Phillip Crosby 1934-2004

Malcolm Macfarlane, International Club Crosby posted 01/14/04 10:34 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I have just received an email from Phillip's daughter, Mary, advising me that Phillip passed away this morning. More details later.
Tom Degan posted 01/14/04 03:39 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Dear Malcom,
Very sad to hear about Phil's passing. Now all of Bing's children with Dixie are gone. Such a tragic family - I hope they're all at peace.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Lee posted 01/14/04 04:03 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
It is indeed a sad day. I don't imagine Phil could have been all that old, early '60's thereabouts. Of all the sons of the first family he did seem to be the one most comfortable with himself. If the news is true, I'm very sorry to hear it. Just a couple months ago I transferred one of Phil and Cros. Bros. album's to CD. I still think of Phil as he appeared on his Dad's radio Christmas shows. They were funny.
Martin McQuade posted 01/14/04 04:59 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I received the sad news at 4:45 P.M. est. from Chuck Morell, a close personal friend of Philip Crosby that Philip was found dead in his home, either last night or this morning. Chuck, who appeared in and produced movies featuring Phil, and who helped arrange the recording session during which Philip sang Thanks (with help from Dad) was quite devastated and asked me to post the news on the bulletin board. The last time I spoke with Phil he was quite sick and incapacitated - he cited his angina. He was a great guy and a staunch defender of his father. Truly, one of the last links to Bing is severed.
Jon O. posted 01/14/04 08:27 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I was stunned when I read Malcolm's post this morning - I didn't realize that Phillip was as ill as he apparently was. I didn't know the man, yet I'm very saddened to hear of his passing.

The image that's been sticking in my mind all day is of Phil standing near his dad in a scene from Robin and the Seven Hoods, which seems appropriate since he always stayed close to his father over the years, appearing on Bing's TV specials and on the Hollywood Palace. And he defended his dad when it unfortunately became necessary to do so.

My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Ben Weaver posted 01/14/04 10:14 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Phil would have turned 70 on July 13th. I understand that health issues prevented Phil from attending the Centenary Celebrations at Gonzaga University in Spokane last May.
The following is noted in Malcolm Macfarlane's book "DAY By DAY"
"July 13th.1934 [Friday]--Dixie gives birth to twins: Phillip Lang and Dennis Michael in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital shortly after 6:00a.m. The babies are premature and weigh between four and five pounds each. Phillip is named for Eddie Land while Dennis is named after Bing's grandfather, Dennis Harrigan".
I will always remember how well Phil spoke about his life and relationship with his father and that he considered Bing a devoted father.
Jim Kukura posted 01/15/04 04:02 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Phil's passing is the final sad chapter of the losses of Bing's first family. I always thought Phil had the best singing voice of any of Bing's seven children. I wish there were more films and recordings of this very fine gentleman to remember him by.
Sue Horn posted 01/16/04 12:20 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
This is very sad news. I spoke to Phil a couple of times on the phone, once for a long while (2+ hours). He was a great guy, very upbeat, despite his health problems. I'm sorry I didn't get to know him better.
Judy Schmid posted 01/16/04 03:11 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
With the permission of Phil's daughter, Mary, I am posting this here. Her beloved dad will be honored with a funeral Mass on Monday evening, 19 January, at 7pm PST at Good Shepherd Church at 505 N Bedford Dr in Beverly Hills, CA - flowers can be sent to that address and will be delivered to the church. His burial will be Tuesday morning at Holy Cross Cemetery. The notice will be in this evening's and tomorrow's papers in LA - the funeral is open to anyone in the area who wishes to come and pay their respect.

I shared everyone's sympathies and prayers with her, and she truly appreciated it - Phil can be proud of his daughter.

David Lobosco posted 01/17/04 06:10 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Dear Friends,

I am indeed sad at hearing of the death of Phillip Crosby. He was indeed a good singer. Just the other day I watched Phil and the Crosby sons' appearance on Bing's TV show with Jo Stafford. Phil had his share of problems, but he rose above them, unlike Gary Crosby, who blamed his famous father for his own adult problems. Rest in peace, Phil. You will be missed in the Bing Crosby community.

David Lobosco
Ben Weaver posted 01/17/04 07:39 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I have the "Presenting The Crosby Bros." LP which consists of 12 songs presented by Dennis, Philip and Lindsay around 1963.
The songs are:
-You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby
-Limehouse Blues
-Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
-Once In A While
-I Can't Give You Anything But Love
-Green Grass
-Singin' In The Rain
-Magic Is The Moonlight
I'd be happy to put this on a cassette tape for you, David. They do harmonize quite nicely to-gether, sounding a little like the Mills Bros.
Judy Schmid posted 01/18/04 09:23 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I think the Crosby boys were better than the other harmony-acts of the 50s and early 60s (the Lettermen come to mind) - the Crosby boys' voices were so much more masculine, however...deeper,'s a shame all the way around that things didn't 'work' for them...

Sue Horn posted 01/18/04 01:04 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
When I talked the longest to Phil, about three years ago now, he reminisced about traveling to see the troops with Bob Hope, performing with Louis Armstrong, singing with his brothers, thinking his dad was tops. He spoke about his back pain, which kept him prone for most of his waking hours. He made jokes (some about politics, others just about life). He didn't want to get off the phone. My last call with him, this fall, was short. He wasn't feeling well and said we'd talk again soon. Wasn't curt at all, just couldn't physically bear to be on the phone. I'm kicking myself that I didn't try to visit him when a few of us were in Spokane, and he was not too far away with dental issues, and that my family and I didn't try to make contact this summer when we were in CA. Woulda, coulda, shoulda... Sad. Fwiw, I do believe Bing was there to greet Phil, I think he met each of his boys with a hug and an understanding that goes far beyond our petty human gripes and worries.
Dixie Crosby Goodwin posted 01/25/04 08:22 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Thank you so much for putting together the obituary for Dad. I was so sad to have found out late about my father's passing, and knowing that you took care of this was so comforting. If you wish, you may e-mail me privately.

With much appreciation,

Dixie Lee
Malcolm Macfarlane posted 01/26/04 02:18 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly

Glad that I could help. Pity the newspapers didn't use more of it. Have replied direct to you.
Ron Field (visiting from Australia) posted 02/10/04 11:52 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I had the pleasure of meeting Phil in Sydney, Australia in about 1964/65 when Phil was performing at the Chevron Hilton.
I met him at lunch time and had a beer and a talk.
I presented Phil with a book called 'The Ampol Book of Australiana'. Ampol was the name of the Oil Company I was employed by. Don't know if he kept the book or not. I did not get to see him do his show.
He was a nice bloke.
The Seattle Times did an obituary to him on 18th. January.
They got Bing's age wrong when he died (73) and also mentioned the Gary book.
I have written them a not to straighten them out on Bing's age etc, just a few minutes ago.
I met Mary and Phil at Gonzaga.
My sympathies.
Ron Field
Mary Elizabeth Crosby posted 02/17/04 11:44 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Thank you so much for all of the kind words regarding my father. I hope and pray that I carry the same message as he did. Rising above gossip and maintaining the intergrity of the CROSBY family. I will always love and respect my father for teaching me that.
Much Regards,
Mary Elizabeth Crosby
Patsy Linke Wall posted 04/17/04 11:09 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I am a former student of WSC and was very close to Phil when he and Denny were in school. My deepest sympathy to his family, I too am originally from Spokane and met Phil at Hayden Lake in the summer of 1952. I've thought of him many times over the years, they were wonderful boys. Does any of his family live in the Spokane area?
Karla Guy posted 05/27/04 04:12 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I just wanted to let everyone of you know that Phil's son Phil Crosby Jr. is carrying on the legacy of crooning Crosby style! Check out his Site.

I've had the chance to hear him sing and was in awe or should i say I was swooned!!!!!

Karla Guy
Neil Rice posted 06/15/04 12:50 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
One of the best books I ever read was "Going My Own Way" by Gary Crosby. I saw Phil on the E Network"s "Mysteries and Scandals". I was shocked at his denials of the suicides of Lindsey and Dennis and his hatred of Gary.
I hope he found peace in the last years of his life.
One thing money does not buy is peace of mind.

Neil Rice
Judy Schmid posted 06/15/04 08:27 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Neil, my hunch is that you're either a troll or not someone who's spent any time here reading earlier posts - please know that Phil's children visit this site, as do Bing's other relatives.

Lee posted 06/15/04 08:56 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Too bad some people keep their head's buried in the National Enquirer believing every Martian landing story and refuse to read the facts available in many other sources.
Jon O. posted 06/15/04 12:42 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Neil apparently is not someone who has has spent time reading many other things, either. If he were, he would have known that many of the scathing things Gary wrote about his father were, by his own admission later in life, either exaggerated or altogether untrue - all for the sake of making a quick buck by attenpting to debunk the image of a greatly admired man who was no longer alive to defend himself.
Bob posted 06/15/04 03:20 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I think it's a spoof. Any reasonably well-read person would be ashamed to admit that Gary Crosby's book was one of the best he has ever read.
Sue Horn posted 06/19/04 11:53 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I agree with Bob and Judy, I don't think this is a serious post. Another thing, Gary's book isn't all that scathing, if you read the whole of it. The few really shocking bits were blown all out of proportion. In the book itself, Gary says that his problems with his dad were probably more due to his own alcoholism than anything else, an addiction which makes you feel you're the center of the universe. I am citing this from memory after about 10 years, so don't take it as a direct quote. My point is that even in the book itself, Gary was telling us to take things with a grain of salt. Later, as others have pointed out, he admitted that he wrote it to make some money and further recanted.

Cathie, RSC posted 06/19/04 10:21 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I have to chime in on this topic as well. I spoke with Gary over a three day period way back in the late 70's when Kathryn had her auction at Butterfield and Butterfield's in San Francisco. He readily admitted that his alcoholism and drug use definitely created major problems in his life.He made numerous attempts to apologize for his bad behavior when under the influence not only to people who talked to him but also to anyone who attended any of his shows during his drinking binges. I felt he was qute sincere in meeting the 12 step program guidelines. What ever possessed him to write that book, at least it seems to me, could only have been because of his need for money and that he was given some very, very bad advice. What ever his rationale might have been I prefer to think of that Gary that showed caring concern for his Aunt Mary Rose during the auction as well as interacting with Kathryn and other family members in a similar manner. This is so much better than thinking of the father hating son that he is portrayed to be.
Steven Lewis posted 06/20/04 12:58 PM Central Time (US)     No E-mail no email address given
It seems there are two groups of opinion about Gary Crosby and his book about Bing. One group has Gary recanting his book as an alcoholic delusion intended to make a quick buck. The other group views Gary's book as the definitive interpretation of Papa Bing, child abuser. Both are extreme views.

I don't know of any evidence that Gary ever recanted his book. He did concede the book got "out of hand" and some of its contents were exaggerated. However, I haven't found any evidence that Gary went to his grave with affection for his Dad. There was no love of Gary for his Dad, and this is evident in interviews long after the publication of "Going My Own Way."

This does not necessarily mean that Bing was an abusive father. Bing was the most significant person in Gary's life, and just as we like to blame economic woes on a sitting president regardless of the merits, Gary blamed his depression on his dad. For Gary this blame gave him the added bonus of income when his health and career were at its ebb.
Jon O. posted 06/20/04 07:21 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Gary's book came out in '83, hot on the heels of the "Mommie Dearest" firestorm of controversy (MD hit the stores in, I believe, 1977, and the movie followed in '81). I admit I'm making an assumption that he was going for a "quick buck", but the timing of Gary’s book, which came out after the MD movie had just enjoyed boatloads of publicity, seems suspect. I believe in politics it’s called “riding coattails”.

As for his ambivalent (to put it kindly) feelings toward his dad, sadly they did not appear to have ever changed. Even by 1991, in AandE's Bing Biography, Gary said that love was too strong a word to describe his feelings toward Bing. Should we believe what he had to say in front of a rolling camera? Who knows? What's certain is that he was the major contributor to the near destruction of an icon's legacy.

Cathie, the Butterfield's auction of Bing's belongings was in 1982, when Gary's book was probably about ready to go to the printer. Make of that what you will.
Cathie, RSC posted 06/21/04 05:21 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Jon, Thank you for your correction on the date of the auction. You are absolutely right and indeed Gary was in the process of writing the book as he so stated to Hobie during one of their conversation. Little did any of us know that it would end up to be so poisoneous in content. My point about Gary was that at the time of the auction and during the various encounters with him during this time is that he appeared a different individual than what was revealed in his book. I am not defending Gary for what he wrote I am attempting to show, as a first person observer an other side to his chracter.
Jon O. posted 06/21/04 10:23 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Point well taken, Cathie.

Lee posted 06/22/04 08:55 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Actually, in attempting to show Gary's good side, I think you have really shown another evil streak. He fooled you, and what must have been others too at the time, into thinking he was writing this great book about his father, the man you admired so much, and all the while he knew he was really writing a smear job filled with lies and distortions that he knew would be a slap in your face. So though you innocently tried to show Gary's good side, you've really shown a more devious character at work who all the while was smiling in your face. Seems there's no getting around it, Gary was a do-badder.
Cathie posted 06/22/04 10:11 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
My whole point about Gary and despite what the latest posting on the board indicates I am no defender or admirer of his bad behavior or his writing inability. I was merely pointing out that I saw a different personality during my three day interaction with him. Again I restate that this opinion comes as a first person observer. Now having said that I will now retire to my Ivory Tower and ponder why I was so innocent in this observation. ;:: wearing sack cloth and ashes of course :::
Lee posted 06/22/04 10:36 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
No need to say "despite the last poster" I was merely saying he was fooling you with his nice treatment he gave you because all the while he was really writing a book he knew you wouldn't appreciate. I am trying to be on your side, so don't get nasty.
chris posted 08/25/04 01:53 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
does anyone here know of the scheduled "reconciliation" that Bing was to have had with his sons upon his never-to-be return from spain? i've heard that a meeting had been called, apparently, for a restoration of whatever (in the boys' upbringing) had been lost between them and bing through the years. is that true, or just an urban legend? if it is true, then that would have been pretty big of them all.
Jon O. posted 08/25/04 11:08 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
A photo exists, circa 1971, of Bing with his four sons from his first family. They all appeared to be pretty happy.
Sue Horn posted 08/27/04 06:52 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I don't think Bing needed a reconciliation with all of his sons, and I know that Phil never had a falling out (public or private) with his dad. I am surprised by Chris' comment that it would have been pretty big of the boys to accept such a reconciliation. Why Bing is the bad guy in all of this I'll never know. His kids had all the education they wanted, the chance to live and work on a ranch, love from imperfect parents (as are we all) and never had to work a day in their lives if they didn't want to, despite all the talk of their having been cut off financially. Something doesn't gibe. I think Bing is the only father blamed for the deaths and unhappiness of his adult sons years and years after his own.

chris posted 08/27/04 09:23 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
as a bing fan, i wasn't speculating, or implying anything un-toward on bing's part. reconciliation is good for any family. my father is a very nice man, and yet he made his own mistakes with us sons. certain issues needed reconciliation, even after some years had gone by. i'm sure the crosbys were no different. i carefully said "whatever was lost", which could speak of many families, certainly our own! -chris
Bob Copeland posted 09/23/04 11:06 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
To the best of my recolection I think some of the Crosby children went to Gonzaga University. I have spent several hours searching the internet to verify this and get nothing positive. Can anyone verify whether this is correct or not.

My wife has a friend that thinks that a friend of hers, Pat Foley, went to school there with the Crosby boys.
Malcolm Macfarlane, BING magazine posted 09/24/04 02:35 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
None of Bing's sons went to Gonzaga although at least one of his grandsons did.
howard crosby posted 09/24/04 07:55 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
My son, Samuel Crosby, is now a senior in the honors program at Gonzaga. My neice, maiden name Cathy Ferguson, graduated from Gonzaga in about 1976 with a BS in Chemistry. Her Dad, my brother in law Robert L Ferguson, graduated in about 1956 with a BS in Physics.

And of course my Dad, Edward J (Ted) Crosby, was the family pioneer at the University, graduating in 1921 with a BA in Philosophy, and in 1924 with an MA in English.
leslie crosby posted 10/06/04 12:02 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
My husband Kevin Crosby (Lindsay's son) also went to Gonzaga. This is the first time we have read this site and it's great to see how many people loved Bing and his sons. Kevin and I were in Spokane for Bing 100th last year and it was wonderful to meet so many fans - and people who knew Bing and Kevin's dad. I knew it made my husband feel good to know that people remeber the good about the family not just the bad.
Sue Horn posted 10/06/04 10:38 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Thank you for writing something here, I hope you feel welcome and come back often!! It's wonderful to have family members here.
Jon O. posted 10/06/04 10:53 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Welcome, Leslie. I saw a photo in BING magazine (#134) of you and your husband, along with Flip and Mary, at last year's Gonzaga 100th B-day celebration. I could tell Kevin was Lindsay's son before I even read the caption -- he's the spitting image of his dad.

Hope you enjoy this terrific website.
Ron Field posted 10/06/04 02:32 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Leslie and Kevin.
i met you at Gonzaga and we had a chat. You had just come back from your honeymoon to Paris.
Don't forget that invite is still open to you if you decide to visit Australia.
Just now I'm in Morton, Wa. and probably head back to Aus next month.
Ron Field
Dan Tocchini posted 01/07/05 12:39 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I went to Bellarmine with Phil, Denny And Gary...I was in the same class as Denny and Phil and was fairly close to both of them...and had a great time hanging with them....I also knew Gary but not as well because he was a senior when we were Sophmores....but we were all boarders at the school,so we spent a lot of non school time together...I remember we all used gather in the senior rec room and listen to all the Bing Crosby Radio shows with Gary, Phil And Denny ...And when they had the annual school play which Gary was the star Bing would send one of his writers down to help with the show.Denny and Phil and I spent much time together and they were really nice people and a lot of fun to be with,,,they were proud that they worked hard during the summer at Bing's Elko ranch and had thier own checking acct, because of the money they earned working there...they were also kids that could take care of themselves physically...but not bullies....Because I live in northern Cal visited Phill only a couple of times at his house near Calabassas...But talked to him several times on the phone And he attended my Peppertree theatre(since torn down) in Northridge many times...It was really a pleasure to have known Phil and Denny....I did not know Gary as well And He was gone after one year....I was really sorry to hear about Phil as I was when I heard about Denny....and have a picture in my home of Phil and Denny....and Think of them often...they are a part of my life that I will never forget....Dan
Richard posted 02/08/05 12:16 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Sorry to hear of Phil's passing! Now all the Crosby boys from Bing's first marriage are gone! I met Gary Crosby in Wiesbaden, Germany in the 1950's when Gary, a US Soldier, was a DJ on AFN Radio, Franfkfurt! Gary recorded two songs with our 16 piece USAFE AMBASSADOR BAND. One song was "One For My Baby (And one more for the road.") Gary was a "crack up" in his younger days! Sang a little like his DAD! Sad to hear about Phil's passing away!
Leslie Sease posted 06/16/05 03:02 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I dated Phil in the 60's when I lived in Downey, CA (he was between show girl wives). He was a lot of fun and we had some hilarious times. I'm sorry to hear of his passing but know he is at peace now.

I wish his family success in their lives.

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