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sheila

Kim - I love this piece and your analysis of Bing Crosby. // an ethereal echo chamber of air coming from a million miles away. It’s spacey, creepy and charming all at once. // Gorgeous, true.

And in re: Sinatra:
There's that great quote, and I'm paraphrasing - but Bing said once something like, “Sinatra is a singer who comes along once in a lifetime, but why did he have to come along in my lifetime?”

ben schwartz

As to Bing's getting slighted ... I think, like so many of the best of his generation taken for granted today, there's the distance of time, but also their aesthetic of understatement. Crosby, Armstrong, Gary Cooper, Howard Hawks, Wyler, Norman Rockwell, "New Yorker" writers Joseph Mitchel and Sally Benson -- they were all masters of simplicity, understatement, and subtle design. If Orson Welles was right, that "style is why they fall in love you" (paraphrasing here), then their style means you have to pay much closer attention. It's easier to enjoy in the moment, but harder to appreciate than those of more bombastic, affected, insistent, or emotional performers (not that they're less legit).

Max Allan Collins

Lovely, lovely Crosby piece. And so dead on.

Kim, if you haven't heard it, track down the CD BING SINGS WHILST BREGMAN SWINGS. It's from the early '60s and has Bing doing the kind of big-band hip album Bobby Darin and Sinatra were doing at the time (Bregman was involved with Darin's THAT'S ALL and THIS IS DARIN, his career highpoints). Bing seems modern as all get out on that one....

Publicist Bing Crosby Enterprises

Thanks - if you'd like to hear more Bing, visit us at www.BingCrosby.com - we've announced some newly remastered goodies, some of which has never been on records as it's taken from his self-produced radio programs! Enjoy!

Jeffrey

"There’s no denying that Crosby was and is big time. And yet … why does he feel just a little slighted through the years? Like the only moment we enjoy his music is once a year, when we roll out “White Christmas” from our holiday collection of old standards?"

Kim, great piece. Crosby has always had a place in my heart and, along with Nat King Cole, personifies for me all that was good about American music in the 1940s and 1950s.

I think Crosby's legacy is, in part, a victim of the success of "Holiday Inn" and "White Christmas" (the song and movie). So few people care about vocal and swing music anymore that he just doesn't get the exposure he otherwise deserves.

Similarly, how many people under the age of, say, 50 know anything about Jimmy Steward aside from "It's A Wonderful Life"?

Could it be too that the darker aspects of his personal life have tainted his memory more than those of Sinatra's, though the latter's were in many ways much worse?

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