Out of Bing's range: Sailor Beware

Candace Scott posted 05/27/06 09:43 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
One of the most curious Bing recordings has got to be Sailor Beware from 1936. This song is included on volume two of "Bing Crosby, Going Hollywood." The song was supposed to be included in the film Anything Goes, but it never made the cut. Can someone share why the song was axed? I assume because the song is fairly inane.

The odd thing about this tune is that Bing sings it an octave higher than his usual baritone range. I don't know if he was merely experimenting or if the arragement was to blame. I can't recall any other song where Bing is straining to sound almost like a tenor. It's odd listening to him in this register, though not unpleasant. Even when singing out of his comfort zone, Bing still sounds wonderful.

I'm constantly amazed at the knowledge shown on this board, so I'm confident someone can enlighten us about this little-known (for good reason) ditty called Sailor Beware. Why was it not included in the film and why was Bing singing it like a tenor?
Dieter Beier posted 05/28/06 03:12 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Candace, Sailor Beware is not cut from Anything Goes film..Bing sings the song with top hat on board of ship staying on the mast while Ida Lupino lays in her cabin listening. It is one of the real most memorable scenes of this film, delightful camera and art work (oscar winning camera man Karl Struss and Hans Dreier) all directed by oscar winner - All Quiet On Western Front - Lewis Milestone. I liked this song since my early Crosby fan times. The song has some tricky lyrics by very underrated Leo Robin.
Don Lamb posted 05/28/06 03:24 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Candace: In the VCR copy of "Anything Goes" that I have, the song is included. Did you perchance obtain a recording of this movie from a TV channel which edited out the song because of time constraints? I once watched "Pennies From Heaven" on a local TV station, which cut out the scene with the title song, apparently to make room for more commercials. There's a case of brilliant editing for you!
Arne posted 05/28/06 03:49 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I have also seen the number in the film. I am, perhaps, not as fond of the scene in the film as you are, Dieter, but it's OK. I am, however, a BIG fan of the Decca recording from that year, complete with a great Georgie Stoll arrangement and Bing jazz-singing at his mid-thirties, Armstrongian best. Especially on the take that was used on the old Bing's Hollywood "Pennies From Heaven" LP. The alternate take is not as good, with Bing sounding a little less confident. Candace, I can't remember if the "Going Hollywood" CD has the soundtrack version, or one of these two Decca takes? It should say in the liner notes (I won't be able to check mine till tomorrow).
Dieter Beier posted 05/28/06 04:02 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Arne,itīs the B-take on Jasmineīs Going Hollywood,Vol.2.
Candace Scott posted 05/28/06 10:53 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I meant to say in my original post that the version on the the Jasmine CD "Bing Crosby Going Hollywood" was not included in Anything Goes. As the liner notes state, "Sailor Beware was considered for inclusion in 'Anything Goes,' but dropped, finally making its appearance here.

It's been 25 years since I've seen the original 'Anything Goes' and can't remember if Bing sings the song like a tenor in the film. The disgarded version on the CD has Bing singing way out of his range. Does he sing the song this way in the film as well?

God, I wish all of Bing's films were available on DVD!
Dieter Beier posted 05/28/06 11:56 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
If I understand the liner notes right I Canīt Escape From You was written for a not-produced Paramount picture that should be called "Sailor Beware" and Bing should sing this song in "Anything Goes",but was dropped and sung in "Rhytm On The Range".
Lyrical is Sailor Beware similiar in the film and sung slightly jazzy,but the second chorus is more pathetical with chorus.But it is a fine number and created in superb 30ties "Art Deco" style(some of the best films in that way are the Astaire/Rogers musical of that time).
Dave Duncan posted 05/28/06 11:17 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
As others have mentioned, the song was not cut from the film so the notes from the cd are incorrect. as for Bing singing like a tenor or in a higher key - this also is not the case. Bing sings it within his normal range (and sings it well too). I haven't listened to the CD you have however I'd say that there may be a speed alteration to that particular recording. I have an old series of LP's that featured Bing's film soundtrack songs entitled "Going Hollywood" and on some of those, the transfer to the LP was done at an incorrect speed pitching Bing's voice and the tempo of the song much higher than supposed to be. This may be the case with your CD. Hope this helps,
Arne posted 05/29/06 02:12 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Well, just popped the Jasmine CD into the computer and got my answer. It is the "less confident" take from that nov. 13, 1935 session (see my previous post on this thread). The other take, as released on the Bing's Hollywood "Pennies From heaven" LP from 1962, is different in small, but important ways: Bing attacks the upper notes differently; in the other take, he is much more aggressive, more assured. In this "Jasmine" take, he seems to back off the high notes, as if experimenting with a softer attack. It doesn't work as good, and I think his more "shy" attack here is what's making you think the pitch is too high for him, Candace. Actually, Bing still had quite an impressive upper register in 1935, and if you can get your hands on either that 1962 "Pennies" LP, or the Jonzo CD #17 which contains BOTH takes, you'll hear the slight but significant difference. One thing I DO like about this take on the Jasmine CD is the fact that the guitar, played by the superb Bobby Sherwood, is more funky and punchy, rhythmically, than in the other take.
Arne posted 05/29/06 02:25 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Oh, and I just checked the liner notes. They are not incorrect, you just need to take a closer look at that sentence: As Dieter has noted above, it reads that "I Can't Escape from You" was meant to be a a proposed FILM called "Sailor Beware" (never made), but was later used in "Rhythm On The Range". The way the title "Sailor Beware" is in boldface possibly was misleading.

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