[Dixielandjazz] Re: A little more about Crosby

Russ Guarino russg at redshift.com
Sat Mar 1 08:03:45 PST 2003

I heard, once again from a source I cannot name or remember, that Crosby could
not read music as could not the Andrew Sisters.  If this is true, the fact that
they were both so productive is remarkable.

Russ Guarino

John Petters wrote:

> Ron said
> > It is also a matter of dynamics.   Early vocalists, often stage
> > performers would have sung without amplification.  They sang loudly and
> > enunciated clearly.  Bing may not have had sufficient power and/or
> > clarity to be effective as an acoustical recording artist.
> I would be very surprised if Bing did not have the power in his voice to
> sing acouistically. The early (pre 1935) voice had a very powerful quality
> to it and the impression I get is one of a considerable dynamic range. I
> also read somewhere that when recording, Bing preferred to be among the band
> rather than in a booth. He was after all a band singer and Whiteman's
> Orchestra must have been pretty loud.
> On a slightly different tack, my latest touring project is a Crosby
> Centenary show - 'Bing - The Road to Rhythm & Romance'. When I was
> discussing the material for the show with my MD Martin Litton, we came to
> the conclusion that we could do a whole show just with stuff Bing recorded
> in the 31 - 33 period. There were so many great songs. In the end of course
> we started with the Rhythm Boys (From Monday On) up to the late '50s.
> Listening to Bing in detail together with reading Gary Giddings wonderful
> biography, once again brought it home to me just how much jazz there was in
> Crosby. Sure he recorded a whole load of slop at the insistance of Decca's
> Jack Kapp, but jazz is never far below the surface. When he had free reign,
> such as Sweet Georgia Brown, My Honey's Lovin' Arms, Shine or Dinah (the
> latter 3 with the Mills Bros)  Crosby the jazz singer really comes to the
> fore. Also, of course, there is the wonderful recording of Mississippi Mud
> with Bix and Tram. Wonderful stuff.
> Comparing Bing to the likes of Seger Ellis or Irving Kaufman, who Bix was
> saddled with, is like comparing chalk with cheese. Bing just leaps out as
> something fresh and new.
> Any DJML members not familiar with Bing's early stuff could do no better
> than obtain some of the Jonzo Chronolgical Crosby's with sound restored by
> John R T Davies and Ted Kendall.
> John Petters
> www.traditional-jazz.com
> Amateur Radio Station G3YPZ
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