I Can’t Begin To Tell You 78 by Bing Crosby and Carman Cavallaro

December 11, 2011

Bing Crosby issued hundreds of singles during the course of his career. Some faded quickly away and others topped the charts for weeks and sometimes months.

Carmen Cavallero, 1913-1939, was known as the “poet of the piano.” He put together his own group during 1939. He went on to an excellent career that lasted over forty years.

Crosby and Cavallaro combined on what would become a future standard, “I Can’t Begin To Tell You.” Cavallero’s piano work is really the highlight of the release. It topped the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart for the week of Jan. 19, 1946.

It’s Been A Long Long Time 78 by Bing Crosby and The Les Paul Trio

December 4, 2011

A funny thing happened to the number one hit “It’s Been A Long Long Time” by Harry James and His Orchestra. It was replaced as the number one song in The United States for the week of December 8, 1945, by “It’s Been A Long Long Time” by Bing Crosby with The Les Paul Trio.

The two versions are totally different and this one has intricate guitar work by the great Les Paul which makes it an essential listen all by itself.

A guitar and vocal master combined for a memorable performance.

Don’t Fence Me In 78 by Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters

November 15, 2011

1944 was coming to an end and Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters produced one of the biggest hits of the year. “Don’t Fence Me In” became the number one song in the United States on December 23rd and remained in that position for the last two weeks of the year and the first six weeks of 1945 for a total of eight weeks.

During 1934, Cole Porter took a poem by Robert Fletcher and turned it into the song, “Don’t Fence Me In.” It was originally intended for the movie ADIOS ARGENTINA, but the film was never produced.

It finally came to the public’s attention when Roy Rogers sang the song in his 1944 film, “Hoolywood Canteen.” Kate Smith also released a version around the same time. Both paled next to the version by Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters who grabbed the brass ring on this one.

I’ll Be Seeing You 78 by Bing Crosby

October 24, 2011

“I’ll Be Seeing You” was the second of four number one hits for Bing Crosby during 1944. His songs would spend 20 weeks at number one during the year. The song reached the top on July 1, 1944, and spent four non-consecutive weeks on top of the Singles Chart.

The song was part of a Broadway Musical, RIGHT THIS WAY, that closed after 15 performnces. It was also part of a film of the same name and it was here that that the song gained its fame.

Crosby sold hundreds of millions of records during his carrer and “I’ll Be Seeing You” was released at the height of his career.

I Love You 78 by Bing Crosby

October 18, 2011

The 1940’s found Bing Crosby as the number one solo artist in the world. His records would sell in the hundreds of millions and he would constatnly have his own radio show to present his music. He would also become a movie star, winning an Oscar along the way. His “White Christmas” single is the biggest selling of all time.

He released the ballad “I Love You” during 1944. It reached number one on May 6th and remained there for five weeks. There were a lot more to come for Mr. Crosby.

Sunday Monday Or Always 78 by Bing Crosby

September 29, 2011

“Sunday Monday Or Always” by Bing Crosby was the number one song in the United States for seven weeks beginning September 11, 1943. Frank Sinatra released a similar version but it stalled at number nine.

It was another song recorded in the midst of the mmusicians strike. It was so well done that you really had to listen closely before you realized there was no instrumental backing. The use of backing voices fill in for the missing musicians.

Crosby had his first chart hit with the Paul Whiteman orchestra during 1927 and during the latter half of the 1940s would be one of the biggest, if not the biggest star in the world. His single “White Christmas” was the biggest selling single of all time.

He released 409 singles during the course of his career and this was one of his best.

White Christmas by Bing Crosby

August 23, 2011

The 1955 Guinness Book Of World Records lists “White Christmas,” by Bing Crosby, as the biggest selling single of all time. It continues to list it in that position down to the present day. It has sold 50 million singles worldwide.

It reached the number one position on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Singles Chart on October 31, 1942. It remained in that position for 11 consecutive weeks, which included the first two of 1943.

It was a comforting Christmas song that first appearred in the movie HOLIDAY INN. It won the Oscar for best song. It reappeared in the 1954 movie, appropriately titled WHITE CHRISTMAS. It was sung by Bing Crosby both times.

When Berlin wrote the song he told his secretary that he had just composed the best song he had ever written and possibly the best song of all time.

It remains immediately recognizable today as it returns every holiday season.

Only Forever 78 by Bing Crosby

June 21, 2011

Bing Crosby has been gone for over thirty years now. Modern generations of music fans forget just how popular he was during the 1930s and 1940s. During the course of his career, he placed 383 singles on the American charts, with 41 reaching number one.

“Only Forever” was one of his biggest hits reaching the number one position on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE, October 19, 1940. It was taken from the film RHYTHM ON THE RIVER.  It would remain on top of the charts for 9 weeks.

It wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll but alot of people liked it.

On The Sentimental Side by Bing Crosby

June 17, 2010

Before there was Frank Sinatra, before there was Dean Martin, and before there was Sammy Davis Jr., there was Bing Crosby. Most of the pre-rock ‘n’ roll crooners patterned or were at least influenced by him.

He sold hundreds of millions of records world wide during the course of his nearly fifty year career and placed close to 400 titles on The American Best Seller Charts. Oddly during the CD era Sinatra and Martin’s music has continued to sell well, while Crosby’s has been largely ignored.On The Sentimental Side hopes to rectify that situation, as it is one of six new releases which gathers together rare and unreleased material.

This particular release traces its history through Mitch Miller, who between 1957 and 1963 released a series of sing along albums which capitalized on the popularity of his hit television show Sing Along With Mitch and the Gang.This type of album sounds like a bad and antiquated idea, but sixteen of them sold a million copies a piece. Bing decided to jump on this popular band wagon and released a series of sing-along albums that became known as the Join Bing and Sing series. The final album in this series was never released for some reason and spent almost a half century collecting dust.

On The Sentimental Side was a labor of love. The instrumental tracks were recorded in London during March of 1962 and the vocals in Hollywood during June but had never been combined or mixed in any way. They have now been united for the first time.

The twelve performances are all medleys. The material is typical Crosby as it spans the first half of the twentieth century and includes many traditional songs. Medleys such as “My Bonnie/The Band Played On,” “Beautiful Dreamer/The Last Rose Of Summer,” “Tom Dooley/The Old Grey Mare,” “Look For The Silver Lining/Say It With Music,” and “Remember/Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet” is the type of material which Crosby was so good at interpreting.

The five bonus tracks are single songs and were recorded with Buddy Cole for various radio programs. The best is his Irish classic “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral” which originally was sung in the movie Going My Way.This performance was taken from February of 1960. The other bonus songs are “Because,” “Love’s Old Sweet Song,” “Smilin’ Through,” and “Whither Thou Goest.”

On The Sentimental Side fills in a long missing gap in the Bing Crosby catalogue. It may not be the best of the six new releases, but for Crosby fans it may be the most important.

Article first published as on Blogcritics.org

Return To Paradise Island (Deluxe Edition) by Bing Crosby

June 17, 2010

Return To Paradise Islands is one of six new releases by Bing Crosby Enterprises which gathers long lost and unreleased material, cleans and polishes it, and issues it in CD form for old and new fans alike.

Bing Crosby influenced a generation of pre rock ‘n’ roll crooners and it can be argued a number after that point as well. His style and popularity set him apart from his peers as his easygoing vocals enabled him to sell nearly one billion records worldwide in addition to a distinguished acting career.He had a history of recording songs from the Island of Hawaii. Beginning in 1936 he would record 40 sides of Hawaiian material. His most famous was his rendition of “Sweet Leilani,” from the film Waikiki Wedding, which won the 1937 Oscar for Best Song.

1963 found him signed to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise label. He entered the studio three times during the last half of 1963 and recorded the 12 tracks for what would become his 1964 release Return To Paradise Islands.He would be backed by arranger/orchestra leader Nelson Riddle who would provide a lush background for his vocals. The vinyl release quickly disappeared and has never been re-issued in CD form. It now returns in a new stereo mix with five bonus songs added for good measure.

It is the slower tempo material which really shines. “The Old Plantation” and “Forevermore” are effortless. His cover of “Adventures In Paradise,” which was taken from the television series of the same name, is equally relaxed.

Whether it’s the indigenous songs such as “The Hukilau Song” and “Lovely Hula Hands” or the lighter “Keep Your Eyes On Your Hands” or “Home In Hawaii,” it is a smoothly flowing affair from a musical era long gone.

Five of the bonus tracks are taken from radio appearances and are very simple as he is backed by Buddy Cole and His Trio who were very different from The Nelson Riddle Orchestra. “My Little Grass Shack,” “The Cockeyed Mayor Of Kaunakakai,” “Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula,” “Ukulele Lady,” and “King’s Serenade” feature Bing’s voice with only minimal keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums in support. It all adds up to a nice counterpoint to the main body of the album.

The re-release of Return To Paradise Islands is another link in the reintroduction of the Bing Crosby catalogue to the 21st century. It may not be rock ‘n’ roll but it does find one of the mid-20th century masters at the height of his powers.

Article first published as on Blogcritics.org