Thursday, 8 May 2014

Retro Vinyl Spotlight: Bing Crosby

Recent perusals through charity shops have enabled me to find some great vinyl albums by Bing Crosby. One of the most popular singers of the 20th century, its not surprising that there is much in the way of recorded matter by the legendary star. I've probably been seriously looking for Bing recordings for over a year now and what surprises me is how few certain recordings rarely appear on current compilations.

The High Society soundtrack (above) featuring Bing with Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly was a nice find in Carmarthen recently, with  fabulous cover art!

The same time I found High Society I also found this 1962 Warner Brothers recording of Bing's Christmas LP I Wish You A Merry Christmas - another great cover!

The Very Best of Bing is a 1973 box set produced by the World Record Club featuring highlights from Bing's early years. The copy I found a few months back featured a facsimile letter from Bing Crosby introducing the collection and a few pages from a 1977 Daily Mail announcing his death. I really liked this set featuring a selection of familiar and not so familiar tracks, all in original mono format!

101 Gang Songs Part 1 finds Bing at the beginning of the 1960s with a lyric sheet included so the listener can join in with a sing song - beating The Beatles to printing lyrics on an album by several years - who says Crosby wasn't an innovator?

Coral reissued several classic Crosby cuts on LP in the early 1970s , Rhythm On The Range was an attempt to capture Bing's wild west recordings to a point of editing an orchestral section out of San Antonia Rose in order to keep in with the albums feel - sacrilege!

Wrap Up Your Troubles In Dreams was another 1970s retrospective looking at Bing's 1930s output, nicely packaged with detailed sleeve notes.

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