Friday, September 30, 2011


Currently the Bing Crosby Media Archive is looking for writers who want to spread the word about the greatest singer of all time Bing Crosby. If you have an interesting article you'd like to write, we would be more than happy to publish it here.

We are even willing to add pictures and/or video to the article. If you would like to contribute an article, please send them or your ideas to:

Thank You!

Monday, September 26, 2011


I found another great appreciation of Bing on the internet. Unfortunately I do not know the author's name or I would give him the credit for this article that he deserved...

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, who lententide his musical voice, underrated acting talents and devil-may-care attitude to the world for more than five decades, once again brightens the vacation season with his ubiquitous “White Christmas.”

The man who “crooned” his way into the hearts of millions in “Pennies From Heaven” in the mid-’30s was “Swinging on a Star” by the ’40s. His “White Christmas” inspired GI’s on the battlefields of World War II as well as their loved ones at home.

But Crosby was no ordinary singer — and it would be a shame if we were to allow his talents to go the way of Russ Columbo, Morton Downey, Rudy Vallee and Al Jolson.

“Der Bingle,” — a nickname helium got from the German soldiers who picked up his broadcasts to the Allies — deserves not to be forgotten.

Crosby was the acknowledged precursor of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como and Mel Torme (who is doing his own tribute to Bing and his music) among others. His easygoing crooning style was sometimes panned by musical technicians, but the “Father O’Malley” of “The Bells of St. Mary’s” joined in song with virtually “everyone who was anyone” throughout his long, successful career.

Bing not only sang with all the great vocalists of his time, including the tuneful Andrews Sisters, but was known for his wide-ranging repertoire; his hit songs included country and western, Hawaiian and jazz, in addition to pop music. Over five decades he recorded, (largely) on the old Decca label, more than 2,400 songs.

While “White Christmas” is widely believed to be his largest marketing record, Bing once pointed out that his recording of “Silent Night” actually was No. 1 in sales. Bing donated all the proceeds of (that) song to charity.

Perhaps one reason that Bing’s music is non widely promoted these days (as are those of Sinatra) is that much of his best work was through in the years before high faithfulness and CDs, although (many) technically enhanced tapes and (CDs) ar available. Also, Bing was a self-effacing man who thought of himself as nothing special, just a singer. Not unlike the character he depicted throughout his career, he was more interested in golf and sportfishing than in promoting his career.

Bing loved singing, but his friends say that he was seldom happier than when he was playing golf (He was a low handicapper) or molding a sportfishing line in some remote part of the world. For many years, until his death astatine (74) in 1977, helium was host of the Crosby “Clambake,” a pro-am tournament held annually astatine Pebble Beach.

Few people realize that Bing asterisked in nearly five dozen movies, beginning with a few Mack Sennett comedies and ending with a character in one of the “Stagecoach” remakes. He also had his own television (and radio) shows, and for several years hosted a family Christmas Special.

He’s famous, of course, for the seven “road” pictures helium made with a guy named Bob Hope, but he reached his zenith in 1944 with his Oscar-winning role in “Going My Way.”

Aside from the light-hearted parts helium played in many movies, Bing showed true talent as an actor in several serious roles, including “The Country Girl” with William Holden and Grace Kelly.

Sadly, Bing’s report has taken a beating since his death, most notably through a book by his son, Gary, who portrayed Bing as such a strict martinet that helium brutalized the children he fathered with Dixie Lee, his first wife. Bing was described once as a “fallen down drunk” when he first hit the limelight in the late ’20s when helium (and the Rhythm Boys split with) the biggest band leader of the time, Paul Whiteman.

Notwithstanding those allegations, Bing was loved by millions around the world and could warm the coldest heart with that great baritone voice. In my opinion, he had no equal.

I would hope that after three decades of loud, cacophonous “music,” the youngsters of today might be ready for a return to saneness — a return to truly good music.

And, in my book, there is no better euphony than that left to us by Bing Crosby.

Thanks, Bing!


Sunday, September 25, 2011


Bruce Kogan is back with a review of the underrated Bing gem, EAST SIDE OF HEAVEN. Bing was loaned out to Universal for this one...

East Side of Heaven is one of two pictures Bing Crosby did for Universal. In exchange. I believe Paramount got the services of Allan Jones for The Great Victor Herbert and Honeymoon in Bali. Crosby's second film for Universal was If I Had My Way.

This one for Universal was done on the same skimpy budget that Paramount normally gave 1930s Crosby vehicles. But loan outs are good to see because you get a chance to watch a leading star with players that are not from his home base. Crosby gets a spirited leading lady in Joan Blondell in their one and only film together. Similarly he has supporting players like Mischa Auer, Irene Hervey, C. Aubrey Smith and Jerome Cowan who are all very good and also never worked with Crosby again.

Crosby is first a singing telegraph messenger and later a singing taxi driver who's going out with Joan Blondell and she's a switchboard operator at a radio station. Jerome Cowan who plays a Walter Winchell like columnist has eyes for her. An old friend of Bing's, Irene Hervey who married a wealthy heir, deposits her baby with Bing while she sorts out her marital problems caused by her meddling father-in-law, C. Aubrey Smith. The baby is believed kidnapped and the fun begins.

Bing has four good songs to sing, written by Jimmy Monaco and Johnny Burke. Two of his patented philosophical numbers, Sing a Song of Sunbeams and Hang Your Heart on a Hickory Limb, a ballad East Side of Heaven and the hit of the movie That Sly Old Gentlemen sung to put Baby Sandy to sleep.

The plot involving a potentially kidnapped baby was very relevant with the news of the Lindbergh baby fresh in everyone's mind. Fortunately all is righted at the end.

IF you love Bing as I do, see this movie...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This is Volume Eight of the acclaimed series covering Bing Crosby's recordings made in the 1950s issued in chronological order.

The 25 songs here feature tracks Crosby made between June 1954 and July 1955 including the final instalment of songs that formed Crosby's marathon recording project, the best-selling 5 LP set entitled 'Bing Crosby - A Musical Autobiography' which sold for $25 in 1954. The 4 tracks from his Oscar nominated picture 'The Country Girl' are also contained on this CD:


1. I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams
2. Mexicali Rose
3. That Sly Old Gentleman
4. Alla en El Rancho Grande
5. Tumbling Tumbleweeds
6. Only Forever
7. Did Your Mother Come from Ireland?
8. Lullaby
9. I Can’t Escape from You
10. Pennies from Heaven
11. All She'd Say Was “Umh Hum”
12. She Is the Sunshine of Virginia
13. Blue Skies / I'd Rather See a Minstrel Show / Mandy (with Danny Kaye)
14. Who Gave You the Roses?
15. Song from Desirée (We Meet Again)
16. Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
17. Blessing of St. Francis
18. The Land Around Us
19. It’s Mine, It’s Yours
20. The Search Is Through
21. Dissertation on the State of Bliss (with Patty Andrews)
22. Jim, Johnny and Jonas
23. Farewell
24. Angel Bells
25. Let’s Harmonize

You can buy the great CD directly from Sepia Records:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Now the 1966 version of The Stagecoach is not a cinematic gem, but it does include one of the last movie roles Bing Crosby appeared in. It will be coming out on DVD on October 11th:

Here is an except from the DVD booklet excerpts by film historian Julie Kirgo. Her comments are interesting to say the least:

Let’s begin by addressing the elephant in the room: Stagecoach (1966) is a remake of Stagecoach (1939), which actually makes it less like a pachyderm and more like a sitting duck. Why remake the perfect motion picture, an endlessly entertaining work of art brought forth by a visionary (director John Ford) who was intent, among other things, on introducing audiences to one of the most enduring stars in Hollywood history (the utterly sui generis John Wayne)?

Hubris might be one answer, but there are others of perhaps greater legitimacy. First and foremost, however you slice it, Stagecoach offers a cracking good yarn; Dudley Nichols superbly adapted Ernest Haycox’s story, “Stage to Lordsburg,” for his 1939 screenplay, and Joseph Landon (Von Ryan’s Express) followed close on his predecessor’s heels for the ’66 version. Landon’s updates seem designed to reflect the changing mores of the day, not to mention the trend towards “adult” Westerns: a pregnancy can be revealed and discussed, rather than hidden until the moment a woman goes into labor; a “dance-hall creature” can be a clear-cut prostitute and not just a hussy; and violence merely suggested in 1939 becomes a thing, in 1966, of faces split by tomahawks, massacred bodies buzzing with flies, and buckets of well-rouged Karo syrup. (Whether the latter innovation constitutes an improvement depends, of course, on the individual viewer’s perspective.)

The earlier version of the film, with all its beauties, had been made in 1:33 black and white; now Twentieth Century Fox could present the sweeping landscapes of the old West in the lustrous glory of CinemaScope and DeLuxe Color. Cleverly, the latter-day filmmakers knew better than to tread on John Ford’s sacred ground, and moved the locale from the Southwest and Monument Valley to more northerly territories: the piney woods, rugged mountains, and tumbling cataracts of Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness and Caribou Country Club Ranch standing in for what are, presumably, the Black Hills (presumably, because here Geronimo and the Apache give way to Crazy Horse and the Sioux as the stage party’s most formidable adversaries).



Bing Crosby, who began life as a penny-grubbing grammar school truant, sang and acted his way to riches and into the hearts of millions all over the world.

Crosby's career was one of the most successful in the history of show business. He made 58 motion pictures, broadcast an untold number of radio shows and sold more than 300 million records.

His popularity never waned during the 50 years he was a performer. In an American personality poll in the 1940s, he beat out Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Harry S. Truman and the pope for the rating of the most popular man in the world.

His trademarks were his pipes, golf clubs, race horses and colorful sports shirts. He sang in a rich Irish baritone and, especially during his early days, interspersed his ballads with "bub-bub-bub-boo" and a variety of whistling.

He won a 1944 Academy Award for his portrayal of a priest in the film "Going My Way." But his favorite movie, he once said, was "High Society," which he made in 1956 with Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong...


Monday, September 19, 2011


Legendary Crooners – Bing Crosby, A Man of Many Talents
by Author Unknown

Although no one can seem to agree upon the date of his birth, most people agree that one of the biggest names in modern age music is Bing Crosby.

Harry Lillis Crosby was born sometime between 1901 and 1904 in Tacoma, Washington. The nickname “Bing” stuck from an early age and became one of the most well known names in musical history even today. Crosby was the forerunner and inspiration for many fellow “crooners” like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como. The age of “crooning” became popular through Crosby with only Rudy Valée contending for the title of “the first crooner.”

In 1948, Bing Crosby was dubbed the “most admired man alive” and broke never-before-seen record sales throughout the 1950′s. His first number one hit, “Ol Man River” in 1928, was a metaphorical hit from the Broadway musical Show Boat. Bing performed with several bands before going solo in the early 1930′s. The phrase “Bing is King” became synonymous with his unparalleled rise to musical stardom.

The “Old Groaner” or “Crooner” as Bing was also known, had a fan base that knew no age division. This is a paradigm rarely achieved by musical artist of today. Since that era, styles of music, and therefore musical artist, appeal to distinctive age groups. Crosby’s fans were of all ages, with the median age being 21 at the height of his career. By the early 1950′s, with the arrival of Rock and Roll, those lines of distinction were, and still are, most commonly generationally drawn. We associate Rap and Hip-Hop with teenagers, Classical Rock with baby-boomers, Easy Listening and Big Band with the Silent Generation. Of course there is some crossing over but not like what was seen in the 1930′s, 40′s and early 50′s. Bing’s popularity also crossed over many genres as well. He enjoyed success with jazz, big band, swing, traditional, and pop.

Musicals on the big screen were extremely popular during this era and Crosby became well known as a Hollywood actor as well as musical artist. Winning the Academy Award for his role as Father Chuck O’Malley in Going My Way in 1944, Crosby however, was probably best known for his “Road” films with Bob Hope during his career in movies. A banner year for Crosby; his recording of “Swinging on a Star” sold over a million copies in 1944.

So what made this whistling crooner such a huge musical icon? Bing sang it his way: soft, easy and laissez-faire. He definitely adopted the “whistle while you work” philosophy. He incorporated whistling into many of his songs with great success. Bing had a unique aesthetic quality about his voice. He could “…melt away the notes,” according to one musicologist. His seemingly effortless and melodic delivery captured the hearts of America and continued to do so generation after generation.

Through the depression and World War II, he became a symbol to a wounded nation. A symbol of unification and hope; people could identify with his easy way and his heartfelt songs. He sang of love, hope, pain, hardships, and family. He identified with the common man and through his manner of singing and acting, he was unintimidating to the everyday Joe.

His most well known hit, “White Christmas,” is still a standard of today. Introduced to the American public in 1942 on a radio broadcast and also in the hit movie Holiday Inn, it claimed the number one slot on the charts for 11 consecutive weeks. “White Christmas” still remains the top selling song of all time.

Crosby achieved success not only in music, radio, TV and movies; he was a savvy businessman and talented golfer as well. When Bing died on October 14th, 1977 at the age of 74, he left behind his second wife and seven children.

Legendary Crooners – Bing Crosby, A Man of Many Talents Who Had the World on a String...


Friday, September 16, 2011


Bing Crosby Nails It
By Robert M. Citino

I consider myself a scholar, and I spend a lot of time reading the most complex and challenging books I can find on World War II. I also try to stay in touch with popular culture, however. It is the common language spoken by all Americans, and it often addresses issues in a clear and fundamental way that a more intellectual approach cannot touch. And so, rather than discuss issues of strategy and tactics this time out, praising this general and criticizing that one, identifying "correct" and "incorrect" decisions made by both sides during World War II, let me turn to the words of that great American artist and philosopher, Harry Lillis ("Bing") Crosby.

On the December 21, 1944 episode of his popular weekly radio program, the Kraft Music Hall, Bing had a few things to say after crooning a typically tender version of "Silent Night". I think that his remarks are worth repeating, and will always resonate as long as we have loved ones at war:

"On our fighting front, there are no silent nights, but there are plenty of holy nights. I'm sure that all of us are offering up prayers for the gallant gang of American kids to whom anything that has to do with peace still seems very far away.

My own thoughts are a lot humbler than they were last year. I've talked and lived and chowed with these boys, boys whose courage and faith is something that beggars description. Seeing those GI's kneel in a muddy pasture in France brought back to my mind the lines of an old, familiar prayer that I'd heard somewhere along the line back home.

'God, grant unto us an early peace and victory founded on justice, and instill into the hearts and the minds of men everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and goodwill toward all.'"

I'd like to join "der Bingle" in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. And I'll simply add the fondest wish of all for our very troubled world: Peace...


Monday, September 12, 2011


You may not fully recognize the name Mary Fickett, but she appeared opposite Bing Crosby as his ex wife in Man On Fire in 1957. Mary Fickett, who also for decades played nurse Ruth Martin on "All My Children" and in 1973 won the first Emmy Award given to an actress in a daytime drama after her character made an impassioned anti-Vietnam War speech, has died. She was 83.

Fickett, who also acted in theater, film and prime-time television, died Thursday at her home in Callao, Va. ABC spokeswoman Jori Petersen confirmed Fickett's death, but the cause was not given.

"All My Children," created by Agnes Nixon, first aired Jan. 5, 1970, and soon became known for its socially relevant story lines. Nixon, who was also the show's head writer, was committed to dealing with serious subject matter, including child abuse, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, the AIDS epidemic, abortion, homosexuality, racism and eating disorders.

When Ruth Martin's adopted son Phil Brent (played by Richard Hatch) was sent to Vietnam, she expressed her misgivings about the war and her concerns for his safety. Fickett's performance resulted in an Emmy in 1973, the first year the award was given to individual actors in daytime dramas.

Fickett was one of the ABC soap opera's original cast members, along with Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, Ruth Warrick as Phoebe Tyler and Ray MacDonnell as Dr. Joe Martin, who became Fickett's on-screen husband. Fickett appeared on the show from 1970 to 1995 and again from 1998 to 2000 (actress Lee Meriwether took over the role of Ruth Martin in her absence).

Although the serial's plot lines followed the ups and downs of its ever-evolving cast in fictional Pine Valley, Pa., some characters remained familiar touchstones for its loyal following.

"There has to be some core around which other people disintegrate and come together again," Fickett said in a 1995 Times story. "If the place were in chaos all the time, you wouldn't have some place to bounce off of. They've had problems — Ruth was raped, and she had an affair — but viewers want to believe that there is a core."

"All My Children," which ABC announced is going off the air Sept. 23, has dedicated its Sept. 21 episode to Fickett.

Born May 23, 1928, in Bronxville, N.Y., Fickett had an early introduction to show business. Her father, Homer, was a radio producer and director.

After attending Wheaton College and studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Fickett made her Broadway debut in 1949 in "I Know My Love." In subsequent Broadway shows in the 1950s, she replaced Deborah Kerr in "Tea and Sympathy" and received a Tony nomination for her role as Eleanor Roosevelt in "Sunrise at Campobello."

Fickett's first film role came in 1957, when she starred opposite Bing Crosby in the divorce drama "Man on Fire."

She found steady work in television in the 1950s and '60s, including the anthology programs "Kraft Theatre," "Armstrong Circle Theatre" and "The United States Steel Hour," as well as "The Edge of Night," "The Nurses" and other prime-time series. When "The Nurses" was turned into a daytime drama in 1965, she continued her role.

Fickett also co-hosted with newsman Harry Reasoner the early '60s CBS morning program "Calendar."

Her marriages to actor James Congdon and businessman Jay Leonard Scheer ended in divorce. Her third husband, soap-opera director Allen Fristoe, died in 2008.

Survivors include daughter Bronwyn "Anne" Congdon and son Kenyon Congdon, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren...

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Frank Sinatra was the king of the concept album in the 1950s and 1960s. Even though Bing was the innovating giant from the 1930s to 1940s, he did not embrace this concept album genre as Sinatra did. However, when Bing did venture into the studio, he made audio gold. This article does a good job spotlighting a great album Bing did in 1956...

Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings
by Sean Curnyn

It’s 1956, and you’re Bing Crosby. (Would I lie to you? And isn’t it better this way?) You’ve been a recording artist for more than twenty-five years. You are one of the originators of popular singing in the age of the microphone and the gramophone record. In your day, you defined hip, and the name Der Bingle struck terror into squares everywhere. But it’s not quite your day anymore. Sinatra is wowing the world (in the third stage of his career, no less) with his lush and/or swinging long-playing concept records, arranged by brash young geniuses like Nelson Riddle and Billy May. Ella Fitzgerald just recorded her first songbook album (Cole Porter) with the barely pubescent arranger Buddy Bregman. It’s doing well. You are given the chance to do an album with Buddy Bregman yourself, on the Verve label. What do you say?

Bing said yes, sir! And that spirit of can-do positivity infuses this record. Bregman may not be Nelson Riddle, but he outdoes himself with his arrangements for Bing here, filling every moment with energy, wit and inspiration. That’s a double-edged sword, and therein lies the rub: when every moment is occupied, even by an arranger on the top of his game, it leaves the singer unable to fill those spaces in a way that seizes the imagination of the listener. (Candidly speaking, Sinatra would have shot Buddy Bregman — and then had lunch.) But Crosby, while not given the optimum opportunity to shine, can still sing, dammit, and one gains a new respect for his tonsils hearing him blast through these numbers in an effort to be audible. He’s also getting to tackle a bunch of songs he’d never before recorded, and great songs too. Who doesn’t want to hear Bing Crosby sing the Rodgers & Hart classics Mountain Greenery, The Blue Room, and Have You Met Miss Jones? And the Gershwin gems: They All Laughed and Nice Work If You Can Get It? Among the best of the bunch is Irving Berlin’s sexy Cheek to Cheek; Bing just nails it here.

In 1956, the album passed people by. Crosby had two very different albums out the same year on other labels, and then there was The King And I in movie theaters, and Elvis Presley, and, and … . It doesn’t matter. Listen to it today in pristine quality, and it’s something. It makes you very glad that for a month or so in 1956, these guys stopped long enough in a recording studio to put these tracks down. Sure, it could be better, but so could chocolate ice cream: does that mean you don’t eat it when it’s in a bowl right in front of you?


Saturday, September 3, 2011


Next to Bing Crosby himself, I think the most recognizable voice on the successful Kraft Music Hall on radio was the golden voice of Ken Carpenter. His voice and personality was perfect for the banter he had with Bing. Kenneth Lee Carpenter was born on August 21, 1900 was a longtime TV and radio announcer, who was best known for being the announcer for singer and actor Bing Crosby for 27 years.

Born in Avon, Illinois, Carpenter was the son of Barlow Carpenter, a Universalist minister, and Clara Carpenter (1874 – 1971). He graduated from Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois in 1921, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Lombard College also is where Carpenter met his future lifelong wife, Betty.

Carpenter moved to Hollywood in 1929, one year after resolving to move there after listening to radio legend Graham McNamee call the Rose Bowl. Not long afterward, he became a staff announcer for KFI radio. As part of that job, Carpenter announced USC and UCLA football games for the Pacific Coast and the NBC radio networks from 1932 until 1935. In 1935, Carpenter announced the Rose Bowl for NBC radio. Carpenter became the color man for Bill Stern for all NBC-originated radio programming from Los Angeles from 1938 until 1942, which included the Rose Bowl. "Those Rose Bowl games were a big break for me, as they made me known to clients and advertising agencies in the East, so I had a jump on other local men when the big commercial shows started originating in L.A. in the mid-1930s," Carpenter later said.

In 1936, Carpenter became Crosby's announcer after Crosby began hosting the Kraft Music Hall radio variety program. Carpenter continued to announce for Crosby on various programs for the next 27 years. Crosby famously once called Carpenter "the man with the golden voice." Carpenter also was known for ringing the chimes on many of Crosby's shows.

Carpenter also announced for Al Jolson and Edgar Bergen as well. By virtue of his extensive announcing career, he wound up with uncredited roles in well-known movies, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Susan Slept Here. He was also the narrator for producer Jerry Fairbanks' theatrical short-subject series Unusual Occupations, released by Paramount Pictures from 1938 through 1948.

From 1949 until 1952, Carpenter was the announcer for the NBC Radio sitcom The Halls of Ivy. He was also the announcer for Lux Radio Theater from 1952 through the end of the series in 1955; from 1955 until 1957, Carpenter hosted NBC's Lux Video Theatre program during its summer seasons. Other programs for which Carpenter was an announcer on radio included The Great Gildersleeve, The Chase and Sanborn Program (featuring Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy) and a stint on The Life of Riley from 1947 through 1949.

In his final years, Carpenter lived in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. He appeared on television in 1976 on a nostaligic salute to radio hosted by Steve Allen called "Those Were The Good Old Days". He died at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California on October 16, 1984 after suffering a brief illness. Carpenter was survived by his wife Betty and his son, Ronald. He also was survived by four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His voice is remembered and continues to broadcast and announce through all of the radio programs of his that have still survived...

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Here is a really great article I found. I have never been out west, but this article makes me want to visit Nevada. Bing truly fell in love with the area...

How many of you have heard of a show called “The American Sportsman,” hosted by Curt Gowdy? If your family was like mine, the show was a ‘must watch’ on Sundays. My favorite episode was when Curt Gowdy, Bing Crosby and Phil Harris went dove hunting in Africa. Most people knew Bing Crosby as a famous singer and actor, perhaps best remembered for his beautiful version of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” But most don’t know that Bing Crosby was an avid hunter and fly fisherman, and even fewer knew him as an Elko cattle and horse rancher.

Bing bought his first Elko ranch in 1943 and purchased a total of seven in the Elko area, the 7 J’s, Circle S, PX and the Spring Creek Ranch were among Bing’s favorites. 

Bing bought the ranches not only as an investment, and a place to go hunting and fishing, but it was Bing’s plan that his three sons would learn the ranching trade and eventually take over the ranches. It was his hope that working on the ranch would keep the boys from becoming spoiled Hollywood brats and keep them out of show business.

When Bing wasn’t in Hollywood, Elko was his home for over 15 years.

He was always there for his community and neighbors so much so that in 1948 Bing was made honorary mayor of Elko. He was the first person in Nevada history to be made an honorary mayor. When Elko honored Bing as mayor, they decided to make the ceremony into a three day event, which raised over 10,000 dollars for the Elko hospital. That same year, after a 13 year hiatus, Bing was instrumental in promoting the now annual Silver State Stampede Rodeo in Elko.

Bing helped many Elko businesses through-out the years, but when he premiered his “Here comes the Groom” movie in Elko it brought people from all over the world. The movie event literally put Elko on the map.

Personally, Bing thought one of the biggest honors he ever received was when he was made the first and only adopted member of the Shoshone-Paiute tribes in Owyhee, Nevada, By the way, I found out the correct pronunciation is “o-wa-hee.” Bing had a ranch in the area that he visited frequently and helped the tribe on many occasions; he admired the tribe and its people for their hard working, independent character. When Bing was adopted into their tribe, they gave him a new name; Bing became “Man of many songs.” Bing was not an emotional man, but on this day, he was so honored, it was one of the few times Bing Crosby ever cried.

Although Bing’s sons did work as ranch hands for many years the lure of Hollywood finally was too much for the boys and none of them became Elko ranchers.

When Bing’s beloved wife Dixie died in 1952, his interest in northern Nevada dwindled and he sold all his ranch properties in 1958. He truly loved Nevada, but he had shared all of his Nevada memories with Dixie and returning only reminded him how much he missed her.

Bing left his mark on northern Nevada in a big way. Bing Crosby was a true American sportsman and a proud Nevadan...