Bing Crosby: Not Only 'White Christmas' -- With 20 Music Videos

Star of Movies, Radio and TV

Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby
Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby | Source

On the Road Again

Bing Crosby on the road with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
Bing Crosby on the road with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

"Bing only at Christmas is like the Beatles only as Sgt. Pepper's Band!"-- Arne Fogel, prominent upper Midwest singer, musician and entertainment historian (and a huge Bing Crosby fan.)

A Small Note on a Big Star

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was a mega star from the early ‘30s until he collapsed and died as he walked off a golf course in Spain in 1977. He rose to fame quickly after he was hired by Paul Whiteman, the nation’s most popular orchestra leader, gaining recognition and fame with the Rhythm Boys, including Bing's childhood friend singer Al Rinker, and singer/songwriter/pianist Harry Barris.

Bing got a jump start in movies when Mack Sennett signed him up, resulting in six short musical-comedy films in which he excelled. He was quickly signed up by CBS Radio chief William Paley in 1931 for his own radio show. He was a huge star on radio and was ubiquitous there until 1962. Meanwhile he became the top box office star in movies. He was No. 1 for five straight years in the early '40s and was featured in some five dozen movies. Crosby won the Academy Award as Best Actor in 1944 for “Going My Way.”

Most Popular Recording Artist

"Der Bingle" was not only big in movies, he was simultaneously the most popular recording artist in the first half of the last century, charting more than 300 records – with more Number One records than any other recording artist. His No. 1 hits include “My Blue Heaven,” “Ol’ Man River, “Out of Nowhere,” “Just One More Chance,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?,” “Love in Bloom,” “June in January,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “White Christmas” (the largest selling single in history) and “Don’t Fence Me In.”

An avid golfer, fisherman and hunter, Crosby earned 23 gold records and two platinum discs (for “White Christmas” and “Silent Night.”) He performed with countless singers, including the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson and Crosby's oldest son, Gary (Sam’s Song/Play a Simple Melody.)

Some of Bing's Movies

A sampling of his movies: “The Big Broadcast” of 1932, “Going Hollywood,” “We’re Not Dressing,” “Mississippi,” “Anything Goes,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “Holiday Inn,” “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” “Blue Skies,” “Welcome Stranger,” “The Emperor Waltz,” “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” “Little Boy Lost,” “White Christmas,” “The Country Girl,” “High Society,” “Robin and the Seven Hoods,” and “Stagecoach” -- as well as "Road to Singapore" and six other “road” pictures with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

Youtube Selections

Below are some youtube selections that demonstrate Bing’s talents better than any words.


Bing Crosby Sings for Troops at 'Stage Door Canteen' Opening

Bing Crosby sings for Allied troops at the opening of the stage door canteen in Piccadilly, London, England." Pearson, August 31, 1944.
Bing Crosby sings for Allied troops at the opening of the stage door canteen in Piccadilly, London, England." Pearson, August 31, 1944. | Source

In What Decade Was Bing Crosby's Voice the Best?

  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • 1950s
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
See results without voting

Having retired from The Hour newspaper in 2000, I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages. You can, too. To view my HubPages Profile Click Here



See more about Bing Crosby on my blog . . . Click Here

Bing Crosby Sings 'My Ideal'

Bing Crosby Sings 'The One Rose' (That's Left in My Heart)

Bing Crosby -- Legends in Concert

Bing Crosby and Rich Little Sing a Medley

Bing Crosby Sings 'Once in a While'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Beautiful Girl'

Bing Crosby Sings 'The Four Winds and the Seven Seas'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Gone Fishin'' With Louis Armstrong

Bing Crosby Sings 'Swinging on a Star'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Danny Boy'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Just a Gigolo' and 'I Surrender Dear'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime'

Bing Crosby With The Andrews Sisters: 'Pistol Packin' Mama'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra'

Bing Crosby Sings 'Moonlight Becomes You'

Bing Crosby Sings 'White Christmas'

Bing Crosby and David Bowie Sing 'Little Drummer Boy'

The Edsel Show - CBS-TV (October 13, 1957)

More by this Author


60 comments

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA

What a delightful hub! I enjoyed your article on der Bingo….Loved the video’s thanks for sharing…


ralwus 6 years ago

A most wonderful hub William. Who doesn't like White Christmas? I loved the man. Did he not do a movie from Mark Twain's tale of A Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I think I saw that as a child before I ever read the book. He was an amazing man. All great videos too. thanks and Merry Christmas to ye. CC


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Great videos - I really enjoyed this Hub - thanks.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks, Nancy's Niche. I'm delighted that you enjoyed the hub and the videos. Bing is truly No. 1.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Bing made "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" in 1949, ralwus. It's my favorite of all his movies, although "Pennies From Heaven" is a close second. Thanks.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

The best of it is that Bing's videos can be enjoyed throughout the year, not just at Christmas. Crosby was a multi-talented celebrity who will one day be fully recognized for his unmatched contribution to the world of music and entertainment.


KellyEngaldo 6 years ago

Wonderful article and videos. Bing is one of my all time favorites! What an awesome voice and legacy of material. Thank you for keeping his memory alive.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

It's entirely my pleasure, Kelly. I don't know what I could to have more fun than to put together a hub on Bing Crosby -- and, of course, enjoy his magnificent voice over and over again. As I've said in my blog, "Bing Lives."


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you so much for a wonderful and enjoyable hub. Brings back memories.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

And thank you, Hello, hello, for your kind remarks. I'm sure they're wonderful memories. It's wonderful that technology allows us to enjoy Bing all these years after he's been gone.


Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

Great hub, enjoyed so much!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Glad you enjoyed it, Putz. Thanks for stopping by.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

Bing Crosby was a phenomenal entertainer. Nice tribute that you have paid to him here, especially since I know he is one of your favorites.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I keep hoping, SweetiePie, that more youngsters will discover Bing's exceptional talents. I'm sure that if they heard more of his music, his performances on radio and television, and his viewed some of his many movies they would admire him as much as I do. Bing is not only one of my favorites, but he No. 1 in my book. Thanks for your nice comment.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 6 years ago from London UK

A fantastic hub william! I know how much Bing Crosby means to you and thanks to you and your education about Bing Crosbys life in various hubs of yours, which has showed me that he really was such a great, fantastic and very much loved star!

Loved the videos

ty;)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Your comment is very much appreciated, compu-smart, particularly because the reason I create such hubs is to help people unfamiliar with Bing Crosby to know and appreciate how good he was and how big a star he was. While he was alive and entertaining you would find it very difficult to find anyone who didn't love him and his work. The videos show much of his talent, but there's more to be discovered by the uninitiated including his movies, his extensive work with other stars and his role in raising the spirits of our troops in World War II.


Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 6 years ago from Central Georgia

Wonderful hub! Bing Crosby went to Gonzaga in Spokane WA. I went to school in Pullman WA so was near to Spokane. 2 of my children were born there. I later moved to Monterey County in CA near Pebble beach golf course where he staged his annual Pro golfing tournament. I have enjoyed old radio programs of his and old movies he was in for years. Your hub was especially appealing to me.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks, Kevin. As I'm sure you know, Bing was a golf enthusiast and a near scratch golfer. He was born in Tacoma but grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University. His radio programs were great. My Uncle Willie, who was a huge Bing fan -- as was my Uncle Johnny, left whole bagful of audio tapes of his radio shows. I hope they eventually become available on the Web.


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Wonderful trip down memory lane...The videos are great !!...

Whatever happened to his son, Nathanial ? I remember he was going for his PGA card and played in a number of tournaments...He hosted the " Clambake " for a while after Bing's death, then disappeared after AT&T took over the sponsership... Larry


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

The guy who could sing in a whisper and make the world smile. He was an amazing entertainer with a voice I can still hear in memories. He simply had class.

You wrote a wonderful tribute....thanks. :)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I'm glad you liked the hub, maven101. Nathaniel apparently was involved with golf club manufacturing companies and golf real estate, according to Wikipedia.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks for the nice comment, Tom. Bing sure was a class guy!


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

When I was DJing on the local community radio station a couple of years ago I used to give the Old Groaner a fair amount of air time. (He was on the computer and I have CDs and tapes of him as well.)

I remember hearing him telling children's stories on the wireless when I was a kid. "The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow" is one that comes to mind.

Have a good Christmas William F.

Regards.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

You obviously have excellent taste in music and musicians, The Old Firm. In 1949 Bing narrated the animated version of "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." To insure that I have a good Christmas, I plan to pull out the color version CD issued last year of "Holiday Inn." My godson was married only two weeks ago in the Shadow of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow (Tarrytown)New York. I always think of the Headless Horseman when I drive by that cemetery.

Merry Christmas to you TOF, and a Happy New Year as well.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

We have a friend that sings Bing Crosby songs and sounds amazingly like the real Bing Crosby. Loved everything about Bing Crosby...the songs he made popular, the movies in which he starred, etc. Thanks for making this hub.

Happy New Year!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks for the nice comment, Peggy. Back in the 1930's and 1940's just about everybody tried to sing like Bing Crosby from celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Mel Torme, etc., and virtually anyone who could warble in the shower. I even sang "White Christmas" at our Christmas parties every year (with sincere apologies to Bing!) My father, who played piano, and his brothers Tommy, Willie and Johnny were all huge Crosby fans. I've also written about Bing on my blog: http://torpeyhour.blogspot.com/


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Thanks for the memories. Bing was truly great. Reminds me of a time when you had to have talent to become a singer. The funny thing about Bing is that you , or at least I, never heard in the media anything negative about him. Amazing that he could reach stardom and not have to have the publicity of drinking and whoring around, which seems to add to the fame of our so called stars today. This proves how remarkable he really was. A great human being. Thank you for keeping his memory alive.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I never heard a negative thing about Bing Crosby until his son, Gary, wrote "Going My own Way" in 1983. All the Crosby boys from his first marriage with Dixie Lee had difficult lives, but Gary eventually admitted his book exaggerated quite a bit. Bing was indeed a great human being, and his memory and talents will live forever. I'm glad that you join me in celebrating Bing's life. Thanks.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 years ago from The English Midlands

We are big fans of Bing Crosby in our family.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Your family obviously has very good taste in music. Thanks for commenting, Trish.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Loved the man from childhood on :-)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

You have good taste, De Greek. Bing Crosby was (and is) loved by millions -- and for good reason. As I'm sure you know, he was not only a great singer and show business personality, but a good man, too. His family has finally taken an interest in keeping his legacy alive so I expect you'll be hearing a lot more of him (and about him) in the coming days and years. The family site is bingcrosby.com for those who want to know more.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 years ago from The English Midlands

As I said, we love Bing Crosby in our family & we have lots of his CDs. My Dad was a big fan and we played 'Where the Blue of the Night ...' at his funeral ~ along with Nat King Cole's 'Unforgettable'.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I'm very impressed that your dad was such a big Bing Crosby fan. Nat King Cole is one of my favorites as well (He's on my hub that features videos of all my favorite vocalists.) I'll be your dad was a member of International Club Crosby (Bing's fan club) and a subscriber to "Bing" magazine. I'm always delighted to see another Bing fan. I also try to bring Bing to the younger generations through my torpeyhour blog.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I just finished a hub about Frank Sinatra and am "linking" to your hub about "Bing". I hope it sends you some traffic. An excellent piece about Crosby. Thank you. Vote a big up!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I loved Frank Sinatra, especially early in his career (in the '40s mostly), but Bing Crosby has always been my idol. Thanks for the comment and for linking to your new Sinatra hub -- and for the nice compliment. I've got to rush off to the golf course now, but I'll be checking out your hubs soon.


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida

I just watched a documentary on Frank Sinatra, and it talked about how close him and Bing were. Bing Crosby was actually Frank's idol, as well. It played a few of the songs they did together. It was great to see!! I am a huge Bing Crosby fan!!! I absolutely love his duet of 'The Little Drummer Boy' with David Bowie.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

It's true, Bing and Frank actually got along great together, Anna Marie Bowman. Frank was the young up-and-coming star while Bing was long established and they each played their roles well. When they got together there was some of the same kind of banter that was so well-known as that between Bing and Bob Hope. In those days, the skinny kid from Hoboken was a true crooner (before his early '50s comeback)and Bing was settling in as the "old groaner." Both entertainment giants settled gracefully into their new roles as aging singers as the musical world turned topsy-turvy with the Beatles and Elvis Presley and Rock 'n Roll. There wasn't really any fierce competition between them. Their careers were actually quite similar.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

These music hubs are terrific William. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed "Just a Gigolo"...what a beautiful song."Moonlight Becomes You" is pretty gorgeous too.

There's probably no other song that so conjures the devastation of the Depression as "Brother can you Spend a Dime". Just great.

I loved Bing when he teamed up with Bob in those old *On the Road* movies...they really highlighted Bings casual style as well as his comic talent.

Cheers


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks for your wonderful comment, Jane Bovary. You have brightened up my day. It's always great to see Bing Crosby recognized for his incredible voice and superb talent. I used to sing "Moonlight Becomes You" to my wife when we were dating. Bing sang it in "Road to Morocco" in the '40s when his voice was smooth as silk.


Russ 5 years ago

Bill, Always enjoyed Bing's Movies Holiday Inn, White Christmas, & The Road Movies with Bob Hope. I listen to Sinatra on Sirius Radio & Bing's music is played as part of the format, always enjoyed Gone fishing with Sach Mo also. Thanks for putting this out there, really enjoyed the clips & the music I used to make fun of my parents for. Funny how we turn into our parents.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the clips and the music, Russ. This time of year Bing Crosby's Christmas movies and his music receive a lot of attention, but I keep hoping people will dig a little deeper into Bing's repetoire. Sirius Radio has been featuring Bing's Christmas music for the past few years, but there are other sources on the Web where Bing's other work can be found, including bingcrosby.com and youtube.com


Anath profile image

Anath 5 years ago

Beautiful hub, a great discovery. White Christmas is one of my favourite Christmas songs, so it is really nice to know more about Bing Crosby and his career. Thanks for an entertaining read!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I can't tell you, Anath, how happy I am that you enjoyed learning more about Bing Crosby than just his rendition of "White Christmas." It has been my goal to bring the talents of "Der Bingle" to the younger generations (any contemporaries to Bing already know him well.) I truly appreciate your comment.


Nelkane 5 years ago

Bing Crosby ,the greatest talent of the 20th Century. Bing is of course the voice of Christmas,but please do your self a favor and listen to the Bing of the 1930's-1940's.....nobody sang better,and I dare say no one ever will.

Bing's talent as an actor,is on display in many films; The Road Pictures,Pennies From Heaven.Little Boy Lost,Going My Way,Bells of ST.Mary's,Dr.Cooks Garden,and his finest performance....The Country Girl(should of won the academy award).Bing's musical and movie legacy is available on CD's and DVD's check him out,a talent like Bing comes this way but once.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Amen, Nelkane, and thank you.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Now that December is here, I think that this hub should be brought to the fore :)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I hope everyone enjoys the great music of Bing Crosby during the Christmas season, Trish_M. Bing truly was -- and still is -- "Mr. Christmas." For many decades you could hear his Christmas songs just about everywhere you went. But as this hub notes, Bing Crosby wasn't just Christmas music. I hope those who want to know more about Bing will take a look at my blog (there's a link by the poll above.) Thanks, again.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

His 78 records were played aropund our home so much when we were kids. He was very underated in the 60s and 70s. Fashions changed but now he sounds evergreen again


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks to my Uncle Johnny Torpey I listened to Bing's records regularly in the 1940's, ethel smith. We had lots of Crosby records, including the original 1942 version of "White Christmas" with another of my personal favorites on the flip side, "One Minute to Midnight." I still remember the first Bing Crosby record I ever purchased with my own money (as a boy): "The Four Winds and the Seven Seas." Belatedly, I'm adding it now to this hub. Thanks for the nice comment.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I enjoy Bing Crosby and after reviewing the movies that you wrote about, I have also seen many of those through the years. I wish that all that I loved were still with us here on earth, you made me feel just like a child again. Visiting my grandparents was wonderful, thank you! :)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

That's very nice, AEvans. I'm delighted that Bing and I -- and your grandparents -- were able to touch your heart today.


Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

When Bing sings 'Pennies from Heaven' in the movie it sends tingles down my spine. Like Sinatra he was born to sing.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 4 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

And he just loved to sing, Woody Marx. I could listen to Bing Crosby sing for hours at a time -- and I often do, especially now that I can listen to him on bigncrosby.com while I'm working on the computer. Bing is he best.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 3 years ago from Virginia

A return visit to this excellent hub is once again informative and educational. This is my place to go when I think about the Bowie/Crosby duet. Hope things have been going well for you....not sure if you are interested but I finally after almost 2 years gave my Bing Crosby hub a facelift.

http://cogerson.hubpages.com/hub/Bing-Crosby-His-B...

Voted up and awesome.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks for the visit, Cogerson. I just re-read your Crosby hub. I admire your ability to dig out all the old information about Bing and his movies. I'm glad to see the facelift. I'm doing OK, just slowing down a bit as Father Time takes his toll. I voted your Crosby hub up and awesome as well (because it is!)


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

Bing Crosby is one of my favorites. Anytime one of his movies is broadcast, I'm sure to enjoy it. Styles come and go, but Bing's great voice and likeable persona still hold up today. So, thanks for an enjoyable hub.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, RonElFran. Bing is No. 1 in my book. That's why I've written extensively about him in my other hubs and my blog (and why I include so many youtube videos of his songs.) I appreciate your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

A good tribute hub to a great singer. I still have a handful of 78's of Bing singing "Swinging on a Star", "Paper Moon", "Danny Boy" etc and his "White Christmas" album. He was a terrific actor too.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 3 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks, Jodah. Bing was the best.

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