Bing: A Musical Autobiography

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Bing: A Musical Autobiography
Bingmusicbio.jpg
Box set by Bing Crosby
Released 1954 (1954)
Recorded April 21–June 19, 1954
Genre Vocal
Length 3:43:20
Label Decca
Producer Buddy Cole
Bing Crosby chronology
Selections from White Christmas
(1954)Selections from White Christmas1954
Bing: A Musical Autobiography
(1954)
The Country Girl / Little Boy Lost
(1955)The Country Girl / Little Boy Lost1955
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

Bing: A Musical Autobiography was Bing Crosby's fourth Decca vinyl LP, recorded and released in 1954.

Background[edit]

Ready to retire by 1954, Crosby assembled Buddy Cole and his Trio, a small group formed from members of the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, and re-recorded many of his early hits between April and June 1954. The Decca masters were used for his hits, starting with the 1938 recording of "Small Fry"[1] Most of the new recordings were done at the American Legion Hall in Palm Springs, California.[2]

Crosby's memoir, Call Me Lucky, was published in June 1953 by Simon & Schuster. It was written with Pete Martin.[3]

Discs[edit]

The album was released as both a set of five LPs and a set of seventeen 45s. Both box sets came in a hinged box with a jeweler's lock and key and included a twenty-four page discography.[citation needed] Starting in 1958, Decca released the LPs separately.[4]

The LPs were issued as automatic couplings which would enable the five LPs to be played on an autochanger record player in chronological sequence. For instance, within album set DX-151, LP no. DL 8072 contained sides 1 and 10, DL 8073 sides 2 and 9, DL 8074 sides 3 and 8, DL 8075 sides 4 and 7, DL 8076 sides 5 and 6.

The Musical Autobiography tracks were reissued as a four-CD set in Japan in 1992 without change from the original five LPs (MCA (Japan). Avid Entertainment in the UK released a four disc set in 2005 but with the addition of soundtrack and film promotional material from the 1930s.[1]

Reception[edit]

In an enthusiastic review of the set, John S. Wilson wrote in The New York Times, "The first half of the program in which Crosby talks about his early days and sings his early hits is an unalloyed joy, a field day for nostalgians. In view of complaints that have been made off and on for the past fifteen years that the Crosby voice was gone, that he no longer had the old touch, it is a particular pleasure to hear these early songs recorded within the past year, sung with all the old Crosby ease and charm...This is an exceptional collection of recordings, the summation of a landmark in American popular music and well worth the asking price."[5]

At Allmusic John Bush called A Musical Autobiography "the most laborious exercise in Crosby's entire career, narrating a career history and re-recording dozens of songs." It was also issued to commemorate Decca's 20th anniversary.

Billboard reported, "Decca's merchandising displays consist of a lifelike window or floor display of Bing Crosby, mounted on an easel and with Crosby holding a copy of his musical autobiography titled simple, 'Bing.' This set...is the firm's big push for the fall."[4]

Personnel for re-recordings[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Muddy Water" Peter DeRose, Harry Richman, Jo Trent April 24, 1954 1:58
2. "Mississippi Mud" James Cavanaugh, Harry Barris April 24, 1954 2:19
3. "My Kinda Love" Trent, Louis Alter April 24, 1954 1:35
4. "I Surrender Dear" Gordon Clifford, Barris, Crosby April 24, 1954 2:37
5. "It Must Be True" Barris, Gus Arnheim, Clifford April 21, 1954 1:13
6. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" Ted Koehler, Barris, Billy Moll April 21, 1954 2:34
7. "Out of Nowhere" Edward Heyman, Johnny Green June 16, 1954 1:53
8. "Just One More Chance" Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow April 21, 1954 2:12
9. "Stardust" Hoagy Carmichael, Mitchell Parish June 16, 1954 2:09
10. "Sweet and Lovely" Harry Tobias, Jules LeMare, Arnheim April 21, 1954 1:57
11. "Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)" Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk, Crosby April 21, 1954 1:43
12. "Paradise" Nacio Herb Brown, Clifford April 21, 1954 1:42
Total length: 23:52
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Please" Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin April 21, 1954 2:04
2. "Just An Echo in the Valley" Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly, Harry M. Woods April 21, 1954 1:47
3. "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance" Ned Washington, Victor Young, Crosby April 21, 1954 1:51
4. "Learn to Croon" Johnston, Coslow April 21, 1954 1:33
5. "Down the Old Ox Road" Johnston, Coslow May 3, 1954 1:20
6. "Thanks" Johnston, Coslow April 21, 1954 2:08
7. "Black Moonlight" Johnston, Coslow May 3, 1954 2:34
8. "The Day You Came Along" Johnston, Coslow May 3, 1954 1:57
9. "After Sundown" Brown, Arthur Freed May 3, 1954 1:44
10. "Temptation" Brown, Freed May 3, 1954 2:07
11. "Love Thy Neighbour" Harry Revel, Mack Gordon May 3, 1954 1:35
12. "May I?" Revel, Gordon May 3, 1954 1:47
13. "Love in Bloom" Rainger, Robin May 3, 1954 1:45
Total length: 24:12
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "I Love You Truly" Carrie Jacobs Bond May 3, 1954 1:56
2. "June in January" Rainger, Robin May 3, 1954 1:45
3. "Love Is Just Around the Corner" Robin, Lewis E. Gensler May 3, 1954 1:10
4. "It's Easy to Remember" Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart May 3, 1954 2:16
5. "Soon" Rodgers, Hart June 16, 1954 2:00
6. "I Wished on the Moon" Dorothy Parker, Rainger May 3, 1954 2:03
7. "Silent Night" Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber May 3, 1954 1:39
8. "I'm an Old Cowhand" Johnny Mercer May 3, 1954 1:22
9. "I Can't Escape from You" Richard A. Whiting, Robin June 19, 1954 1:49
10. "Song of the Islands" Charles E. King May 3, 1954 1:33
11. "Pennies from Heaven" Johnny Burke, Johnston June 19, 1954 1:52
12. "Sweet Leilani" Harry Owens May 3, 1954 1:36
13. "Blue Hawaii" Rainger, Robin May 3, 1954 2:15
14. "The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart)" Del Lyon, Lani McIntyre June 16, 1954 1:45
Total length: 25:01
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "There's a Gold Mine in the Sky" Charles Kenny, Nick Kenny June 16, 1954 2:33
2. "My Heart Is Taking Lessons" James V. Monaco, Burke June 16, 1954 1:30
3. "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams" Monaco, Burke June 16, 1954 1:24
4. "Small Fry" (with Johnny Mercer) Frank Loesser, Carmichael July 1, 1938 3:35
5. "Mexicali Rose" Helen Stone, Jack Tenney June 16, 1954 2:05
6. "That Sly Old Gentleman" Monaco, Burke June 16, 1954 1:43
7. "Allá en El Rancho Grande" Emilio D. Uranga, Bartley Costello June 16, 1954 1:01
8. "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" Bob Nolan June 16, 1954 2:05
9. "Only Forever" Monaco, Burke June 16, 1954 2:04
10. "Did Your Mother Come from Ireland?" Michael Carr, Jimmy Kennedy June 16, 1954 2:03
11. "Yes Indeed!" (with Connee Boswell) Sy Oliver December 13, 1940 3:29
12. "Brahms' Lullaby" Natalia Macfarren, Johannes Brahms June 16, 1954 1:27
Total length: 24:59
Side five
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "You Are My Sunshine" Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell July 8, 1941 3:03
2. "The Waiter and the Porter and the Upstairs Maid" (with Mary Martin and Jack Teagarden) Johnny Mercer May 26, 1941 3:35
3. "Deep in the Heart of Texas" Don Swander, June Hershey January 18, 1942 3:01
4. "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie" (with Mary Martin) Andrew B. Sterling, Harry von Tilzer March 13, 1942 2:57
5. "Walking the Floor over You" Ernest Tubb May 27, 1942 3:30
6. "White Christmas" Irving Berlin May 29, 1942 3:20
Total length: 19:26
Side six
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Moonlight Becomes You" Jimmy Van Heusen, Burke June 12, 1942 3:33
2. "Road to Morocco" (with Bob Hope)) Van Heusen, Burke December 8, 1944 2:49
3. "Sunday, Monday or Always" Van Heusen, Burke July 2, 1943 2:54
4. "Pistol Packin' Mama" (with The Andrews Sisters) Al Dexter September 27, 1943 3:18
5. "San Fernando Valley" Gordon Jenkins December 29, 1943 3:24
6. "I'll Be Seeing You" Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal February 17, 1944 3:08
Total length: 19:06
Side seven
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Swinging on a Star" Van Heusen, Burke February 7, 1944 2:51
2. "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)" James Royce Shannon July 17, 1945 3:30
3. "Don't Fence Me In" (with The Andrews Sisters) Cole Porter July 25, 1944 3:32
4. "Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta (Talk, Talk, Talk)" (with Judy Garland) Van Heusen, Burke March 9, 1945 3:31
5. "It's Been a Long, Long Time" Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn July 12, 1945 3:26
6. "The Bells of St. Mary's" A. Emmett Adams, Douglas Furber September 10, 1945 3:27
7. "Put It There, Pal" (with Bob Hope) Van Heusen, Burke December 8, 1945 2:48
Total length: 23:05
Side eight
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "McNamara's Band" Shamus O'Connor, John J. Stamford December 6, 1945 2:59
2. "Sioux City Sue" Ray Freedman, Dick Thomas December 27, 1945 3:00
3. "Begin the Beguine" Cole Porter May 3, 1944 4:08
4. "South America, Take It Away" (with The Andrews Sisters) Harold Rome May 11, 1946 3:26
5. "Blue Skies" Berlin July 11, 1946 3:38
6. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (with Al Jolson) Berlin March 27, 1947 3:21
Total length: 20:32
Side nine
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "The Whiffenpoof Song" Rudyard Kipling, Guy H. Scull, Meade Minnigerode, George S. Pomeroy May 5, 1947 3:18
2. "Now Is the Hour" Clement Scott, Maewa Kaihau, Dorothy Stewart November 8, 1947 3:23
3. "Galway Bay" Arthur Colahan November 27, 1947 3:20
4. "Far Away Places" Joan Whitney Kramer, Alex Kramer November 25, 1948 3:24
5. "Mule Train" Johnny Lange, Hy Heath, Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Fred Glickman October 26, 1949 3:14
6. "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard October 26, 1949 3:04
7. "Rock of Ages" Augustus Toplady May 6, 1949 3:17
Total length: 23:00
Side ten
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Sunshine Cake" (with Carol Richards) Van Heusen, Burke May 10, 1949 3:28
2. "Play a Simple Melody" (with Gary Crosby) Berlin May 23, 1950 3:16
3. "Sam's Song" (with Gary Crosby) Lew Quadling, Jack Elliott May 23, 1950 3:11
4. "Gone Fishin'" (with Louis Armstrong) Nick Kenny, Charles Kenny April 25, 1951 2:52
5. "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (with Jane Wyman) Carmichael, Johnny Mercer June 20, 1951 3:43
6. "Y'All Come" Arlie Duff November 14, 1953 2:41
7. "Bing Crosby signs off"     0:56
Total length: 20:07

Bonus tracks (2005 CD release)[edit]

When Bing: A Musical Autobiography was re-released as a 4-CD set in 2005, the label added bonus tracks that had no connection with the original album. These tracks were sourced from Bing Crosby's radio shows, publicity discs, and his short film soundtracks.

Paris Honeymoon selection (from Kraft Music Hall, June 28, 1945):[6]

  1. Banter between Ken Carpenter and Bing Crosby – 1.14
  2. "The Funny Old Hills" (Ralph Rainger/Leo Robin) – 1.29
  3. Banter between Carpenter and Crosby – 0.37
  4. "You're a Sweet Little Headache" (Rainger/Robin) – 1.12
  5. Banter between Carpenter and Crosby – 0.36
  6. "I Have Eyes" (Rainger/Robin) – 2.10

The Star Maker selection (from Kraft Music Hall, April 19, 1945):[7]

  1. Banter between Ken and Crosby – 1.06
  2. "An Apple for the Teacher" (Monaco/Burke) – 0.47
  3. Banter between Carpenter and Crosby – 0.21
  4. "Still the Bluebird Sings" (Monaco/Burke) – 0.40
  5. Banter between Carpenter and Crosby – 0.16
  6. "A Man and His Dream" (Monaco/Burke) – 1.57

I Surrender Dear 1931 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "I Surrender Dear" – 1.31
  2. "Out of Nowhere" – 1.08
  3. "At Your Command" (Harry Barris/Harry Tobias/Bing Crosby) – 1.55

One More Chance 1931 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "Magic C.O.D." (a parody of "I Surrender Dear") – 1.07
  2. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" – 2.22
  3. "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" (Lew Brown/Sidney Clare) – 1.03
  4. "Just One More Chance" (Arthur Johnston/Sam Coslow) – 3.22

Dream House 1931 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "When I Take My Sugar to Tea"(Sammy Fain/Irving Kahal/Pierre Norman) – 0.48
  2. "It Must Be True" (Harry Barris/ Gus Arnheim/Gordon Clifford) – 1.18
  3. "Dream House" (Earle Foxe/Lynn F. Cowan) – 1.11

Billboard Girl 1931 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "Were You Sincere?" (Vincent Rose/Jack Meskill) – 1.24
  2. "For You" (Joe Burke/Al Dubin) – 1.11

Sing, Bing, Sing 1932 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "In My Hideaway" (K. L. Binford) – 1.22
  2. "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" – 0.50
  3. "Lovable" (Harry M. Woods/Gus Kahn) – 1.12
  4. "Snuggled on Your Shoulder" – 1.48

Blue of the Night 1932 film soundtrack selection:

  1. "My Silent Love" (Dana Suesse/Edward Heyman) – 0.35
  2. "Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear" (Milton Ager/Ed G. Nelson/Al Hoffman /Al Goodhart) – 1.41
  3. "Ev'ry Time My Heart Beats" (Benny Davis/Gerald Marks) – 1.39
  4. "Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)" – 2.37

From The Big Broadcast publicity discs:

  1. Banter between Stuart Erwin and Bing Crosby (take 1) – 1.18
  2. "Here Lies Love" (take 1) (Rainger/Robin) – 3.13
  3. Announcement by Sam Coslow – 1.41
  4. "Please" (Rainger/Robin) – 2.35

Please film soundtrack selection:

  1. "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me" – 1.12
  2. "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You" – 2.09
  3. "Please" (Rainger/Robin) – 1.49

From She Loves Me Not publicity discs:

  1. "Love in Bloom" (with Kitty Carlisle) – 3.26
  2. "Straight from the Shoulder" (with Kitty Carlisle) (Harry Revel/Mack Gordon) – 3.28
  3. "I'm Hummin', I'm Whistlin', I'm Singin'" (Revel/Gordon) – 3.15

From Two for Tonight publicity discs:

  1. "Two for Tonight" (Revel/Gordon) – 3.32

From Doctor Rhythm publicity discs:

  1. Introduction by Gayne Whitman – 0.47
  2. "This Is My Night to Dream" (Monaco/Burke) – 2.53
  3. "On the Sentimental Side" (Monaco/Burke) – 1.35
  4. "Only a Gypsy Knows" (with Beatrice Lillie) (Monaco/Burke) – 2.42
  5. "My Heart Is Taking Lessons" (Monaco/Burke) – 2.31

From Birth of the Blues publicity discs:

  1. "The Waiter and the Porter and the Upstairs Maid" (with Mary Martin and Jack Teagarden) (Johnny Mercer) – 4.05
  2. "My Melancholy Baby" – 2.35

From The Big Broadcast publicity discs:

  1. Banter between Stuart Erwin and Bing Crosby (take 2) – 1.13
  2. "Here Lies Love" (take 2) (Rainger/Robin) – 3.15

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "A Bing Crosby Discography". A Bing Crosby Discography. Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ Macfarlane, Malcolm. "Bing Crosby Diary 1950–59". Bing Crosby Internet Museum. Retrieved Feb 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Crosby, Bing (1953). Call Me Lucky. Simon & Schuster. p. v. 
  4. ^ a b "'Star Time' Theme of Decca Package Release". Google Books. Billboard/Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 10 February 1958. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "The New York Times". September 19, 1954. 
  6. ^ "BING magazine". BING magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ "BING magazine". BING magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2015.