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Bing Crosby

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  1. Bing Crosby Lucas Hulsey Katrina Crawford Brandon Mistler Brad Bassett

  2. Early Years Bing was born Harry Lillis Crosby on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington. Bing had no birth certificate, and the actual date of his birth was shrouded in mystery until after his death. Even Bing's immediate family assigned at least 3 different years for his birth. Bing had four brothers and two sisters: Catherine (1904-72), Mary Rose (1906-90); Everett (1896-1966), Larry (1895-1975), Ted (1900-73), Bob (1913-93)

  3. How He Became Bing • In 1906 Bing’s family would move from Tacoma to Spokane in search of work. The third grade Harry Lillis developed a friendship with an older neighbor boy, Valentine Hobart. The two boys shared an interest in a newspaper comic strip called The Bingville Bugle, Bing would beg Valentine to read him the strip and Valentine would soon start calling him "Bingo from Bingville." • Later the name would be shortened to “Bing” and was adopted by Bing's other friends and teachers.

  4. Childhood Influences • Bing’s parents were always infatuated with music and they even sent Bing to singing lessons, for which he soon dropped out. • Bing was more interested in popular song. One of his biggest idols was Al Jolson Bing met his idol when Jolson came to Spokane to sing in a production of the Broadway show Bombo. (Jolson in photo with Bing in 1949).

  5. Bing Playing Into Showbiz • Bing Went to college in Spokane in 1920 with the intention of becoming a lawyer. There he bought a set of bass drums, and soon enough he was so good at the drums that he joined a local group called the Musicaladers,managed by Al Rinker. • Bing made so much money with the group that he dropped out of college his senior year to work with the group. The group would break up during the summer of 1925. • A couple months later, in October, Bing and Al piled into Rinker's Model T and left Spokane for Los Angeles where they would seek the help of Rinker's sister, the jazz singer Mildred Bailey, to get into show business. • After only three weeks in L.A. they joined the vaudeville circuit, singing in movie theatres throughout California.

  6. Bings Big Break • In the 1920s Paul Whiteman led the most popular band in America. He heard Bing and Rinker singin in the Metropolitan Theatre in Los Angeles and hired them to join his band at $150 a week for each. • After the two had finished the obligations in California the moved to Chicago. There Bing started studying music with Bix Beiderbecke, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti and jazz guitarist Eddie Lang. Some of the biggest names of the era • While in Chicago Bing and Al had a chance to make a record Bing and Al recorded "I've Got the Girl" accompanied by Don Clark's Biltmore Hotel Orchestra in Los Angeles. "I've Got the Girl" was released on a 78rpm disk as Columbia #824-D. On the flip side was Don Clark's instrumental version of "Idolizing." Two months later Bing and Al joined the Whiteman Orchestra in Chicago, where they cut their first records with Whiteman -- "Wistful and Blue" and "Pretty Lips" -- on Dec. 22. “I’ve Got the Girl”

  7. Rhythm Boys • Bing and Al didn’t stay in the Whitman Orchestra for very long. After leaving the group Bing, Al, and Harry Barris started a new group.(shown on the right in the photo). Barris had written a song called "Mississippi Mud," and with the help of Malneck they turned it into a hit. Crosby returned to the Whiteman Orchestra in March as part of a trio called "The Rhythm Boys." “Bluebirds and Blackbirds”

  8. The End of the Rhythm Boys • After leaving the Whiteman Orchestra in May of 1930 the Rhythm Boys began singing with the Gus Arnheim band at the Cocoanut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. • Arnheim began pushing Bing to the forefront as a soloist, and on Jan. 19, 1931, Bing recorded what was to become his first credited solo hit, I Surrender Dear, written by Harry Barris and backed by the Arnheim Orchestra. The Grove had its own broadcast equipment, and Bing's voice could be heard throughout California. Increasingly crowds came to the Grove to hear Bing solo, and the Rhythm Boys as a group receded to the background. • As Bing's solo career began to rise, he began skipping performances at the Grove, and this behavior led the manager to dock his pay. Crosby walked out in protest, and took the Rhythm Boys with him. The manager persuaded the local musicians' union to ban the trio for breach of contract, and the Rhythm Boys dissolved. Bing Crosby “I Surrender Dear”

  9. BING'S GOLD RECORDS: • 1937: Sweet Leilani1941: San Antonio Rose1942: White Christmas1942: Silent Night1943: I'll be Home for Christmas1943: Sunday, Monday or Always1943: Pistol Packin Mama (w Andrews Sisters)1943: Jingle Bells (w Andrews Sisters)1944: Swinging on a Star1944: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra1944: Don't Fence Me In (w Andrews Sisters)1945: I Can't Begin to Tell You1946: McNamara's Band1946: South America, Take it Away (w Andrews Sisters)1947: Alexander's Ragtime Band (w Al Jolson)1947: Whiffenpoof Song1948: Now is the Hour1949: Galway Bay1949: Dear Hearts and Gentle People1950: Sam's Song / Play a Simple Melody (w Gary Crosby)1956: True Love (w Grace Kelly)1956: High Society soundtrack1970: Merry Christmas (an album anthology)1977: Seasons (Bing's last album went gold in England)

  10. Bing’s Radio Shows • Bing Hosted Two Radio Shows on ABC and CBS radio: • Philco Radio Time starring Bing Crosby on ABC • Bing's sponsor at CBS from 1949 through 1952 was Chesterfield cigarettes. General Electric sponsored the show from the fall of '52 through the spring of '54.

  11. Bing in the Movies • Bing starred in 55 full-length motion pictures, beginning with "The Big Broadcast" in 1932 and ending with a television movie, Dr. Cook's Garden, in 1971. He starred in about a dozen short movies ("Please," "Just an Echo" and "Blue of the Night") and made numerous cameo appearances ("The Big Broadcast of 1936," "Let's Make Love" and "That's Entertainment"). Bing made several unbilled cameos in Bob Hope's movies ("Princess and the Pirate," "My Favorite Brunette," "Son of Paleface" and "Alias Jesse James") where Bing dropped in just in time to steal the girl from Hope. • At least 23 of Crosby's movies were among the top ten box office hits during the year of their release. Bing was among the top ten box office stars in at least 15 years. For 5 consecutive years ('44-48) Bing was the top box office draw in America.He won the Oscar for best actor in 1945 for his portrayal of a priest, Father O'Malley, in the 1944 Paramount movie Going My Way.

  12. Bing’s Family Life Bing married twice. The first marriage was to a shy actress, Dixie Lee (shown in photo), in Sept. 1930 Bing and Dixie had 4 sons: Gary (1933-95), twins Phillip (1934-2004) and Dennis (1934-91), and Lindsay (1938-89). Bing learned that Dixie was dying of ovarian cancer while he was in France filming "Little Boy Lost." She died Nov. 1, 1952, a week after his return home and three days before her 41st birthday. Bing remarried in 1957. His new wife, Kathryn Grant, was an aspiring actress whom he'd met at Paramount while filming interior scenes for the movie "Little Boy Lost" in February 1953. Kathryn and Bing had 3 kids: Harry (1958), Mary Frances (1959) and Nathaniel (1961).

  13. Bing’s Death • On the La Moraleja golf course near Madrid, Spain, on the afternoon of Oct. 14, 1977. He finished 18 holes of golf carding an 85 and, with his partner, defeated 2 Spanish golf pros. After his final putt Bing bowed to acknowledge the applause of some fans and remarked "It was a great game." • As he was walking to the clubhouse about 6:30 local time he collapsed from a massive heart attack. Bing made no attempt to break his fall and landed head-first on the red-brick pavement, producing a large bruise on the left side of his forehead. His 3 golfing companions carried Bing the remaining 20 yards to the clubhouse where a physician administered oxygen and adrenalin without success • Bing's funeral began at 5 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California. Bing's will specified that only his wife and 7 children should attend, but Kathryn invited Bing's siblings as well as Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney and Phil Harris. The ABC reporter who covered the funeral, Geraldo Rivera, noted the early morning hour was when the blue of the night met the gold of the day.

  14. Influenced The Beatles Frank Sinatra

  15. Questions • What was the discrepancy about Bing’s birthdate? • He had no birth certificate. • What was the name of the comic strip Bing got his name from? • The Bingville Bugle • What was the name of the group Bing was in during college? • The Musicaladers • Who were the Rhythm Boys? • Bing Crosby, Al Rinker, and Harry Barris • How many movies did Bing Star in? • 55 • What game was Bing playing when he died? • Golf

  16. Resources • • sinatrac.jpg •