Martin Litton : MD & Piano
John Petters : Drums & Vocals
James Evans : Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Vocals
Trevor Whiting : Clarinet, Alto & Tenor Saxophones
John Day : Double Bass
Harry Lillis ‘Bing’ Crosby, born on 3rd May 1903 was the voice of the 20th century. He sold more records than Sinatra, Presley or the Beatles. White Christmas is the biggest selling single of all time. His radio audiences in the 30s and 40s were numbered in millions. He won several Oscars.
Bing was known as Mr Smooth in latter years, but at heart he was always a jazzer. He started his musical career playing drums in a jazz band. His early recordings with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra featured Bix Beiderbecke, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang. He worked with the Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington, the Boswell sisters, the Mills Brothers and Louis Armstrong. With Harry Barris and Al Rinker, the Rhythm Boys sang jazz. Bing was the first white vocalist to adopt the new singing style invented by Louis Armstrong. He came along at the right time, just as the microphone and electric recordings came into being. He could croon into the recording machine, where Al Jolson had been forced to bellow.
As a solo singer in the early ‘30s he laid down definitive versions of popular American standards such as Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust. His recording of Brother Can You Spare a Dime became the anthem of the Depression. Films like Pennies From Heaven, The Road To ... series, with Bob Hope, Holiday Inn and Blue Skies with Fred Astaire and High Society with Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Princess Grace Kelly endeared the lovable Bing to audiences world wide.
His final appearance was at the London Palladium in 1977. From there, after a triumphant concert, he flew to Spain to play his beloved game of golf. On the course, after playing a round, he collapsed from a massive heart attack, in October 1977 and the world lost a truly great star.
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