Monday, October 26, 2015


It is amazing that the adult cartoon The Simpsons is still on television. What has it been 150 years?! Seriously, the show has been on for over 25 years now. I just found out that even Der Bingle got the The Simpsons treatment...

In the Simpson 1956 Bing came to Springfield and he spent the afternoon playing mini-golf at Sir Putt-A-Lott's, while his car's Johnson rod is replaced.

He appears in the Itchy & Scratchy short, "Dogday Hellody of 1933"

He appeared in "A Zombie Christmas with Bing Crosby, Elvis and the 1932 All American Football Team"...

Monday, October 19, 2015


Here is a list of films either intended for Bing, proposed for him, or sought by him. There is a lot to tantalise here. More additions would be most welcome. This should put to rest the misconception that Bing was not considered a " hot " film property after High Society...

1) Alice In Wonderland 1933.
2) Vienna Nightingale 1935 planned operetta.
3) Fly by Night 1936.
4) The Story of Will Rogers 1944 (eventually made with Will Rogers, Jr.).
5) Comin' through The Rye 1946 (the life of Robert Burns).
6) Adventures of a Ballad Hunter ( life of folk singer John Avery Lomax ).
7) Road To Brooklyn 1946.
8) Untitled Film 1947 to be produced by Alexander Korda, scripted by Damon Runyon in England.
9) Friendly Persuasion 1948 scheduled to be Frank Capra's first Paramount film, planned for Bing and Jean Arthur,project cancelled due to budgetary limitations.
10) The Silver Whistle 1949, part originated on Broadway by Jose Ferrer.
11) Pardners,1950 with Hopalong Cassidy, remake of Rhythm On The Range, eventually filmed with Martin and Lewis.
12) Road To Paris 1950

13) Come Back Little Sheba 1952, role went tp Burt Lancaster.
14) Guys and Dolls 1952,with Bob Hope.
15) Road To The Moon 1953 with possibly Marilyn Monroe taking Lamour part.
16) The Rainmaker 1955, part again went to Burt Lancaster.
17) Untitled film 1957,with Jackie Gleason about songwriters Dubin and Warren.
18) The Music Man 1958, Bing became interested after seeing the play, part went to Robeert Preston.
19) Two For The Seasaw 1958, again Bing became interested after seeing the play, part went to Robert Mitchum.
20) Bachelor's Baby 1959, Fox project to be produced by Dick Powell.
21) The Jimmy Durante Story 1959, with Dean Martin playing Durante and Frank Sinatra playing Lou Clayton. Bing was to portray Eddie Jackson. Frank Capra was to direct and produce. The plan fell apart when Capra became displeased with contractual arrangements.
22) The Brothers Grimm 1960, Bing asked to play whichever brother he wanted.
23) The Great Western Story 1960,to be produced by Cinerama and Bing Crosby productions,which owned the rights,eventually became How The West was Won.
24) Tender Is The Night 1960, Bing considered for part which went to Jason Robards, Jr.
25) Advise and Consent 1961,Otto Preminger wanted Bing who was at the time commited to The Road To Hong Kong.

26) The Art of Llewellyn Jones 1961.
27) By The Beautiful Sea, planned for Bing and Judy Garland.
28) The Devil's Advocate, Dore Schary wanted Bing to play the lead in the film of Morris West's book for Warners Bros. with Fredric March and Sophia Loren.
29) Road To Calcutta 1962.
30) All The Way Home 1962,producer David Susskind wanted Bing, part went again to Robert Preston.
31) Never Too Late 1962, Bing attempted to buy the rights to play and would have played Paul Ford part.
32) Untitled film 1963 with Lucille Ball.
33) Musical version of The Rainmaker 1963.
34) Here's Love 1963 film version of Meredith Wilson musical.
35) Choice of Violence 1963, a murder melodrama.

36) Popi,1965, part went to Alan Arkin.
37) Say It With music 1965 with Julie Andrews with Irving Berlin score.
38) Bloomer Girl 1966, with Katherine Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, based on Arlen and Mercer musical.
39) The Absence of a Cello 1966, musical with Vivien Leigh.
40) Rocket to the Moon 1966 ,Bing to play P.T. Barnum in Jules Verne story.
41) Mad Dogs And Englishmen 1966.
42) The Family Band 1966, part went to Walter Brennan.
43) The Great St. Bernard 1967, a story about a monk in the Alps.
44) Untitled film with Fred Astaire 1967.
45) The Detective, with Frank Sinatra 1967.
46) Road To Christmas 1968.
47) Paint Your Wagon 1968, part went to Lee Marvin.
48) The Birds Wore Blinkers, with Hope and Gleason and John Wayne to be made in Ireland.
49) The Sunshine Boys 1973 with Hope, parts went to Walter Matthau and George Burns.
50) Road To Tomorrow or The road To The Fountain of Youth 1975, with Lamour and Hope and Mae West.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


On this, the 38th anniversary of Bing Crosby's death, I figured it would be interesting to take a look at what became of his financial empire...

HLC Properties is a Nevada limited partnership formed in 1980 for the purpose of managing the entertainment empire created by Harry Lillis Crosby, professionally known as Bing Crosby, who died in 1977. Crosby’s personal representative and widow transferred to HLC his interests in various record masters, television programs, motion pictures, radio programs, music compositions, music publishing agreements, literary works, and the contract rights related to those interests, as well as the right of publicity. The general partner of HLC, Hillsborough Productions, Inc., was to manage the operations, including making all creative and business decisions about the interests transferred to HLC.

Before Crosby’s death, the business interests transferred to HLC were owned by Crosby but managed and operated by a staff of employees that had managed Crosby’s holdings for decades. Basil F. Grillo (1905-1995), the manager and accountant who had run Crosby’s organization for over 30 years, said that when he first began working for Crosby in 1945 or 1946, the Crosby operation was already so extensive that six months passed before he even met Crosby. That operation included musicians, singers, writers and agents, all of whom were involved in the creative and business aspects of records, motion pictures and radio and television programs. It also had interests in other fields. At times, business activities operated within formal entities. For example, Bing Crosby Productions was engaged in motion picture and television production. Bing Crosby Enterprises, Inc., was formed, but was later liquidated in the 1950s. The various businesses and entertainment interests of Crosby generally were managed under the name “Bing Crosby Enterprises,” but that operation was not a formal entity.

It appears that any formal business entity that Crosby utilized for his operations was dissolved or otherwise liquidated, for there is no suggestion of the existence of such an entity at his death. There is no indication of how or in what manner those entities were terminated -- whether by a formal dissolution or informal liquidation. After Crosby’s death, the executor of his estate, Richard C. Bergen of the law firm of O’Melveny & Meyers, continued to maintain “Mr. Crosby’s business office,” where Enterprises operated. In 1980, the executor entered into a limited partnership agreement with Hillsborough Productions, Inc. and Kathryn G. Crosby (Crosby’s second and surviving spouse) to form HLC Properties, an entity that would manage the interests Crosby left. Ultimately, the executor transferred the estate’s 78.685 percent interest in certain properties to HLC Properties. Kathryn Crosby also transferred her 21.315 percent interest in these same properties to HLC Properties.

In 1981, the probate court approved the formation of HLC Properties, approved the estate’s agreement to transfer estate properties and assets to HLC Properties, and approved the estate’s transfer of its limited partnership interest in HLC Properties to various family member trusts. Upon final distribution of the estate, the executor was discharged.

Mark Brodka, the second husband of Bing's only daughter, Mary Frances, served as chief legal counsel for HLC and filed lawsuits against Bing's recording company, Universal Music Group, alleging unpaid royalties. Universal countersued and in 2012 Universal and HLC reached agreement to cooperate in promoting Bing's musical legacy. Mr. Brodka was relieved of his legal duties to HLC by Bing's eldest son, Harry, with the approval of Mrs. Crosby...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


When you are taking a look at the filmography of Bing Crosby, he had some stunning female co-stars. You instantly think of Dorothy Lamour in all of those Road movies or Grace Kelly in the technicolor masterpiece High Society (1956). However, there are some female leads that you might have forgotten made movies with Der Bingle. They all wanted to work with Bing, and some of these great pictures showcases that...

Ida Lupino in ANYTHING GOES (1936)

Joan Blondell in EAST SIDE OF HEAVEN (1939)

Betty Hutton in HERE COMES THE WAVES (1944)

Ann Blyth in TOP O THE MORNING (1949)

Zizi Jeanmaire in ANYTHING GOES (1956)

Nicole Maurey and Tuesday Weld in HIGH TIME (1960)