I thought I'd take a moment and tell you kids a few brief things about Mr. Bing Crosby.
1. Bing was what once was known as a Crooner, which usually goes along with singing ballads, however,
2. Bing loved jazz, loved loved loved it, recorded lots of jazz albums with the old greats, including Louis Armstrong, with whom he also appeared in several movies. Bing is quoted as saying of Louis that he was "the beginning and end of music in America," which was meant as a compliment.
3. Bing never played Vegas. Ever. Never ever. Not once.
4. Bing sings the best, most famous rendition of "White Christmas" (1942), which is the most popular song in the history of the world. It was written by a Russian Jew, born Israel Baline, (Irving Berlin), raised on the Lower East Side of New York City, who started his music career in the bars of that neighborhood as a singing waiter. Once asked "how a person of Jewish faith could write "White Christmas," he replied "As an American." Irving Berlin also wrote "God Bless America" (1938) and donated his earnings from the Kate Smith record to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Take that Nazi bastards.
5. Bing was in many movies. The "road" pictures with Bob Hope are a lot of fun. "Road to Morocco" is my favorite.
6. Bing was short for an earlier childhood nickname of Bingo, which is fortunate it didn't stick. If perhaps there was a misprinted jazz album somewhere that reads "Bingo Crosby with jazz guitar by Djang Reinhart" I'd pay top dollar for it.
7. It seems much of our enjoyment of the holidays coincides with a nostalgia for holidays past, (a reason for the success of "White Christmas"), and when I was a child Bing Crosby Christmas songs were a must on the 8-track, and in that regard, Mrs. Film and Television Rights very kindly gave me Bing's Christmas Album this year. So, on Christmas day, relaxing in my traditional Christmas bubble bath, I listened to my new Bing Crosby CD.
When Bing sang "Winter Wonderland," I recalled the hot cider and ginger cookies Mom made around the holidays, and, of course, thought of the few times it snowed enough to sled, and even remembered going with Dad to buy that 8-track player. I thought of how much I loved "Winter Wonderland" as a kid, but listening closely and singing along in the tub, I realized when Bing sings "In the meadow we can build a snowman, then pretend that he is Parson Brown," I'd been singing "parched and brown" instead of "Parson Brown" all my life. And when Bing sings "he'll say, 'are you married?' we'll say, 'no, man, but you can do the job when you're in town,'" I thought he was singing "Are you merry? we'll say 'No man, but you can doody job when your in down."
This doesn't change that it's a great CD, and everybody should have one.
8. Happy Holidays to golf lovers and pipe smokers everywhere, and to the rest of you good people.