He was the first vocalist ever signed to an orchestra. He made more studio recordings than any other singer in history, a total of 1700 which is about 400 more than Sinatra. He made the most popular recording ever, “White Christmas”, the only single to make the American pop charts 20 times, every year but one between 1942 and 1962. In 1998, after a long absence, it returned to the charts in Great Britain. Between 1927 and 1962, he scored 368 charted records under his own name, plus 28 as vocalist with various bandleaders, for a total of 396. No one else comes close; compare Paul Whiteman (220), Sinatra (209), Elvis (149), Glenn Miller (129), Nat King Cole (118), Louis Armstrong (85), the Beatles (68). He scored the most number one hits in the 20th century: 38, compared to 24 by the Beatles and 18 by Presley. He received 23 gold and two platinum records, including the first double-sided gold record (“Play a Simple Melody” / “Sam’s Song”). In 1960, he received a platinum record as First Citizen of the Record Industry, having sold 200 million discs, a number that doubled by 1980.

Between 1915 and 1980, he was the only motion picture actor to rank as the number one box-office attraction five times (1944-48). Between 1934 and 1954 he scored in the top ten 15 times. With an estimated one billion, seventyseven million tickets sold, he is ranked as the third most popular film actor, behind Clark Gable and John Wayne. Of the 55 feature films in which he starred, between 1932 (The Big Broadcast) and 1971 (Dr. Cook’s Garden), 29 placed among the top-10 grossing pictures of the year. During the Second World War, he raised an unequalled $14,500,000 in war bonds. In 1946, three of the five top-grossing pictures of the year (The Bells of St. Mary’s, Blue Skies, Road to Utopia) were Crosby vehicles. Going My Way was the highest grossing film in the history of Paramount Pictures until 1947. The Bells of St. Mary 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 introduced more Academy Award songs (14) and more winners (4) than any other film star. He was a major radio star longer than any other performer, from 1931 until 1954 on network, from 1954 until 1962 in syndication. He appeared on approximately 4000 radio broadcasts, nearly 3400 of them his own programs. He created the first and longest running celebrity pro-am golf championship, playing host for 35 years, raising millions in charity; and was the central figure in the development of the Del Mar racetrack in southern California. He helped ensure the survival of four of the most influential companies in the development of American entertainment: CBS, Paramount Pictures, Decca Records and ABC. References: Gary Giddins



Why an album of songs sung by Bing Crosby? Yes, I had heard many of his songs sung by my father who I’m sure remembered most of them from the war years. He would sing them word for word, and many times whistle them. They were such happy and catchy tunes. Only later did I discover Bing had been given the title “The Happy Man’s Singer”. Like Bing my father was a keen golfer, always looking forward to the next round, and always trying new techniques to improve his game.


For some unknown reason we had no albums of Bing’s, but did of Perry Como and Dean Martin. Many of the tunes were such a delight to listen to, uplifting and cheerful and so, when I started recording songs, these two artists came to the fore, resulting in my having completed two albums each of the songs sung by Perry and Dean. Although the rendition of the songs are those of Harry Curtis, I do try and flavour them with the artist’s style. You can distinctly tell from the delivery whether my feelings are with Perry or Dean.


Reading the life stories of all the great vocalists of that time, they would all credit Bing Crosby with having a large influence on their careers. I knew I had to one day get to the Crosby albums and with great enjoyment and pride at it’s conclusion, I present to you the first of many albums I hope to produce of songs sung by Bing Crosby.
Bing Crosby was an Academy Award winning American singer and actor whose career lasted from 1926 until his death in 1977, aged 74. In 1962 Crosby was the first person to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a much celebrated and beloved performer of unparalleled popularity. He was also a force in the development of the three industries of recordings, motion pictures and broadcasting. He is the most successful recording artist of all time; a star of movies, radio and television; and was a firm believer in the wonders of technology. He was a man who loved life, had such ‘feeling’ for the songs that he sang and gave and still gives great pleasure to millions around the world. He derived great enjoyment from performing with other artists. In 1990 Life Magazine listed the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century, naming only two popular singers Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Crosby is currently the most recorded voice in history. He was a major inspiration to most of the male singers of the era that followed him, including Perry Como, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was born on 3 May 1903 in Tacoma, Washington, USA. He was the fourth of seven children born to a working-class Catholic Irish-Anglo family with deep roots in the American North West. He was an intelligent and conscientious student whose primary interests were in sports, school plays and music. Music had always been part of the Crosby household, his father, who played the mandolin, leading the family in song.
In 1910, the six-year-old Harry was forever renamed Bing by a 15-yearold neighbour who shared Harrys enthusiasm in a newspaper parody “The Bingville Bugle”.
In his youth he would listen to everything, attend the vaudeville shows that came to town and was spellbound by the legendary Al Jolson who Crosby would later say “To me, he was the greatest entertainer who ever lived”. In 1920 Bing enrolled at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington with the intention of becoming a lawyer. While at university he learnt to play the drums and joined a local band called the “Musicaladers”. He made such good money with the band that he decided to drop out of school during his final year to pursue a career in show business.
In 1926 while singing in Los Angeles he caught the eye of Paul Whiteman, arguably the leader of the most famous orchestra in the country, and was signed up at $150 a week. Bing was inspired by his idol and life long friend, Louis Armstrong. Whiteman teamed Bing, Al Rinker of the “Musicaladers” and Harry Barris, a pianist and songwriter, calling them the Rhythm Boys. They became the first successful jazz vocal group. Bing was the first vocalist to use the microphone as an instrument.
The band split in 1931, setting the stage for Crosby’s solo career. Ten of the top 50 songs in 1931 either featured Bing solo or with others. In 1932 he starred in his first full-length film “The Big Broadcast” and over the years appeared in 79 pictures.


Crosby gave great emphasis to live performances before American troops fighting in Europe. He toured at home and abroad, selling a record number of war bonds and personally answering thousands of letters from servicemen and their families. In a poll of U.S. Troops at the close of World War II, Crosby was recognised as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during the war.
Bings radio show regularly attracted an audience of 50 million. He initiated the Road movies, with Bob Hope, one of the most durable, profitable and imitated comedy series in film history.
Crosby’s biggest musical hit was his recording of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” which he sang in 1942. The song was his best selling recording and the best-selling single and song of all time. The recording sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. According to ticket sales, Bing Crosby is the third most popular actor of all-time behind Clark Gable and John Wayne. His most popular film was “White Christmas” in 1954. He won an academy award as best actor in “Going My Way” in 1944.
Bing continued to make hit records and movies into the 1960’s, at which time he began to slow down, reserving most of his work for television, including a series of variety specials, frequent appearances as host of The Hollywood Palace, television movies, and an annual Christmas show that became a national tradition. He spent more time on the golf course and the track, two sports he helped pioneer by creating the first celebrity pro-am golf tournament and taking the lead in building the Del Mar racetrack.



Crosby exerted an important influence on the development of the post-war recording industry investing in the company which developed the world’s first commercial reel-to-reel tape recorder. Crosby became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings on magnetic tape.
Crosby was married twice, first to actress/night club singer Dixie Lee from 1930 until her death from cancer in 1952. They had four sons. He married the actress Kathryn Grant in 1957 and they had two sons and a daughter.


Bing had an interest in sports. He was a fan of thoroughbred horse racing and bought his first race horse in 1935. He was a founding partner and director of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club at Del Mar, California. In 1978, he and Bob Hope were voted the Bob Jones award, the highest honour given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
Crosby smoked two packets of cigarettes a day until his second wife made him stop. He finally quit smoking his pipe and cigars following lung surgery in 1974 when he came out of semi retirement to produce several notable albums and concert tours. The Crosby family became the focus of his Christmas program. In September 1977, Crosby and his family did a concert tour of England after which he flew alone to Spain to hunt and play golf. On 14 October, Crosby died suddenly from a heart attack after a round of eighteen holes of golf near Madrid.
At his death, because of Bing’s shrewd investments in oil, real estate and other commodities, Bing was one of Hollywood’s wealthiest residents. References: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Gary Giddins