944 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Frank Sinatra.

 

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                                (a)        with The Charioteers & Choir

*Sleigh Ride In July                                                     (a)

  Don’t Take Your Love From Me                                           Eugenie Baird

  I Got Rhythm                                                                         The John Scott Trotter Orchestra

  These Foolish Things                                                  (b)      Frank Sinatra

  The Old Music Master                                                          The Charioteers

 

Medley from “Pennies From Heaven                          (c)

*One, Two, Button Your Shoe                                                  with Choir

*So Do I                                                                                  with Eugenie Baird

  Skeleton In The Closet                                               (d)        The Charioteers

*Pennies From Heaven                                                              with Choir

 

Notes: 

(a)        On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From TheRadio Shows”

(b)        Frank Sinatra’s contribution (accompanied by Alex Stordahl and his Orchestra) was cut in from New York.)

(c)        V-Discs 598-A & 598-B.  (Dubbings have appeared on microgroove issues, Japanese Dan Records VC5018 - “Bing Crosby On V-Disc” and Broadway Intermission BR-129 - “Bing Crosby - Crosbyana Volume III - The War Years”)

(d)        Jasmine CD JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

 

“Frank Sinatra had a lot of nerve, getting into the same ring with an ad-lib artist as deadly as Bing Crosby but he got away with it with a whole skin, last Thursday (16th) on Crosby’s show and again Monday (20th) with the initial broadcast of his own Vim show at it’s new time.

Crosby started out, last week, as though he was going to take Sinatra’s hide off with gag-gloved barbs that left the Voice almost unable to cope with the barrage.  It all was capped by a parting crack by Crosby about ‘a lovely orchestra’ after Sinatra did a fine job on ‘These Foolish Things’.  The Groaner’s comment on the sixty-piece band under Alex Stordahl’s baton was deserving, however.  It was brilliant.

On his own show, Sinatra at least came out even with Crosby which isn’t a pun on the fact that they finished in a duet.  Crosby wasn’t quite so sharp, Sinatra taking most of the play, almost immediately, with a crack about the grand old man of all crooners and doing a right good job of parrying and tossing them back from thereon.  Crosby contributed ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ as his guest contribution, later going into a duet with Sinatra in which they, laughingly, derided each other’s ability it was good stuff and so was the idea of pairing them in such a way.  Exchange shots might have been better had the two been in the same studio, at that, technicians did a crack job on the pick-up.  Sinatra being in the East and Crosby, in the West for each broadcast”

(“Variety” 22nd November 1944)

 

No.  347  23rd November 1944 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Rise Stevens.

 

*Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)                      with Choir

  I Didn’t Know About You                                        (a)                The Charioteers

  I Dream Of You (More Than You Dream I Do)                             Eugenie Baird

*Let’s Take The Long Way Home                             (b)

  Through The Years                                                                        Rise Stevens

*How Many Hearts Have You Broken?                     (c)

 

Medley from “Dixie”                                                  (d)

*Sunday, Monday Or Always

  The Last Rose Of Summer                                                            Rise Stevens

*She’s From Missouri                                                                    with The Charioteers

*Swing Low, Sweet Chariot                                                           with The Charioteers & Choir

 

Notes:

(a)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(b)        JOYCE1117 - “One Night Stand With Bing Crosby At The Music Hall”

            Nostalgia LPF22014 - “Bing Crosby - Twenty Golden Greats - Volume One”

(c)        JSP Records CD JSP6705 - "Here's Bing Crosby!"

(d)        V-Discs 581-A & 581-B.  (A dubbing appeared on microgroove issue, Japanese Dan Records VC5018 - “Bing Crosby On V-Disc”)

 

No.  348  30th November 1944   (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

 

*Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?                        (b)        with The Charioteers

*I Promise You (Arlen/Mercer)                                  (c)        with Choir

  The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else             (d)        Eugenie Baird

  Jeepers Creepers                                                      (e)        The Charioteers

  The Glow Worm                                                                   Spike Jones and his City Slickers

*I’m Making Believe                                                  (f)

 

Medley from “Here Is My Heart                               (g)

*With Ev’ry Breath I Take

*Love Is Just Around The Corner                              (h)             with The Charioteers

*June In January                                                                     with Choir

 

Notes:

(a)        The complete programme was issued on Laserlight 12 302 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - WW II

Radio Broadcasts”

            A slightly edited version of the programme was issued on Lee Bee Discs SPECS SJ101 - “Bing Crosby’s Redheads - Lucille Ball and Spike Jones”

(b)        Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

(c)        Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

V-Disc 363-A

(d)       Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

(e)         JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(f)        Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

(g)        The medley was issued on V-Disc 363-B.  (A dubbing appeared on Broadway Intermission BR-129 - “Bing Crosby - Crosbyana Volume III - The War Years”)

(h)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

 

No.  349  7th December 1944 

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Diana Lynn.

 

*(There’ll Be A) Hot Time In The Town Of Berlin

                        (When The Yanks Go Marching In)                 with Choir

  Brother Bill                                                                           The Charioteers

  Don’t Take Your Love From Me                                          Eugenie Baird

*What A Difference A Day Made

  Warsaw Concerto                                                                 Diana Lynn (Piano)

*I’ll Be Home For Christmas                                    (a)

 

Medley from “Waikiki Wedding                              (b)

*Blue Hawaii

*In A Little Hula Heaven                                                          with Choir

*Sweet Leilani                                                         (c)            with Choir

 

Notes:

(a)        Spokane 6 - “Bing Crosby - Happy Holiday”

Vintage Jazz Classics VJC1017-2 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - The Christmas Songs” V-Disc 441-B
(b)               
V-Disc 525-B.  (A dubbing appeared on microgroove issue, Japanese Dan Records VC5018 - “Bing Crosby On V-Disc”)

(c)       American Masters CD - Bing Crosby Rediscovered: The Soundtrack

 

“Crosby Guesters Need Good Acts Not Just Names” (Headline) 

“What may possibly cure new trend on spotting of guest stars on air shows has the trade watching, with more than casual interest, the policy laid down by Bing Crosby for his Thursday night, Kraft Music Hall programme.  It takes on additional significance in view of the zooming price tags for one shot artists that many fear might, eventually, snafu radio, unless curbed.  Crosby edict is for come on talent that can stand on its own, as a boff act without too much regard for name values.  This hiring of a top flight star, simply because he or she’s a star and can command a fabulous fee, is out.  Similarly, it will cue the exit of picture plugs from the air show.  Some believe Crosby’s hit on something, particularly in view of the fact that a lot of the guesters with real talent and an act to sell are out of that swell-price-tag-class.  Crosby, incidentally, has gradually been segueing back into his banter routine, in contrast to KMH’s opening, ‘music only’ broadcast.”

(“Variety” 13th December 1944)

 

Those letter-perfect performances of Bing Crosby and the Kraft Music Hall cast are the result of plenty of hard work on the part of all concerned. But there’s plenty of fun at a Crosby rehearsal too. At 1 p.m., the rotund figure of John Scott Trotter, the show’s musical director, may be seen hurrying into the studio, briefcase under arm.

By 1:30 the orchestra members are in their places and ‘The Groaner’ appears clad in a loud sport shirt and slacks, his usual pencils sticking from under his hat. The studio stage bustles with activity. Eugenie Baird, the Charioteers and the chorus are all waiting for the opening number.

Then, at a cue from the control room, everything is quiet. Stop watches click as Trotter’s baton lowers and Bing sings. The spectators sit back in their seats. This is what they’ve waited for. They know that no artist, no singer ever works as completely relaxed as ‘Der Bingle’.

Seated on his high stool with legs outstretched one moment, standing hand in pocket and tapping his toe the next, his song is uninterrupted by tension or strain. Often he’ll mugg for his audience, or toss a crumpled paper their way, or even dance a little jig—all without the slightest effect on the continuity.

As the other artists perform, Bing will stroll leisurely into the control room, always emerging on cue. Interspersed through his speaking lines are some never intended for the air, such as the announcement of the following week’s guest in which he will name the local burlesque queen.

Finally the ‘dress’, then the break until 4:15 when the ‘dress’ is repeated. The secret of Crosby’s success: He knows how to work hard and take it easy at the same time.

(Unidentified press clipping)

 

No.  350  14th December 1944  (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Jerry Colonna.

 

*Don’t Fence Me In                                                   (b)                  with Choir

  Straighten Up And Fly Right                                                           The Charioteers

*More And More                                                       (b)

  (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings                                                 Eugenie Baird

  Can’t You Hear Me Calling, Caroline?                                            Jerry Colonna

 

Medley from “Holiday Inn  

*Let’s Start The New Year Right

*Abraham                                                                                        with Choir

*Be Careful, It’s My Heart

*Easter Parade                                                                                with Eugenie Baird

*White Christmas                                                                           with Choir

 

Notes:

(a)        The complete programme was issued on Laserlight 12 310 (CD) - “Bing Crosby WW II

Radio Broadcasts” (Date shewn on inlay as January 21st 1944). 

            A slightly edited version was issued on Your Hit Parade/Lost Gold Recordings YHP1 (CD)

 - “The Bing Crosby Christmas Special” (All musical items were included)

(b)        On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From The Radio Shows” (Date for “More And More” shewn as 29th March 1945)

            Jasmine JASMCD 3557 - “Bing Crosby – Cowboy Country Crosby Style”

 

No.  351  21st December 1944  (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & Chorus, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and The Kraft Choral Club.

 

*Adeste Fideles                                                          (b)        with Studio Audience

*Jingle Bells                                                                (b)        with The Charioteers

  I Dream Of You (More Than You Dream I Do)                    Eugenie Baird

*I’m Making Believe

  A Slip Of The Lip (Can Sink A Ship)                                    The Charioteers

*What A Difference A Day Made

  Beautiful Saviour                                                                  The Kraft Choral Club

  God Is Ever Beside Me                                                        The Kraft Choral Club

*Silent Night                                                               (b)        with Chorus

 

Notes:  

(a)        The complete programme was issued on Spokane 6 - “Bing Crosby - Happy Holiday” also on Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1017-2 (CD) - “Bing Crosby -The Christmas Songs” and Laserlight 12 310 (CD) - “Bing Crosby WW II Radio Broadcasts”. 

            A slightly edited version was issued on Your Hit Parade/Lost Gold Recordings YHP1 (CD) –“The Bing Crosby Christmas Special” (All musical items were included)

(b)        V-Disc 441-A            

 

No.  352  28th December 1944  

 

With Ken Carpenter, Charles Henderson & The Kraft Choir, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Beatrice Kay and The Les Paul Trio.

 

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                                           with The Charioteers

*Strange Music                                                           (a)

  Otchi-Tchornya (Dark Eyes)                                                 The Les Paul Trio

*Always                                                                                  with Eugenie Baird

  Steamboat Bill                                                                       Beatrice Kay

*Let’s Take The Long Way Home                             (a)

 

Medley from “Rhythm On The Range”                          (b)

*I’m An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

*I Can’t Escape From You

*Mr. Paganini                                                              (c)        with The Charioteers

*Empty Saddles                                                                       with Choir

 

Notes:

(a)        V-Disc 385-A (Some measure of proof that the version of ‘Strange Music’ actually came from the broadcast may be obtained from the fact that, on the V-Disc, the song begins quite abruptly, without any musical introduction.  On the broadcast version, Bing speaks at length over the opening bars, regarding the song’s background.)

(b)        V-Discs 712-A & 712-B.

(c)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

            Bing “scats” only.

 

No.  353  4th January 1945   (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Johnny Mercer.

 

*Don’t Fence Me In                                                               with Chorus

*Sleigh Ride In July

*’Way Down Yonder In New Orleans                        (b)        with The Charioteers

  Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart                                                   Eugenie Baird

  My Poor Old Heart                                                               Johnny Mercer

*Evelina

 

Medley from “Birth Of The Blues

*Birth Of The Blues                                                                with Chorus

*Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie                                            with Eugenie Baird

*The Waiter, The Porter And The Upstairs Maid                    with Johnny Mercer

*My Melancholy Baby                                                            with Chorus

 

Notes: 

(a)        Most of the dialogue and all the musical items were included on Tulip Records TLP108 - “Bing Crosby 1945 - Command Performance/Music Hall”

(b)        Bing sings part of the verse only.

 

No.  354  11th January 1945

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

 

*Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)                 with Chorus

*What A Difference A Day Made

  Tabby The Cat                                                                      The Charioteers

  I’m Making Believe                                                                Eugenie Baird

  Cocktails For Two                                                                Spike Jones and his City Slickers

*More And More                                                                    with Chorus

 

Medley from “College Humour 

*Down The Old Ox Road                                          (a)        with Chorus

*Learn To Croon

*Moonstruck                                                                           with Chorus

 

Note:

(a)        V-Disc 414-A

 

No.  355  18th January 1945   (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Duke Ellington.

 

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                               (b)        with The Charioteers

  There Goes That Song Again                                                 Eugenie Baird

  Runnin’ Wild                                                            (c)        The Charioteers

  Frankie And Johnny                                                             Duke Ellington (Piano) with Chorus

*You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me                     (d)        with Eugenie Baird

 

Medley from “Mississippi

*Down By The River                                                  (e)       with Chorus

*It’s Easy To Remember                                            (e)       with Chorus

*Soon                                                                        (f)

*Swanee River (The Old Folks At Home)                    (d)

 

Notes:

(a)        The complete programme was issued on Laserlight 12 301 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - WW II

Radio Broadcasts”.

The first half of the programme (up to and including “You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me” was issued on Bonsard 601a - “Bing Crosby And Duke Ellington” and on AJAZZ 523 - “Bing Crosby At The Music Hall”

(b)        Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

(c)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(d)        On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From TheRadio Shows”

(e)       V-Disc 557-A.  (Dubbings appeared on microgroove issues, Japanese Dan Records VC5018 – “Bing Crosby On V-Disc” and Broadway Intermission BR-129 - “Bing Crosby - Crosbyana

Volume III - The War Years”)

            On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From The Radio Shows”

(f)        V-Disc 414-A.

            On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From The Radio Shows”

 

No.  356  25th January 1945  (a) 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and The Andrews Sisters.

 

*Don’t Fence Me In                                                   (b)        with The Andrews Sisters

*Strange Music                                                           (f)

  Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land                                     The Charioteers

  This Heart Of Mine                                                               Eugenie Baird

*One Meat Ball                                                           (c)       with The Andrews Sisters

*Sleigh Ride In July                                                     (d)

 

Medley from “Rhythm On The River

*That’s For Me

  Ain’t It A Shame About Mame                                            The Andrews Sisters

*Only Forever                                                             (e)      with Chorus

           

Notes:

(a)        The complete programme was issued on Laserlight 12 301 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - WW II Radio Broadcasts”.

(b)        Andros Records ANDS4566 - “The Andrews Sisters - Live”          

Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

Shout! CD DK 31515 “Swingin’ With Bing”

(c)        Andros Records ANDS4566 - “The Andrews Sisters - Live” (Bing’s contribution consists of a few lines only).

(d)       Newsound CD NFM007 “Bing Crosby – CBS Radio 1943/44”

(e)        V-Disc 557-A.  (Dubbings appeared on microgroove issues, Japanese Dan Records VC5018 - “Bing Crosby On V-Disc” and Broadway Intermission BR-129 - “Bing Crosby - Crosbyana Volume III - The War Years”).

(f)        Shout! CD DK 31515 “Swingin’ With Bing”

 

“The Groaner and his juke-box girl friends, the Andrews Sisters, really broke it up on Crosby’s Thursday night (25th) soiree for Kraft.  Especially their combined vocalising of ‘One Meat Ball’”

(“Variety” 31st January 1945)

 

“With the Joan Davis/Jack Haley programme, checking off on Thursday nights, there is some speculation as to whether the Bing Crosby Show for Kraft might not go back to an hour show.  Crosby occupies the preceding 9 to 9.30 slot on NBC.  Some belief has been created that Kraft may make a pitch to Der Bingle to revert to his 60 minute air style.  The decision is expected to rest with Crosby, himself and whether he’s willing to take on the extra chore”

(“Variety” 31st January 1945)

(It is extremely unlikely that this ‘proposal’s anything more than a reporter’s conjecture.)

 

No.  357  1st February 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers and Eugenie Baird.

 

*Evelina                                                                                  with Chorus

  Tabby The Cat                                                                      The Charioteers

*I’m Making Believe                                                  (a)

  I Didn’t Know About You                                                   Eugenie Baird

*Swinging On A Star                                                 (b)        with Ken Carpenter (Vocal)

*Don’t You Know I Care (Or Don’t You Care I Know)

 

Medley from “Here Come The Waves

*There’s A Fella Waiting In Poughkeepsie

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                                                      

*Let’s Take The Long Way Home                             (c)        with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        Spokane 16 - “Bing’s Music Hall Highlights”

            BCR-01 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - We’re Just Wild About Harry”

(b)        An interesting item which is used to illustrate, what is, in effect, a public service propaganda “plug”, urging students to complete their education.  There are specially written lyrics (probably by Johnny Burke) which incorporate three “new” creatures - “....Or would you rather be a flea (crab) (worm)”.

(c)        Bonsard 601a - “Bing Crosby & Duke Ellington”

            AJAZZ 523 - “Bing Crosby At The Music Hall”

 

No.  358  8th February 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Fred Lowery and Vivienne Delaquiesa.

 

*Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week)       (a)        with Chorus

  Holiday For Strings                                                                        Fred Lowery (Whistled)

  Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart                                                            Eugenie Baird

  How Big Can You Get?                                                  (b)          The Charioteers

  Estrelita                                                                                         Vivienne Delaquiesa

*Magic Is The Moonlight                                                   (c)

 

Medley from “Going Hollywood    

*We’ll Make Hay While The Sun Shines                           (d)

*Our Big Love Scene                                                       (d)

*Temptation                                                                     (d)         with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        Spokane 10 - “Der Bingle - Volume Two”

            JOYCE1117 - “One Night Stand With Bing Crosby At The Music Hall”

            Double Gold DBG53042 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - Those Great World War II Songs”

            Sepia CD 1224 "Bing Crosby in the Hall"

(b)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(c)        Nostalgia LPF22014 - “Bing Crosby - 20 Golden Greats - Volume One”

            JOYCE1117 - “One Night Stand With Bing Crosby At The Music Hall”

(d)        JOYCE 6052 - “Bing Crosby From The Forties”

                American Masters CD - Bing Crosby Rediscovered: The Soundtrack ("Temptation"only)

 

No.  359  15th February 1945 

 

With Wendell Niles, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Ella Logan and Eddie Heywood.

 

*Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)                      with Chorus

  Begin The Beguine                                                                         Eddie Heywood (Piano)

  There Goes That Song Again                                                         Eugenie Baird

  Get On Board, Little Chillun                                                           The Charioteers

  Laugh, Clown, Laugh                                                                     Ella Logan

*Don’t Ever Change

 

Medley from “She Loves Me Not  

*Straight From The Shoulder

*I’m Hummin’, I’m Whistlin’, I’m Singin

*Love In Bloom                                                                               with Chorus

 

(Headline)  “Bing’s Blue Plug”

“The chances are that only a Bing Crosby could get away with it but NBC officials must have had a few jittery moments, last Thursday (15th) when Der Bingle went the whole hog in a banter routine with guest announcer, Wendell Niles, when he skirted the customary ‘another network’ tag and let out all the stops in crediting the Blue Network.  Kidding Niles, who co-stars with Don Pringles on ‘The Icebox Follies’ about breaking in a gag for his own show, Bing Crosby went to town on the credits, giving the night, the time and the network and faded off with something that suggested he feared there might be repercussions”

(“Variety” 21st February 1945)

 

(The offending dialogue, from Bing, runs as follows. “That sounds suspiciously like a joke that you’re breaking in for your own show, every Wednesday, with Don Pringles, at seven o’clock, on the Blue (Network).  Does that sound like a casual plug?”  This occurs in the medley, during the introduction to ‘Love In Bloom’ and there are embarrassed chuckles from Niles and Bing can be heard saying, what appears to be, “Wait’ll I hear from Chicago!”)

 

“Bing Crosby is scheduled to check off the Kraft Music Hall in the near future, for a trip to the South Pacific to entertain the fighting forces.  All of which raises a problem for the sponsor, who is reaping the benefits of unprecedented Hooper ratings for Der Bingle (he’s been up there with the top four highest, for the past couple of months).  Naturally, Kraft would like to have him stick but in view of the reason given for his proposal to bow out, obviously, can say nothing.  Meanwhile, there is some conjecture as to who might take over.  In view of the fact that Frank Sinatra is not under exclusive contract to Max Factor, the point has been brought up in the trade that Kraft might make a pitch for ‘The Voice’”

(“Variety” 21st February 1945)

 

No.  360  22nd February 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Marian Anderson.

 

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                                           with The Charioteers

*Don’t You Know I Care (Or Don’t You Care I Know)

  Sleigh Ride In July                                                                Eugenie Baird

  Careless Love                                                                      The Charioteers

  Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child                            Marian Anderson

*You Belong To My Heart

 

Medley from “The Big Broadcast  

*Here Lies Love

*Dinah                                                                                     with The Charioteers

*Please                                                                                    with Chorus

 

No.  361  1st March 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Sandra Berkova.

 

*Evelina                                                                                  with Chorus

  I Thank God I’m In His Care                                                The Charioteers

*You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me                                 with Eugenie Baird

*Magic Is The Moonlight                           (a)

  Zigeunercheisen                                                                    Sandra Berkova (Violin)

*This Heart Of Mine

 

Medley from “If I Had My Way  

*I Haven’t Time To Be A Millionaire

*The Pessimistic Character (With The Crab Apple Face)

*If I Had My Way                                                                  with Chorus

 

Note

(a)                 Sepia CD 1224 "Bing Crosby in the Hall"

 

“Sandra Berkova, 12, who made her concert debut as a violinist when she was three and a half will play ‘Zigeunerweisen’(sic) on Bing Crosby’s programme, KFI at 6 pm.  Eugenie Baird will sing ‘More And More’(?), the Charioteers ‘I’m In His Care’ and Bing, ‘This Heart Of Mine’ and ‘A Little On The Lonely Side’(?).  The new format is a real improvement over the old.”

(“Hollywood Citizen News” 1st March 1945)

 

No.  362  8th March 1945   

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Silvino de Solas and Joe Venuti.

 

*Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive                                           with The Charioteers

*I Dream Of You (More Than You Dream I Do)     

  Oh! Lady Be Good (Gershwin)                                            Joe Venuti (Violin)

  More And More                                                                   Eugenie Baird

*Dear Old Girl                                                           (a)        with The Charioteers

  Night And Day (Porter)                                                        Silvino de Solas (Piano)

 

Medley from “Anything Goes”

*Anything Goes                                                          (a)

*You’re The Top                                                       (a)

*My Heart And I                                                        (b)        with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        SOOTAM004 - “Bing Crosby - Broadcast Selections” (These titles are not shewn on either sleeve or label).

(b)        V-Disc 484-A

 

No.  363  15th March 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five.

 

*MacNamara’s Band                                                              with Chorus

  I Didn’t Know About You                                                     Eugenie Baird

  I Was Doing All Right (Gershwin)                                          Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five

*You Belong To My Heart                                         (a)

  I’m Beginning To See The Light                                (b)        The Charioteers

  You Took Advantage Of Me (Rodgers)                                Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five

*Beautiful Love

 

Medley from “Double Or Nothing  

*Smarty (You Know It All)

*All You Want To Do Is Dance                                 (c)

*The Moon Got In My Eyes                                                   with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        SOOTAM004 - “Bing Crosby - Broadcast Selections” (Title not shewn on either sleeve or label)

(b)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(c)        V-Disc 484-A

 

No.  364  22nd March 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Frankie Carle.

 

*Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week)          with Chorus

  All By Myself                                                                       Eugenie Baird

  The Little White Horse And The Little Grey Mare     (a)       The Charioteers

*After Awhile                                                             (b)

  Sweet Lorraine                                                                     Frankie Carle (Piano)

  Hindustan                                                                             Frankie Carle (Piano)

*Strange Music                                                                      with Chorus

 

Medley from “Road To Singapore  

*Sweet Potato Piper

*The Moon And The Willow Tree

*Too Romantic                                                            (c)        with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(b)        Spokane 16 - “Bing’s Music Hall Highlights”

            BCR-01 (CD) - “Bing Crosby - We’re Just Wild About Harry”

(c)        V-Disc 484-A

 

No.  365  29th March 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and The Kraft Choral Club.

 

*The Fifth Marines                                                                 with The Charioteers

  The Old Music Master                                                          The Charioteers

*Easter Parade                                                                       with Eugenie Baird

  Spring Bursts Today                                                             The Kraft Choral Club

  God Shall Guide Us                                                             The Kraft Choral Club

*Let’s Take The Long Way Home

 

Medley from “Star Spangled Rhythm

*That Old Black Magic

*Hit The Road To Dreamland

*Old Glory                                                                              with Chorus

 

“The Kraft Choral Club will sing ‘Spring Burst (sic) Today’ and ‘God Shall Guide Us’(a patriotic hymn from Victor Herbert’s, ‘The Call To Freedom’ on the Music Hall, KFI at 6 pm.  Bing Crosby will sing, ‘Old Glory’, ‘Hit The Road To Dreamland’ and ‘That Old Black Magic’ from ‘Star Spangled Rhythm’”

 (“Hollywood Citizen News” 29th March 1945)

 

No.  366  5th April 1945  (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Florence Alba and The King Cole Trio.

 

*A Little On The Lonely Side                                   (a) (b) 

  Dream                                                                                   Eugenie Baird

  Bye And Bye (When The Morning Comes)             (a)           The Charioteers

  Vissi D’Arte (Puccini)                                                            Florence Alba

*After Awhile                                                            (a)

  It’s Only A Paper Moon                                          (a)         The King Cole Trio (Nat King Cole - Vocal)

*You Belong To My Heart                                        (a)

 

Medley from “Road To Zanzibar

*You Lucky People You                                            (a)

*Birds Of A Feather                                                               with Ken Carpenter (Vocal)

*It’s Always You                                                                    with Chorus

 

Notes:

(a)        Bonsard 601b - “Bing Crosby And Nat King Cole  (This issue was comprised of heavily edited excerpts from  this show and a portion of Programme No. 369.  Some of the dialogue remains and all of the musical items marked ‘(a)’ were included.

(b)        Startone ST225 - “Bing And Mary”

 

12th April 1945          The programme was cancelled due to the death of  President Roosevelt.

 

No.  367  19th April 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Yehudi Menuhin.

 

*My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time

  I Should Care                                                                        Eugenie Baird

*My Mother’s Waltz

  Choo-Choo Polka                                                (a)            The Charioteers

  Malaguena                                                                             Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)

  Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Brahms)                                           Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)

*Like Someone In Love

 

Medley from “The Star Maker

*An Apple For The Teacher

  Still The Bluebird Sings                                        (a)           The Charioteers

*A Man And His Dream                                                        with Chorus

 

Note:

(a)      JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

 

No.  368  26th April 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Florence Alba and Carmen Cavallaro.

 

*Candy

  All By Myself                                                                        Eugenie Baird

  I’m A-Rollin’                                                                         The Charioteers

  Smoke Gets In Your Eyes                                                     Carmen Cavallaro (Piano)

  A Poet Plays Boogie-Woogie                                                Carmen Cavallaro (Piano)

*A Friend Of Yours                                                   (a)

  Thine Alone                                                                          Florence Alba

*This Heart Of Mine

 

Medley from “East Side Of Heaven

*East Side Of Heaven

*Hang Your Heart On A Hickory Limb

*That Sly Old Gentleman (From Featherbed Lane)   (a)        with Chorus

 

Note:

(a)        V-Disc 463-A

 

No.  369  3rd May 1945  (a)

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and The King Cole Trio.

 

*Sentimental Journey                                                  (b)        with The Charioteers

*All Of My Life

  I’m Beginning To See The Light                                            The Charioteers

*Kentucky Babe                                                                     with The Charioteers

  If You Can’t Smile And Say ‘Yes’

                        Please Don’t Cry And Say ‘No’         (a)        The King Cole Trio (Nat King Cole Vocal)

*Mississippi Mud                                                       (a) (c)

  Sweet Georgia Brown                                              (a)        The King Cole Trio

 

Medley from “We’re Not Dressing

*Love Thy Neighbour                                                 (a)

*May I                                                                       (a)

*Goodnight, Lovely Little Lady                                   (a)

 

Notes:

(a)        A slightly edited version of the last portion of the programme (together with excerpts from Programme No. 366) was issued on Bonsard 601b - “Bing Crosby And Nat King Cole”.  All relevant dialogue was included, together with the musical items marked “(a)”.

(b)        On The Air OTA101978 (CD) - “Great Moments With Bing Crosby And Friends From The Radio Shows”

            JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

(c)        A snatch only, during comedy dialogue

 

“The King Cole Trio will entertain Music Hall listeners, KFI at 6 pm with ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ and ‘If You Can’t Smile And Say Yes, Don’t Cry And Say No’.  If song titles get any longer, they’ll take up a paragraph.  Bing Crosby will sing a medley from ‘We’re Not Dressing’, it will include, ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, ‘May I’ and ‘Goodnight, Lovely Little Lady’”.

(“Hollywood Citizen News” 3rd May 1945)

 

No.  370  10th May 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird and Cass Daley.

 

*My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time               (a)               with Chorus

  The Man I Love                                                                             Eugenie Baird

*My Mother’s Waltz

  Don’t You Notice Anything New?                                                 The Charioteers

  Stuff Like That There                                                                     Cass Daley

*After Awhile

 

Medley from “Swing Time

*A Fine Romance

  Bojangles Of Harlem                                                    (b)               The Charioteers

*The Way You Look Tonight                                                             with Chorus

 

Note

(a)        Sepia CD 1224 "Bing Crosby in the Hall"

(b)       JASCD 714 "Swing Low, Sweet Charioteers"

 

No.  371  17th May 1945 

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Florence Alba and Eddie Heywood.

 

*Candy                                                                                  

  All Of My Life                                                                     Eugenie Baird

*Moonlight Bay                                                                     with The Charioteers

  Ouvre Ton Coeur (Bizet)                                                     Florence Alba

*A Friend Of Yours

  The Man I Love                                                                  Eddie Heywood (Piano)

*Sentimental Journey

 

Medley from “The Fleet’s In                            (a)

*Tangerine                                                        (b)

*Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry                  

*I Remember You                                                                  with Chorus

 

Note:

(a)        Although, basically, the presentation is the same, this is not the version of the medley that was issued on V-Disc 729-A.  There are differences in both the dialogue and the interpretation of the songs but the reason for its unsuitability for release is apparent, when hearing the broadcast version.  Bing ‘breaks up’ on the first line of “Tangerine” (the delayed reaction to the corniest of jokes that he has just cracked, with the assistance of Ken Carpenter, during the introductory dialogue) and the first lines are sung, thus - “Tangerine, she....isn’t that awful?....(prolonged laugh)....with her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame....They told me it’d go very well!.....Tangerine, when she etc.....”

(b)        JSP Records CD JSP6705 - "Here's Bing Crosby!"

 

(Bing did not appear in any of next five programmes (24th & 31st May; 7th, 14th & 21st June) as he was involved in a series of Bond Rallies, Hospital Shows and Exhibition Golf Matches.  He was due to appear in the programme of the 21st June but apparently spent the week at his Elko ranch and there are some bantering references to this in the opening dialogue on Programme No. 372.  When Ken Carpenter questions his absence, pointing out that he was “supposed to be back, last week”, Bing claims that he has been unwell with a stomach complaint, for which he took ‘Riboflavin’ .  This inspires the mocking remark from Carpenter, “It makes good bait, too!” and an unconvincing rejoinder from Bing, “Good bait?  What do you mean?  I was ill!  I was ill!”  The verbal encounter is very ‘tongue in cheek’ and there is no indication of acrimony but it would not be difficult to believe that Bing’s truancy was the first manifestation of the coming rift with Kraft)

 

“Bing Crosby and Bob Hope golfing with Gov. Frank Lausche of Ohio on War Bond Tour” (“Variety” 30th May 1945)

“Bing Crosby delayed his return to rest up at Rancho Santa Fe from his War Bond Tour” (“Variety” 27th June 1945) 

 

No.  372  28th June 1945  

 

With Ken Carpenter, The Charioteers, Eugenie Baird, Florence Alba and Carmen Cavallaro.

 

*On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe                            with Chorus

  Thank God I’m In His Care                                                      The Charioteers

  In Acapulco                                                                             Carmen Cavallaro (Piano)

  June Comes Around Every Year                                               Eugenie Baird & Chorus

*A Friend Of Yours

  Voi Lo Sapete (Mascagni)                                                        Florence Alba

*You Belong To My Heart

 

Medley from “Paris Honeymoon

*The Funny Old Hills

*You’re A Sweet Little Headache

*I Have Eyes                                                                              with Chorus

 
 

…The wrangling went on. Even J. Walter Thompson brought in their own council, Sigrid Peterson - still busily working at similar tasks in Los Angeles - to try and patch things up. But Crosby and his corporation insisted that they wanted out and fueled the flames by stating that money was also a part of the breakdown, if not the whole reason behind it. Kraft, they said, had offered no new incentives to their star who was now number one at the box office and thus had much greater drawing power. They argued that if Kraft sales could rise, why not the salary of the star who helped them to make the rise?

If KMH had been evolved into a broadcast-vehicle built around Bing Crosby, why should they not pay him more than the average host receives for the average radio series?

Then abruptly, Bing returned to the programme six weeks after his departure. Now it was late June and his being on hand to sign the show off until the fall would reduce the unwanted attentions everyone was receiving. This outing (June 28) also had Florence Alba as guest. Interestingly, there are several not-so-subtle references to Crosby’s long absence, among them, his explanation that he had been on a golfing exhibition with Bob Hope, to military hospitals. Ken Carpenter also tells everyone Bing had also been on a number of bond rallies, hospital shows and ‘free-style autographing’. As if these were not enough, and to create humour in a touchy situation, Bing says that he had also been up at his ranch at Elko, nursing a sick cow and suffering, himself, from a stomach upset. Newspaper accounts at the time verify almost all these excuses, including his stomach complaint!

When he introduces Miss Alba, he coyly asks if she is now a regular on the show, since she was his guest on his last broadcast, to which she responds with, “Well, as regular as you are”. The audience roars. With our hindsight, these reactions seem very obvious. Bing announces at the end the list of next weeks guests, including Perry Como, thus admitting, by omission, that he would not be back.

Considering the reality behind the very sick broadcast, it is a credit to Bing that he permitted Carroll’s pen such free reign. (Carroll might say that Bing didn‘t care.)

(Vernon Wesley Taylor, Hail KMH!, The Crosby Voice, February 1986)


(Bing walked out on his contract with Kraft which was due to expire in 1950, invoking a Californian law, under which personal contracts could not extend beyond seven years.  The official line taken, was that the break occurred due to ‘financial reasons’ but the real bone of contention was in regard to a practice that is now, commonplace but at that time, was considered so revolutionary as to be totally unacceptable to the networks. The truth was, that Bing had become more than interested in transcribing his shows, taking advantage of the new magnetic tape system, brought from Germany, at the end of the war and which was now being developed by his own company, in conjunction with Ampex.  (Some indication of the lack of enthusiasm for this ‘revolution’ in broadcasting techniques can be gleaned from the fact that “Variety” began reviewing the options, separately as, ‘Radio Reviews’ and ‘Transcription Reviews’)

The upshot was, that Kraft filed suit, asking for a declaratory judgement and injunction, which would have effectively prevented Bing from singing for anyone.  After bitter legal wrangling which continued until the following January, he returned on the 7th February, having agreed to host a further thirteen shows for Kraft, plus guest appearances.)

 

“Looks Like Bing’s Scram is McCoy” (Front Page Headline)

“The Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall situation continues in a state of flux and there’s a strong possibility that Der Bingle will not return to the air next season.  If he does, it’s likely that it won’t be until January or even later.  There’s one Coast report that Crosby has a terrific peeve on with the Kraft agency, J. Walter Thompson but this has been vigorously denied by JWT executives who acknowledge, however, that when the Fall season rolls around, The Groaner may be conspicuous by his absence from the air lanes.  In view of the generally recognised, top quality programming of the Edward Everett Horton, Summer replacement show it’s considered likely that the show will stick through the Fall and Winter if Crosby stands pat on his decision to scram out of radio”

(“Variety” 1st August 1945)

 

“W.F. Lochridge, Vice President of the J. Walter Thompson agency in Chicago will have it out with Bing Crosby on Wednesday (22nd).  It will be their first meeting since ‘Lock’ got in, last weekend.  It is understood that Kraft is agreeable to The Groaner making a six week overseas tour when he finishes ‘Blue Skies’ at Paramount but wants to be sure he’ll be back on programme.  Chief gripe with Crosby is that he doesn’t want to be pinned down and show up every Thursday for the broadcast”

(“Variety” 22nd August 1945)

 

“Something akin to a feeling of panic prevails among some of the ad agencies in New York because a ‘Get Crosby or else’ edict has been handed down by some top bankrollers of radio programmes.  Apparently, no sooner had the word gone out that Der Bingle might scram out of the Kraft picture, permanently (which is still a strong possibility) and thus become a free agent, that the romancing overtures began and indications are that before the big bidding ends it will probably reach unprecedented proportions, with The Groaner, of course, in a position to dictate his own ticket.  In some quarters the opinion’s even being tossed around that unless a Crosby deal can be manoeuvred, for certain clients, some agency heads will roll.  As of the moment, the whole Crosby-Kraft impasse remains in a state of flux, with the possibility still seeming to be strong for the star doing a weekly transcribed network show.”

(“Variety” 12th September 1945)

 

“Despite the fact that the whole agency field has a bought a ticket on “The Groaner Sweepstakes”, neither Bates nor any other agency wants to go out on a limb and invite possible litigation until the Crosby-Kraft muddle is definitely straightened out.  Particularly, since Kraft representatives are adamant in their insistence that the Crosby contract still has seven years to go.  Whatever happens, it is generally felt now that Der Bingle won’t return to radio until next March, at the earliest, with the star, for the present, in ‘retirement’ at his ranch.  Frank Morgan is currently substituting on the  Thursday night Kraft Music Hall show” 

(“Variety” 17th October 1945)

 

“The Bing Crosby/Kraft Music Hall impasse looks to be headed for a showdown in the immediate future.  Der Bingle’s sponsors have served notice that they want him back on his Thursday night NBC show on the first of the year.  The Groaner, it is reported, has retorted with equal emphasis, that he won’t back on the first of the year or, for that matter, won’t be returning to the Kraft fold, at all.  Meanwhile there is hardly a top agency in the business that isn’t watching developments.  Hottest bet in radio today, Crosby can write his own ticket for probably, any one of a dozen or more clients, romancing him.  But so far, agencies have been holding off on talking terms; they don’t want to get involved in the event Kraft decides to slap an injunction on Crosby and take the thing to court and it look’s like the thing will be headed for the courts with both sides as adamant as ever.  Crosby feels that after 10 years it would be both to his advantage and Kraft’s, if they parted company and that after a decade of kicking around the Music Hall idea, its possibilities have been exhausted and he’d like to start fresh on another programme.  Meanwhile, Crosby’s been staying in New York, thus far, having appeared this season in three non-commercial programmes.  Eddie Duchin, just out of the Navy has been pacted as a regular for the Kraft Music Hall, as a personality for some weekly by-play with Frank Morgan, not as an orchestra leader.  Morgan, in as substitute for Bing Crosby, has reportedly been ‘inked’ for the remainder of the season.  Supposition being that in the event that Crosby does return to Kraft, Morgan will be teamed up with him”

(“Variety” 19th December 1945)

 

 (Headline)  “‘Round And ‘Round Kraft And Crosby”

“Dispute between Bing Crosby and Kraft Foods over former’s desire to ease out of his Kraft Music Hall contract which seemed likely to be settled amicably, last week, after several huddles between representatives of both principals will now go to court due to a reported, last minute, change of heart on Saturday (12th) by John Kraft.  As a result, Crosby’s attorneys are now preparing an answer to Kraft’s application for an injunction.  Kraft claimed Crosby has reneged on a 1937 contract which it states runs on until 1950.  The Groaner, however, maintains that last summer when he gave notice to quit, he was merely taking advantage of California’s seven-year employee law which says an employee can’t make a contract beyond seven years.  In its application for injunction, Kraft acknowledges the Crosby statute but maintains that Crosby was not an employee but an independent contractor.  This claim is based on the fact that Crosby himself, picked the four songs which he sang on the Music Hall programme, each week.  Crosby denies he’s a contractor, pointing out that he hired no one for the programme, merely presented himself and used Kraft scripts handed to him.  He also maintains that his weekly Kraft pay check had US Withholding Tax deducted from it, proving that he was an employee.  Furthermore, according to Crosby, Kraft Foods promised that they wouldn’t go to court over the matter but would sit down and discuss it first.  Crosby or his manager brother, Everett were in constant touch with Kraft or their agency, J. Walter Thompson.  They came East, three weeks ago, after John Kraft, in Chicago, phoned them to do so, to thrash the matter out, then the injunction application was filed.  Despite this, according to Crosby, the two sides met amicably.  Crosby offered to do two broadcasts while Kraft countered with a request for twenty-six broadcasts before they would release him.  Crosby came up to six, Kraft replying it would take the six now, with five more guest shots, next Fall.  Crosby countered with an offer to do thirteen broadcasts and two guest shots, next Fall; whereupon, according to Crosby, Kraft reps asked for thirteen now and four guest shots in the Fall.  This was the situation last Thursday.  On Friday, after consultation with John Kraft, in Chicago, according to Crosby, their offer was withdrawn.  Kraft reverting to their original for twenty-six broadcasts, whereupon Crosby decided to go to court.”

(“Variety” 16th January 1946)

 

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