A BING CROSBY DISCOGRAPHY

A LISTING OF THE STUDIO RECORDINGS AND SONGS FROM RADIO SHOWS AND FILMS 

by J Richard Baker ("Jarbie")

THIS DISCOGRAPHY IS ASSOCIATED WITH 'CROSBY FAN WORLD' - a portal to many sites and information relating to Bing, and to

THE 'CROSBY FAN WORLD' DISCUSSION FORUM'

"He was the first hip white person born in the United States"- Artie Shaw

INTRODUCTION

THE STATISTICS are stupendous. RECORDINGS - 383 recordings in the top 30, 41 reaching No. 1. And that is just in the US. 23 Gold and Platinum records - and they were not even introduced until 1958 when his career was nearly over. Music sales estimated at anything between 500,000,000 and 900.000.000. The first to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  More - much more - FILMS - For the  years 1934, 1937, 1940, 1943-1954 he was in the top 10 at the box office. He introduced four Academy Award-winning songs - "Sweet Leilani"(1937), "White Christmas" (1942), "Swinging on a Star" (1944), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (1951). An Oscar for acting in Going My Way (1944). RADIO - hosted top rated radio shows for over twenty years. Many more figures could be quoted but that is not the purpose of these pages, which is to list the recordings and radio shows for which records have been issued. In the big numbers department, no one else comes close despite claims made on behalf of others. You don't have to believe me - just look at the statistics on the sites listed on the Crosby Fan World Pages.

This database has been compiled on software named "Brian" which was developed by Steve Albin, who has given considerable help in furthering the project. Details of "Brian" and the many other Discographies compiled on it can be found at www.JazzDiscography. com

This update is dated November 2011 and incorporates some new CD issues of June to December 2011, additions to the radio listings and a number of corrections.

1 THE STUDIO RECORDINGS 

All recordings are listed by sessions under dates, recording companies, venues, matrix numbers and CD issues in groups:

1a The Pre-Decca Years to 1934.

1b The Decca Years 1934 to 1955.

1c Post-Decca Years 1956 to 1977.

1d 'V'-Discs

2 THE RADIO SHOWS

Song titles only are listed. Signature tunes, the comedy routines, "sketches",  and musical items where the only participants were guest stars are NOT listed unless the "guest" solos on an item included in a complete listed recording of the show in which case the item bears the suffix (G). Dates shown are broadcast dates, with recording date noted when different and known. 

For a complete history in narrative form of all the radio programmes, including notes on comedy routines, sketches, contributions by guests, and newspaper reviews of the time, together with much other information, I refer to the extraordinarily comprehensive and painstaking work of Lionel Pairpoint on the 'Bing' Magazine website

2a Early (Pre-Kraft Music Hall). Very few recordings survive and I do not list those unlikely to have done so.

2b Kraft Music Hall. 5 December 1935 to 9 May 1946 plus two later Al Jolson shows with Bing as guest.

Most of the early and middle period shows have not survived, and my listing is not therefore complete. With the arrival of John Scott Trotter as musical director from 7 October 1937, many of the musical items were recorded, and it is believed that around 500 titles survive. I list all musical items with Bing from that point. A number of complete shows have also survived, but there is no consistency and there are a great many gaps. Inclusion in my listing is no guarantee of survival, unless I specifically show that a CD or LP has been commercially released.

2c Philco Radio Time. 16 October 1946 to 1 June 1949

All the programmes in the main sequences from this point on were pre-recorded for broadcast and all the shows have survived. All are therefore listed. Substantial parts of both musical and non musical items have been issued on LP and CD. I note where complete shows or major parts have been so issued, but do not list individual non-musical items unless there is some special feature,.

2d Chesterfield Cigarettes Presents The Bing Crosby Show. 21 September 1949 to 25 June 1952.

2e The Bing Crosby Show For General Electric Company. 9 October 1952 to 30 May 1954.

Some of these shows, particularly the later ones, used recordings from a 'libary' and some identical titles are repeated, not all of which have been identified. I nonetheless list the shows in the form in which they were broadcast.

2f The CBS Radio Shows (The Bing Crosby Show 1954-1956, The Ford Road Show 1957-1958 and The Crosby-Clooney Show 1960-1962) 

This group is treated as one. The shows were all compiled from pre-recorded tracks assembled into a 'library', many songs being used on several occasions, with inserted dialogue between Bing, Ken Carpenter and Rosemary Clooney. As listing by broadcast dates would entail endless repetition of the same recordings, the listing instead follows the format of the studio recordings, by recording dates.

2g All other radio shows and miscellaneous other material.

Includes AFRS, Mail Call, Lux Music Theatre and other radio material, plus a few miscellaneous items with no other natural home. Bing appeared in many radio programmes as host, principal performer, guest or interviewee.  Some have been the subject of issues in series where other stars were the hosts, with Bing only on isolated tracks. I am not in a position to identify and list all such appearances.

3  FILM RECORDINGS

Recording sessions for titles included in film soundtracks and publicity discs released by film studios, where the music has been commercially released on CD.

4  INDICES

4a Songs. Alphabetical listing of all songs with the date of performance.

4b Artists. Alphabetical listing of all artists with a note of their involvement.

4c Song Writers. Alphabetical listing of writers and their songs.

4d Abreviations used for roles and instruments. An explanation of the three character abbreviations for the roles or the artists.

 ISSUES

Restated by label, record title and catalogue numbers with track titles. Where the title originates from a radio broadcast the fact will normally be evident by the note (eg  KMH 75 or Philco 1, the number showing the place in the sequence of programmes). A matrix number indicates a studio recording except for the later years where matrices were not allocated. Some recordings from radio were remastered for official commercial issue

5a CD Issues. I also list MP3 downloads where no other direct CD equivalents exist. Many of the CDs are also available as downloads from various internet sources, but it is impractical to list these.

5b LP Issues - covering only radio or non-commercial recordings.


INFORMATION, ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS

I ask for any contributions to correct errors, and also to expand on the list of issues, particularly where the titles are otherwise unrepresented. In the meantime I express my thanks to the several people, now too many to note individually, who have contacted me with ideas and corrections or indicated their support. It is reassuring and refreshing to know that so many people worldwide are interested in the Crosby legacy.

Whilst I am keen to exchange information for genuine research, including where necessary copies of individual tracks, please, I beg, do not ask me for copies to complete gaps or fill "wants lists".


CREDITS AND REFERENCE MATERIAL.

I list valuable reference material and much else, together with links to various fan sites and sources of information on related pages at "Crosby Fan World"

NOTES

This database started with my own record collection. Many listed records are or have been in my collection, but I have added a number of direct equivalents (where for example US and UK or Australian labels and numbers differ), and also some important issues that I have failed to acquire, provided that I am moderately confident that I have correctly identified the content. I have listed all known surviving commercial studio recordings but certainly not covered all issues. I am indebted to the work of Lionel Pairpoint and his successors who have done extraordinary original research on the radio shows. There are several listings of CDs and LPs (particularly the latter) where the track listing is incomplete. This arises from lack of confidence as to the precise source - (Radio, studio recording, date or take).

My intention is to list the recordings of Bing in a way that shows what songs are on which CDs (and for radio broadcasts only, LPs). I have attempted to identify takes on the listed CDs, but I give no warranty that this is accurate. Corrections are most welcome.

There are many compilations where Bing is merely one of many artists, and many recycle the top forty or so titles which I deliberately do not list. I make no attempt to give comprehensive personnel listings and would refer any who are interested to Timothy Morgereth, the booklet notes accompanying the "Chronological" series from Jonzo and "Through The Years" series from Sepia and to Fred Reynolds, though I do note that there are a number of differences, not just of individual musicians, but even bands in the immediate post Whiteman era, between these publications. I note orchestras, leaders and duettists. Instrumentalists have been included in the earlier recordings where there were a preponderance of jazzmen who were prominent or became so, such as Eddie Lang or Bix Beiderbecke.

I have not covered rejected and unissued titles and takes where these are believed no longer to survive. Those listed are believed to exist. I apologise readily for any omissions of important issues that might contain these neglected recordings and hereby invite information, please.

The information relating to recording sessions has been compiled primarily from the data contained in the notes accompanying the CD series "The Chronological Bing Crosby" and "Through The Years" so far as those series extend. This has been supplemented by information contained in the excellent publications listed at "Crosby Fan World" all of which I recommend, together with the comment that the later publications have the benefit of up to date research and discoveries. For later recordings I used the references noted but I also had to hand a much wider variety of sources built up over 56 years of collecting, including the original 78's and LPs, publications of the time, and other items published by (primarily) the ICC.

Keen collectors are in debt to those eho issued the "Chronological" series on the "Jonzo" label and their successors 'Through The Years' on the Sepia label, between them giving a complete high quality sequence of recordings from the start of Bing's career up to the end of his association with Decca.

A new and very welcome source has appeared on the scene during 2010 - Bing Crosby Enterprises, and their associate HLC Properties Ltd., who have issued in collaboration with Mosaic Records, Collector's Choice Records, and Beach Road Music, an avalanche of CDs or MP3 downloads containing a considerable amount of high quality material, much of which has not been previously available on CD, with a high proportion derived from recordings which were made for radio use.

A warning.  There are many issues, both CDs or LPs, that contain inaccurate or misleading information in sleeve notes. Typically they relate to recording dates but also extend to incorrect titles and claims of origin. The issues of radio material are most vulnerable to such errors but 'official' releases are not immune, though issues from the mainstream companies specifically aimed at keen collectors (regrettably few for radio material) - are usually well researched, and issues in which certain prominent members of the ICC were involved have a "quality seal". For the rest, grateful as one might be for the fact of the issue, caution is needed.

My E-mail address for any comments, contributions or corrections is Jarbie01@gmail.com   

J Richard Baker

November 2011