Bing Crosby

A legendary recording artist,

One of America’s most popular entertainers achieved great popularity as a recording artist and actor with hit classic ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’.

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby Jr., was one of the finest recording artists of the early 20th century. His warm bass-baritone voice made him one of the top-selling recording artists of all time, having sold over one billion analog records, tapes, and digital compact discs.

Throughout much of his career, Bing Crosby dominated the music charts selling more than 300 million records. His classic ‘White Christmas’ still top the best-seller charts at Christmastime. In addition Crosby made 58 motion pictures.

Crosby won numerous awards including: an Oscar for best actor in the 1945 movie; ‘Going My Way’ and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His exhibition golf matches with Bob Hope raised thousands of dollars for charity and the Pebble Beach Bing Crosby Pro-Am Tournament, proceeds also for charities were financed entirely by the singer.

The legendary, Bing Crosby who sang and acted his way into the hearts of millions, died aged 74 on October 14, 1977, at La Moraleja golf club in Madrid, Spain.



Name:   Bing  Crosby, Jr.
Born:   2 May 1904
Star Sign: Taurus
Died:   14 October 1977
Birthplace: Tacoma,
Country: United States Washington (WA)
DetailsOther Names
Harry, Lillis, Der Bingle, The old groaner
Father:
Harry Lowe Crosby,
Mother:
Catherine Helen 'Kate"' (Harrigan)
Marriages:
Married: Kathryn Grant (24 October 1957 - 14 October 1977) (his death) (3 children) Dixie Lee (29 September 1930 - 1 November 1952) (her death) (4 children)
Children:
Crosby had four sons with Dixie Lee - Gary, Phillip and twins Dennis and Lindsay who are all deceased. With Kathryn Grant, Crosby had: Harry, Nathaniel and actress Mary Crosby.


Childhood and Family
Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. on May 3, 1904, in Tacoma, Washington. He was the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen 'Kate' (Harrigan) and Harry Lincoln Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. At the age of three, the family moved to Spokane, Washington.

In 1910, a neighbour began calling him, Bingo taken from his favorite comic strip - ‘Bingo from Bingville’. Later he changed his nickname, Bingo to Bing which became his name for the rest of his life.

A musical dream
In the summer of 1917, Crosby worked at the ‘Spokane’s Auditorium’, where he watched several acts, which fascinated him. He went to Gonzaga High School but dropped out to pursue his musical dream. Later, Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but abandoned being a lawyer for his dreams of musical stardom.

Bing joined his friend, Al Rinker in a band called the 'Musicaladers'. In 1925, Crosby and Al Rinker left Spokane for Los Angeles where Al Rinker’s brother introduced them to the famous bandleader, Paul Whiteman.

Rhythm Boys
The Crosby-Rinker duo became a trio after Harry Barris, a songwriter and pianist joined the group which they called ‘The Rhythm Boys’. The ‘Rhythm Boys’ performed with Paul Whiteman and soon Crosby was tasting success. Crosby also met actress Dixie Lee, his future wife.

In 1931, the ‘Rhythm Boys’ appeared in the first sound motion picture, ‘King of Jazz’. Crosby then launched his first radio program on the CBS radio station in New York City. It broadcast his hit songs - ‘I found a Million Dollar Baby’ and ‘At Your Command’. His show was aired for nearly 30 years.

Musical success
Crosby's success led Paramount Pictures to include him in 'The Big Broadcast,' a 1932 film. In 1936, Crosby replaced Paul Whiteman and hosted Nation Broadcasting Corporation, ‘Kraft Music Hall’ where he composed and sang the radio theme song, ‘Where the Blue of the Night.’ It was an uplifting message for the decade of the Great Depression.

Major hits
In 1941, Cosby sang the popular hit, ‘White Christmas’ which was broadcast on the radio on Christmas. In the 1940's, he appeared in major blockbuster films including, the ‘Holiday Inn’ and the motion picture, 'Going My Way' in which he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Father Chuck O'Malley. Crosby was also nominated for his reprise of the role in 'The Bells of St. Mary's,' opposite Ingrid Bergman.

Great Roles
During World War II, Cosby performed at the ‘European Theatre’ and also entertained American troops. At the end of the war, the U.S. troops voted Crosby as ‘the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during the war. In 1954, Crosby appeared in the film 'White Christmas' and in 'The Country Girl' alongside Grace Kelly. Two years later, he starred in 'High Society' with Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong.

Comedian team
Crosby's career took a different turn, when he teamed up with Bob Hope and starred in seven successful ‘Road’ film series. In 1962, Crosby made his last 'Road to Hong Kong' film with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. He later launched his own show - ‘The Bing Crosby Show’ in 1964. He also starred in 'Robin and the 7 Hoods' with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. His last starring role was in 'Stagecoach' released in 1966.

Major Hits
In 1977, Crosby recorded the duet ‘The Little Drummer Boy,' ‘Peace on Earth’ and a Christmas special with singer, David Bowie. Crosby's recordings of 'Silent Night' and 'White Christmas' used in the musical film, ‘Holiday Inn’ became an instant hit. His song ‘White Christmas’ charted the billboard countdown for 11 weeks and sold nearly 100 million copies earning the title of ‘best-selling single of all time’.

Awards and Recognitions
In 1962, Crosby received the ‘Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award’ and the following year, he received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. He is one of a few people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the categories of motion pictures, radio, and audio recording. He was inducted into the ‘Grammy Hall of Fame’, ‘Hit Parade Hall of Fame’ and ‘Western Music Hall of Fame’, posthumously.

Grosby was an avid golfer and in 1978, he and Bob Hope were named winners of The Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. On October 14, 1977, Crosby passed away after playing golf at La Moraleja golf course in Madrid, Spain.

Marriage and Family
In 1930, Bing Grosby married actress and singer Dixie Lee. The couple had four sons who have all deceased. Dixie passed away due to ovarian cancer in November 1, 1952. In 1957, Grosby married Texas beauty queen and actress, Kathryn Grant and the couple had three children - Harry, Nathaniel and actress Mary Crosby.

Facts
Bing Crosby Got His Name from a Comic Strip which he liked. A neighbor spotted him reading it and laughing and called him 'Bingo from Bingoville.' Over time, Bingo became Bing.

Crosby was always generous with his money - giving freely to charities and to individuals who needed help.

Crosby's trademarks were his pipes, golf clubs, race horses and colorful sports shirts.

Crosby also was an Actor. In addition to his highly successful musical career, he was an extremely successful film actor.

Crosby's had other business interests include oil wells, an orange juice company, a trailer village in Palm Springs, his 25,000-acre cattle ranch near Elko, Nev., and Bing Crosby Enterprises, which marketed everything from television films to toy dogs.

During World War II, Crosby helped sell more than $14 million worth of war bonds and donated the proceeds from his record of 'Silent Night' to brother Larry's show troupe, enabling it to tour military installations in the United States.

Crosby himself organized Crosby Camp Shows, and he traveled more than 50,000 miles including tours of England, France and Germany, entertaining troops.

Crosby was the first recording star to earn a platinum record (gold records are for artists whose single records sell a million or more copies). Crosby’s 'White Christmas' is the bestselling holiday song of all time, with 50 million people buying a copy since 1942. Amazingly, the third-most-popular single of all time is Crosby’s 1945 recording of 'Silent Night.'

Crosby was also a Radio Star. He had regular shows on almost continuously from 1931 to 1962.

Crosby was one of the first celebrity golfers, and his influence helped take the sport into the mainstream in the mid-20th century.

Quotes
"Oh, listen a lot and talk less. You can't learn anything when you're talking."

"You'll never be a wonderful woman or even a wonderful human being until you learn to have some regard for human frailty."

"There's no labor a man can do that's undignified-if he does it right."

"My golf is woeful, but I will never surrender"

"I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me."

"Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'."

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep ... counting my blessings."

"Once or twice I've been described as a light comedian. I consider this the most accurate description of my abilities I've ever seen."

"There is nothing in the world I wouldn't do for Hope, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for me... We spend our lives doing nothing for each other."

"I think popular music in this country is one of the few things in the twentieth century that have made giant strides in reverse."

Funeral

On October 14, 1977, Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. died of a heart attack after playing golf at the Golf La Moraleja, Madrid. A special memorial attended by 3,000 was held at New York City's St. Patrick's Cathedral. A private family funeral held on October 18, 1977, was attended by Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney and a few close friends. He was laid to rest at the Holy Cross Cemetery, near the graves of his parents and his first wife, Dixie Lee Crosby.


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