Friday, March 28, 2014


One of the most popular shows on cable now is the zombie drama, The Walking Dead. Now there is a Bing connection on the show. Bing's grand-daughter, Denise Crosby, was just introduced as a new character. Basically the survivors find a so-called safe haven called Terminus, and Denise Crosby is the women who greets them there.

The season finale of The Walking Dead is on Sunday March 31st so check it out for the drama, the zombies, and Denise Crosby...

Sunday, March 23, 2014


This song introduced the world to Bing the Rapper, long before Rap made its mark on the pop music scene. "There's Nothing" was originally written for Bing to sing on a 1969 guest appearance on Jackie Gleason's television show featuring The Honeymooners. Jackie tries to sell Bing a new song, but Bing responds musically that there "ain't nothin' I haven't sung about."

Surprisingly Bing did not record the song for commercial release until July 22, 1976, for Decca (then part of MCA) in London. He was backed by the Alan Cohen orchestra. The song was released that fall on his album "Feels Good, Feels Right." In England "There's Nothing" was also released as a single, backed by Bing's masterful interpretation of "As Time Goes By." Invariably, Bing included this song in his many concerts the last year of his life. The song jumps...

I've sung about the birds and bees
The daffydown dillies and the shady trees
I've covered mother nature inside out.
There's the old ox road, the old millstream
Pennies from heaven and darn that dream
Nothin that I haven't sung about.

I've sung some songs of sacrifice
I've even sung a few that offered good advice.
I've covered all emotions there's no doubt.
Like a fine romance, learn to croon
Sing you sinners, and love in bloom.
Nothing that I haven't sung about.

There's many a chorus
I've sang of Delores.
Remember Marquita, and sweet Riorita?
There's Mary and Sally, and Rose Mexicali.
From Emiline to Clementine
They all got equal time.

Yes, musically I've been around
I've covered almost every town
I've always been a vocal gadabout.
From the Swanee River, to Galway Bay,
Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe
There's nothing that I haven't sung about.

I found a million dollar baby in a ten cent store
A pockeful of dreams and plenty more
Since anything goes I pick Sweet Sue
Spose that's the natural thing to do.

We began the beguine and I could feel it start
I said please be careful that's my heart!
In the cool of the evening 'neath the autumn leaves
We call for music, maestro please!

There's a great temptation as we cuddle near
And I whispered I surrender dear.
The bells of St Mary's rang in the steeple
For all the dear friends and gentle kind of people.

I said babe I got you under my skin
It had to be you 'cause love walked in.
From here on in you'll be going my way
Til the blue of the night meets the gold of the day.

I've sung about Dolly, my Rosie of Tralee
I've sung of Chicago, and that song from Zhivago.
The old Mississippi and Tintipitipi.
The winter, summer, spring and fall
I've covered one and all
And I love 'em one and all!

I've tried to sing these modern songs
I just can't figure where that style belongs
The mad rock, acid rock, country, western, soul.
But when I try to sing 'em I ain't nowhere
I ain't got the clothes and I ain't got the hair
But I'll keep tryin' til there is no doubt
There ain't nothing, really nothing,
That I haven't sung about!

Friday, March 14, 2014


He was the institutional memory for the movies at The Associated Press and a passage for the world to a Hollywood both longed for and long gone.

Bob Thomas, who died Friday at his Encino, Calif., home at age 92, started reporting when Clark Gable was a middle-aged king, Bette Davis was in her big-eyed prime, and Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall were emerging stars. "Independent" movies were a rarity during the studio-controlled era and celebrity gossip was dispensed by rival columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons rather than Internet sites.

Younger reporters knew the names and the credits, but Thomas knew the people and lived the history. He could tell you what Jack Lemmon liked to drink at parties or recall Marilyn Monroe's farcical inability to show up on time, or speak fondly of his times with "Greg" Peck.

Around the country, and beyond, at least one generation of movie fans learned the latest about Hollywood by reading Bob Thomas. He interviewed most of the great screen actors of the 20th century, among them Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Bing Crosby Humphrey Bogart, Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise.

When a story ran, Thomas often heard directly from the stars. Soon after her marriage to actor John Agar in 1945, Shirley Temple wrote: "John and I want you to know that we are very grateful to you for the manner in which you handled the story on our wedding."

A postcard from Rita Hayworth passed on regards from Orson Welles. Bing Crosby shared warm thoughts about Bob Hope. Groucho Marx noted that Thomas' interview with him had been syndicated in 400 newspapers. "But as faithful as I am to you in my fashion, I read them all," Groucho wrote to him.

Thomas worked well into his 80s, covering a record 66 consecutive Academy Awards shows, beginning in 1944. During his nearly seven decades writing for the AP, Thomas reviewed hundreds of films and television shows and wrote numerous retrospective pieces on Hollywood and how it had changed.

Thomas was also the author of nearly three dozen books, including biographies of Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Brando and Joan Crawford, and an acclaimed portrait of studio mogul Harry Cohn, "King Cohn." He wrote, produced and appeared in a handful of television specials on the Academy Awards and was a guest on numerous TV news and talk shows, including "The Tonight Show," ''Good Morning America" and "Nightline." His biographies of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and the comedy team of Abbott and Costello were made into television movies.

He is listed twice in Guinness World Records: for most consecutive Academy Awards shows covered by an entertainment reporter and for longest career as an entertainment reporter (1944-2010). In 1988, he became the first reporter-author awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, worked with Thomas in the Los Angeles bureau in the early 1980s. "Bob was an old-fashioned Hollywood reporter and he knew absolutely everyone," she said. "He had a double-helping of impish charm with the stars, but back at the office, he was the quiet guy who slipped into a desk at the back and poked at the keyboard for a while, then handed in a crisp and knowing story soon delivered to movie fans around the world."

Monday, March 10, 2014


Classic Hollywood is better than present Hollywood in so many ways, and I think the artwork on movie posters is an example. I love old movie posters, and their artwork is so crisp and vivid. I figured it would be interesting to take a lot at a few movie posters of Der Bingle. Afterall, he was Paramount's biggest star from 1932 to 1956...


DR. RHYTHM (1938)

DIXIE (1943)


MR. MUSIC (1950)


Monday, March 3, 2014


This past month marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. Their music caused such a revolution, just as Bing's music did three decades before that. Bing and The Beatles never worked together, but The Beatles were admirers of Bing.

Bing's 1932 recording of Please, which contained the plaintive plea "Please, lend your little ear to my pleas" was part of the inspiration for the Beatles first chart-topping hit, "Please Please Me," written by John Lennon in 1962. Lennon recounts the development of the song in Ray Coleman's 1984 biography, Lennon:

"In my auntie's house on Menlove Avenue, I heard Roy Orbison doing 'Only the Lonely' on the radio. I was also intrigued by the double use of the word 'please' in a Bing Crosby song. Lennon was a long-time fan of Bing's music, especially the early Crosby. In a 1980 interview a few weeks before Lennon's death, Coleman asked Lennon what music he was currently listening to. He said, "Hank Williams, Carl Perkins, John Gielgud reading Shakespeare and anything that Bing Crosby had ever done."

George Harrison developed an interest in Bing in the 1980s. On a nationally-syndicated radio show, Breakfast with the Beatles, Harrison remarked, "Bing Crosby was someone I discovered in my gardening period. He had a lovely voice, a presence that sort of crackles. He always remained popular over here [i.e., England]. I like his stuff very much."

According to Harrison's son, Dhani, quoted in the October 2002 issue of "Beatles Monthly" magazine, an album of recordings by Bix Beiderbecke and Bing (Bix 'n' Bing) was his dad's favorite in his later years.

There is no evidence that Bing met any of the Beatles, but he did perform several of their songs ("Fool on the Hill," "Obladi Oblada" ...) on his television shows. His only commercial recording of a Lennon-McCartney song was "Hey Jude," the Beatles' biggest hit, on Nov. 21, 1968. It became the title song of his next album, Hey Jude, Hey Bing!. Bing's version of "Hey Jude" was released on CD in 1997 by Rhino Records under the title "Golden Throats IV -- Celebrities Butcher the Beatles."