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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Bing Crosby was born on this date in 1903. I have hosted a radio show called “Sinatra & Company” for many years and it still amuses me how the Sinatra fans refuse to show the same love for Bing that Sinatra did. And the tired excuse of his personal life and conduct doesn’t work when you’re willing to overlook Mr. Sinatra’s vices!!

Personalities aside, Crosby’s accomplishments and talents cannot be questioned. As Artie Shaw said, “The thing you have to understand about Bing Crosby is that he was the first hip white person born in the United States.”

If you’d like to learn a little about how Bing became Bing, read Gary Giddins’ excellent 2001 biography entitled, “Bing Crosby, A Pocketful of Years, The Early Years, 1903-1940.” It was supposed to be the first of a two part project but we’ve never seen book two and after 14 years, I seem to doubt we ever will. It’s a shame because Giddins is a reliable and trustworthy scribe and this “Early Years”┬ávolume was just great.

Here are some of my favorite clips with Bing and friends.




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