By Kathryn Crosby
Whether or not Bing Crosby is the Crooner of the Century, Richard Grudens is indisputably his chronicler.
The writer's breadth is astonishing. Between the covers of this one volume he has managed to include not only Bing's life and miracles, but also those of every noteworthy vocalist and musician of our time.
Perusing Richard Gruden's manuscript, I learned hundreds of fascinating new details about people whom I've known most of my life. More importantly, I made a number of interesting discoveries about my late husband. Thus I can truly appreciate Richard's talent for research, even though I myself am noticeably lacking in it.
To be sure, I have authored three tomes on Bing, but they were based entirely upon my life with him. What happened elsewhere or previously escaped me entirely. Richard, on the other hand, covers every aspect of Bing's public career.
Viewing Grudens' amazing achievement, I try to console myself with the fact that I wrote of the private Bing whom only I knew, while this book describes everything else.
If we had somehow combined our disparate talents, we could have offered the world a complete description of the Crooner of the Century. In the meantime, I heartily recommend this powerful book to all interested readers.
BACK COVER TEXT:
Here is the quintessential Bing Crosby tribute from the pen of author/music historian Richard Grudens, documenting the story of Crosby's colorful life, family, recordings, radio and television shows, and films; the amazing success story of a wondrous career that pioneered popular music spanning generations and inspiring countless followers: Franik Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Jerry Vale, Dean Martin, Don Cornell, Al Martino, Mel Torme, Pat Boone, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Eddie Fisher, and Billy Eckstine, all who acknowledge their debt right here between these covers.
Bing's story is an all American chronicle of a generally shy show business giant whose recordings and films kept America in perfect tune for many generations, and whose numbers have never been equaled:
2,600 commercial recordings
400 million records sold
396 single recordings
38 number one recordings and best single recording of all time "White Christmas," charting 20 times between 1942-1962.
Life Magazine - In 1990, Bing Crosby was listed as "One of Life's 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century."
An inspirational introduction by his lovely wife, Kathryn Grant Crosby, is followed by endearing, anecdotal accounts of those ubiquitous "Road" films with Bob Hope, and detailed personal testimonials from show business icons in their own words: Bob Hope, Frankie Laine, Rosemary Clooney, Rhonda Fleming, Margaret Whiting, Connie Haines, Patty Andrews, Mary Martin, Jack Benny, Peggy Lee, Les Paul, Johnny Mercer, Paul Whiteman, and little known accounts of the colorful DelMar Racetrack, Mack Sennett film shorts, Decca recordings, and personal stories.
This book is a "must read" for Crosby fans, collectors, admirers, music lovers, and all Americans who still cherish the music and anecdotes of the players involved in the Golden Age of Popular Music written by the author of "The Spirit of Bob Hope" and "Jerry Vale - A Singer's Life."
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