Gary Giddins, his generation’s most eminent jazz writer and author of the award winning biography Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams: The Early Years, 1903 – 1940, talks with us about his brilliant second book on Crosby, Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940 – 1946. The interview is a fascinating read — a virtual history of Crosby’s life and his impact on America during its most consequential decade. Featuring photos, music and film clips, and information about Giddins’ experience studying Crosby for 25 years....
October 25th, 2018
Born Edward Chester Babcock, this American composer wrote songs for films, television and theater, and won four Academy Awards for Best Original Song, including in 1944 for “Swinging on a Star,” co-written by Johnny Burke and made famous by Bing Crosby in the film Going My Way. Who is he?
Jimmy Van Heusen
Go to the next page for the answer!
September 5th, 2018
Playing at Los Angeles’ Cocoanut Grove club, and featuring singers that included Bing Crosby, this bandleader led the top West Coast big band during the 20’s and 30’s. Who was he?
July 28th, 2014
This vocalist’s recording of “My Blue Heaven” was considered the top-selling recording of all-time prior to 1942, when Bing Crosby recorded “White Christmas.” Who was he?
Jelly Roll Morton...
December 9th, 2013
“I suppose you could say that the seeds of my next book, a full-length biography of Louis Armstrong, were planted three years ago, when I was writing an essay for the New York Times about Armstrongs centenary in which I called him “jazz’s most eminent Victorian,” Terry Teachout wrote in his August 17, 2004 Arts Journal blog.
Three years after the Times piece was published, he took a tour of the Louis Armstrong House in Queens and came away with the enthusiasm required of such an endeavor....
June 27th, 2005
Excerpted from Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams by Gary Giddins
To hip musicians in Chicago, scat had been the rage for months. Bing and some of the other adventurous musicians in Whiteman’s band heard it that very week from the master himself, Louis Armstrong. If mobster Al Capone ruled the city, Armstrong ruled its music. Whatever he played was instantly picked up by other musicians. The previous spring Okeh issued his Hot Five recording of “Heebie Jeebies,” and it caused a sensation, selling some 40,000 copies thanks to his inspired vocal chorus – a torrent of bristling grunts and groans in no known language....
June 22nd, 2004
When Gary Giddins, the jazz critic and columnist for the Village Voice, began work on an in-depth biography of Bing Crosby, many asked him, “Why?” He has explained that Crosby, perhaps the most famous entertainer in America between 1927 and 1956, has been unjustly forgotten since his death in 1977....
March 22nd, 2001