Best Of Bing LP

Posted by Lee on October 22, 1999 at 17:21:32:

I don't want to start another endless battle over Bing's birth year, but I was looking at the "Best of Bing" double album that I had from 20 years ago and noticed in the inside cover write-up on Bing that they gave his birth year as 1903. Now this was written while Bing was still alive. In fact he died shortly after this album set came out. At any rate, I had thought that it wasn't discovered until after he died that he was born in 1903, up until then I thought it was known that he was born in 1904. Perhaps the liner notes were changed slightly after he died and it was discovered that he was really born in 1903. Come to think of it, I didn't buy this album set till about 1979 or '78. I don't remember exactly when, but I am sure it was after Bing died. Liner notes aren't usually changed after they're written and printed up for an album, so it seems it was known before Bing passed on that he was really born in 1903, this album set came out in 1977, I believe. And the liner notes definitely speak of Bing in the present terms, what he's doing now and what he plans on doing in the future, so he was definitely alive when these notes were written. So 1903 wasn't such a big secret after all, MCA's double album set published the "big secret" right there in their own album.

Posted by Steven Lewis on October 22, 1999 at 20:35:14:

In Reply to: Best Of Bing info. posted by Lee on October 22, 1999 at 17:21:32:

The double-album "The Best of Bing" (MCA2-4045) was originally released in the mid-1960s. The original liner notes on the inside were written by Jack O'Brian of the New York Journal-American in 1964. The notes are quite candid. For example:

Even close friends needle Bing about his quietly stern insistence on a private life of his own. His old close pal Barney Dean, a Court Jester to Bob Hope and Bing for many years, told us once that Bing packed for all trips by taking "slacks, sport shirts, a cap, blazer and a ten-foot pole." Barney meant Bing kept people away from him.

Once he had escaped the toadying celebrity-chasers, Bing was as much at home with the socially registered as he was with the musicians he started with.

He is either 60 or 63, according to whether you believe the World Almanac, the Information Please Almanac, or his brother Ted, who wrote the first biography of this casually protean showman.

Apparently Lee has an LP version whose liner notes were updated. There is no mention of any specific year of birth in the original liner notes.

Actually, the person who first researched and unearthed the contemporary documentation of Bing's birth was J.T.H. Mize. He published the 1903 birthdate in his 1946 book "Bing Crosby and the Bing Crosby Style." This documentation was brought forward again following Bing's death.

Posted by Lee on October 25, 1999 at 08:38:50:

In Reply to: Re: Best Of Bing posted by Steven Lewis on October 22, 1999 at 20:35:14:

Yes, Steven, my "Best of Bing" album set must have been a later reissue. Because they talk about Bing's recent recording several albums in London "which will be coming out soon" and the quote about Bing being 60 or 63 is not in the liner notes I have, I also don't remember the other quote about packing a 10 foot pole. It seems the liner notes on my album were written in 1977.

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