Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby 1951.jpg
Crosby in 1951
BornHarry Lillis Crosby Jr.
(1903-05-03)May 3, 1903
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
DiedOctober 14, 1977(1977-10-14) (aged 74)
Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actor
Years active1926–1977
Home townSpokane, Washington
Spouse(s)
Children7:
(with Dixie) Gary, Dennis, Phillip, Lindsay
(with Kathryn) Harry III, Mary, Nathaniel
Relatives
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Associated acts

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. (i/; May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977)[1][2] was an American singer and actor.[3] The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954.[1]:8 His early career coincided with recording innovations such as the microphone. This allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como,[4] Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was the person who had done the most for American soldiers' morale during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII.[1]:6[5] Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.[5]

Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 motion picture Going My Way and was nominated for his reprise of the role in The Bells of St. Mary's opposite Ingrid Bergman the next year, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character. In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award.[6] He is one of 33 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,[7] in the categories of motion pictures, radio, and audio recording.[8] He was also known for his collaborations with longtime friend Bob Hope, starring in the Road to... films from 1940 to 1962.

Crosby influenced the development of the postwar recording industry. After seeing a demonstration of an early Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorder, he placed a large order for their equipment and convinced ABC to allow him to tape his shows. He became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. Through the medium of recording, he constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) used in motion picture production, a practice that became an industry standard. In addition to his work with early audio tape recording, he helped to finance the development of videotape, bought television stations, bred racehorses, and co-owned the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.

Early life

Crosby aged nine

Crosby was born on May 3, 1903[9][10] in Tacoma, Washington, in a house his father built at 1112 North J Street.[11] In 1906, his family moved to Spokane[12] and in 1913, his father built a house at 508 E. Sharp Avenue.[13] The house sits on the campus of his alma mater, Gonzaga University. It functions today as a museum housing over 200 artifacts from his life and career, including his Oscar.[14][15]

He was the fourth of seven children: brothers Larry (1895–1975), Edward (1896–1966), Ted (1900–1973), and Bob (1913–1993); and two sisters, Catherine (1904–1974) and Mary Rose (1906–1990). His parents were Harry Lillis Crosby Sr.[16] (1870–1950), a bookkeeper, and Catherine Helen "Kate" (née Harrigan; 1873–1964).[16] His mother was a second generation Irish-American.[16][1] His father was of English descent; an ancestor, Simon Crosby, emigrated to America in the 17th century. The first Crosby in America was the English immigrant Simon Crosby, who was a Puritan from Cambridgeshire, England. Through an entirely paternal line Bing Crosby is descended from Simon Crosby, who immigranted from England to New England in the 1630s during the Puritan migration to New England.[17][18] Through another line, also on his father's side, Crosby is descended from Mayflower passenger William Brewster (c. 1567 – April 10, 1644).[1]:24[19] On November 8, 1937, after Lux Radio Theatre's adaptation of She Loves Me Not, Joan Blondell asked Crosby how he got his nickname:

Crosby: "Well, I'll tell you, back in the knee-britches day, when I was a wee little tyke, a mere broth of a lad, as we say in Spokane, I used to totter around the streets, with a gun on each hip, my favorite after school pastime was a game known as "Cops and Robbers", I didn't care which side I was on, when a cop or robber came into view, I would haul out my trusty six-shooters, made of wood, and loudly exclaim bing! bing!, as my luckless victim fell clutching his side, I would shout bing! bing!, and I would let him have it again, and then as his friends came to his rescue, shooting as they came, I would shout bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing!"
Blondell: "I'm surprised they didn't call you "Killer" Crosby! Now tell me another story, Grandpa!
Crosby: "No, so help me, it's the truth, ask Mister De Mille."
De Mille: "I'll vouch for it, Bing."[20][21][22]

In 1917, Crosby took a summer job as property boy at Spokane's "Auditorium," where he witnessed some of the finest acts of the day, including Al Jolson, who held him spellbound with ad libbing and parodies of Hawaiian songs. He later described Jolson's delivery as "electric."[23]

Crosby graduated from Gonzaga High School (today's Gonzaga Prep) in 1920 and enrolled at Gonzaga University. He attended Gonzaga for three years but did not earn a degree.[24] As a freshman, he played on the university's baseball team.[25] The university granted him an honorary doctorate in 1937.[26]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Bing Crosby
العربية: بينغ كروسبي
aragonés: Bing Crosby
asturianu: Bing Crosby
تۆرکجه: بینق کرازبی
беларуская: Бінг Кросбі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бінг Кросьбі
Bikol Central: Bing Crosby
български: Бинг Крозби
bosanski: Bing Crosby
brezhoneg: Bing Crosby
català: Bing Crosby
čeština: Bing Crosby
Cymraeg: Bing Crosby
Deutsch: Bing Crosby
Ελληνικά: Μπινγκ Κρόσμπι
español: Bing Crosby
Esperanto: Bing Crosby
euskara: Bing Crosby
français: Bing Crosby
Gaeilge: Bing Crosby
galego: Bing Crosby
한국어: 빙 크로스비
hrvatski: Bing Crosby
Ilokano: Bing Crosby
Bahasa Indonesia: Bing Crosby
italiano: Bing Crosby
ქართული: ბინგ კროსბი
Latina: Bing Crosby
latviešu: Bings Krosbijs
magyar: Bing Crosby
Malagasy: Bing Crosby
მარგალური: ბინგ კროსბი
Nederlands: Bing Crosby
occitan: Bing Crosby
polski: Bing Crosby
português: Bing Crosby
română: Bing Crosby
русский: Кросби, Бинг
Simple English: Bing Crosby
slovenčina: Bing Crosby
slovenščina: Bing Crosby
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bing Crosby
svenska: Bing Crosby
Türkçe: Bing Crosby
українська: Бінг Кросбі
Tiếng Việt: Bing Crosby
Winaray: Bing Crosby
Yorùbá: Bing Crosby