Friday, August 30, 2013


Bing Crosby poses with his new $8,250 (over $70,000 in today's prices) Mercedes in the Stars and Stripes parking lot. The crooner picked up the car in Stuttgart and visited the newspaper office on his way to Frankfurt, where he played some golf.


Monday, August 26, 2013


Here is an interesting story I found online regarding Bing's two families...

Live Wire: Late singer Bing Crosby's family life complicated
Q: I know that Kathryn Grant married Bing Crosby and had three children. When he died he made her a ward of the court, and she was very angry about it and fought it in court. Did she ever overturn that and get any of his money? I'm very curious about this. - N.F., Hope Mills

A: Much of this is incorrect. You may be mixing up some elements of the complicated Crosby family story - or maybe you're thinking of someone else entirely?

It's true that Kathryn Grant married Bing Crosby, in 1957, and they had three children. But if she was unhappy with her financial situation after the 1977 death of the wealthy entertainer, she didn't say so and she never battled the estate in court - at least, not that was widely reported. Neither a minor nor incapacitated, she also wasn't made a ward of the court. Indeed, Kathryn Crosby, now 79, always has painted rosy pictures of her life with Bing, including in two memoirs written following his death. She described him as a good husband and father. She was Crosby's second wife. His first wife, entertainer Dixie Lee, died of cancer in 1952. Lee and Bing Crosby were married 22 years and had four sons. Some of those children later said their father had been a cold, harsh, remote father. In a memoir, eldest son Gary Crosby said Bing beat and verbally abused him and his brothers and that he cheated on their mother. Two of his brothers agreed but the fourth, Phillip, said Bing had been "a great father" and that Gary's claims were overblown.

Bing Crosby did leave an estate replete with strings - including one that said anyone who disputed the will was automatically disinherited. Most of the will's provisions were private but were revealed later on. For example, the four sons from his first marriage were barred from receiving their inheritance until they reached age 65. Only one made it - Phillip, who died of a heart attack at age 69. Gary died of lung cancer at age 62. Lindsay Crosby and Dennis Crosby both committed suicide. Lindsay died in 1989 at the age of 51. Dennis died in 1991 at the age of 56. The three children from Bing Crosby's marriage to Kathryn are all alive - Harry, 54, Mary, 53, and Nathaniel, 51. They have all reportedly described their father as loving and kind. In 2010, the estate of Bing Crosby's first wife battled for a share of the earnings of Bing's estate, based on changes in the law.


Monday, August 19, 2013


I wonder how much a Bing Crosby paper doll goes for from 1934? It did not know Bing was ever made into paper doll form. My sister has a few paper doll books growing up in the 1980s, but I think it was a dying hobby even then.

Here's a pic from an add for Bing's paper doll...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Here is a great review of a terrific Bing Crosby LP issue of its time. It was one of my prized possessions when I first started collecting Bing...

Effortless Grace
by Annie Van Auken

Perhaps the most likeable (and relaxed) vocalist of all time, Bing Crosby had hundreds of charting singles over a long career. One of these, “White Christmas,” was #1 in 1942, and reappeared 22 times after that, charting in 19 of those years: ’43 (6); ’44 (5); ’45 (1); ’46 (1); ’47 (3); ’48 (6); ’49 (5); ’50 (13); ’51 (13); ’53 (21); ’54 (13); ’55 (7); ’56 (65); ’57 (34); ’58 (66); ’59 (59); ’60 (26); ’61 (12); ’62 (38); ’77; ’85 and ’98. This is a feat that will never be equalled.

Many of Bing’s best sides are here. Only the first three are remakes of his earliest hits, which may be why “I Surrender Dear” and “Just a Gigolo” weren’t included (Crosby never redid these classics).

An overview of his BRUNSWICK and DECCA output, Reader’s Digest’s BING SINGS 96 OF HIS GREATEST HITS was issued less than a year after Crosby’s 1977 death. Manufacturer is RCA. These aren’t their dreadful DYNAFLEX paper-thin discs, but they also aren’t up to golden era vinyl standards. A tiniest bit of rechanneling has been applied to make bass notes seem right soundstage. There’s no echo, no masking filters, no channel imbalance

These discs were meant to be stacked on a changer for continuity by year (Sides 1 thru 8 “A” followed by 8 thru 1 “B”). Average side time is 18 minutes.

A heavy stock box that holds the records slides out of an even more substantial outer case. Plastic-lined card paper storage sleeves have graduated cuts in the upper right corner, which simplifies finding a specific record (when they’re in the correct order). Sleeves have interesting paragraphs about each recording on their backs. No studio dates are provided...


Friday, August 9, 2013


One of Bing Crosby's boats are for sale...

Bing Crosby's 1954 Chris Craft 19' Racing Runabout


Own a piece of Hollywood History and stand out from the sea of white plastic!! This boat was purchased from the estate of Bing Crosby and is in very good condition. At some point in it's life it was re-powered with a Ford Marine Interceptor V8 and the upholstery changed but otherwise is still as when owned by Bing. The early 50's Chris Craft Racing Runabouts are one of the more collectible Chris Crafts so represent an excellent investment as well. Contact us for the full details on this significant boat at 250 807-2194 or Also check out our web site for over 50 more classic boats we currently have listed for sale in all price ranges...


Monday, August 5, 2013


It has been a long time since I had the time to sit down and watch a Bing Crosby movie all the way through. When I finally got a little bit of time to do so, I picked a film I had not seen since I was a little boy watching it as an afternoon movie. I wanted to rewatch the early Bing film - Mississippi (1935). The film was a delightful pairing of singer Bing Crosby and master comedian W.C. Fields. The film marked the first "costume movie for the crooner, and the plot was better than any film Bing had mad up to that time.

Commodore Jackson (W. C. Fields) is the captain of a Mississippi showboat in the late nineteenth century. Tom Grayson (Bing Crosby) is engaged to be married and has been disgraced for refusing to fight a duel with Major Patterson (John Miljan). Accused of being a coward, Grayson joins Jackson's showboat. Over the duration of the film, the behaviour of the meek and mild Tom Grayson alters as a consequence of the constant representation of him, by Commodore Jackson, as "The Notorious Colonel Steele", "the Singing Killer", and the constant attribution, by Jackson, of duelling victories by Grayson to unrelated corpses freshly dragged from the river beside the showboat as "yet another victim of the notorious Colonel Steele, the Singing Killer".

The film provides sufficient opportunities for Crosby to sing the Rodgers and Hart songs, including the centerpiece number, "Soon", while Fields gets to tell some outlandish stories.

Crosby and Fields worked well together and there is one memorable scene in which Fields tries to tell Crosby how to act tougher. In the film, Crosby does a number of brilliantly engineered sight gags involving a chair and a bowie knife. Another highlight is Fields' remarkable story about his exploits among one notorious Indian tribe.

The score by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart is good, but not great as compared to their Broadway score. Supposedly Bing did not like the many of the songs that the team had written, and many of them were cut. My personal favorite number though is "Down By The River". Bing in 1935 had such a strong voice that he sang it in nearly the operatic range. I am so glad this film is finally out on DVD, because you can tell by the print in some parts that the film was not saved properly through the years. The plot and the roles that the African-American actors had in the film is quite dated by today's standards, but the film was made in 1935. I enjoyed it immensely here in 2013...