Key Personality: Bing Crosby

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Crosby is a Key Personality for:
Bing Crosby
Anglo-American Popular Culture in Peace and War

  • Bing Crosby was born in Washington state in the US. He moved to California in the 1920s to become a singer.
  • He enjoyed a very successful career almost straight away. The invention of microphones and recording tapes allowed him to become one of the first successful recording artists. He would go on to become the most successful recording artist of the 20th century.
  • By 1931, he had his own radio show, and he performed live on the NBC and CBS stations. His distinctive, crooning style allowed him to perform a wide range of songs. Some of his first hits include Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?, Red Sails in the Sunset and Alexander's Ragtime Band. He has his biggest hit in 1942 with White Christmas.
  • Crosby also enjoyed a successful film career. He was a top box office draw during the 1930s and 40s, and he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1944 for his role as Fr. O'Malley in Going My Way.
  • During World War II, Crosby contributed to the war effort by entertaining soldiers at military camps and promoting war bonds to fund the effort. After the war, a magazine poll named him as the person who had done the most for soldiers' morale. Crosby continued to perform up as far as the 1970s. He died aged 74 in 1977.

In short...

  • Background:
    • Born in Washington state, moved to California to pursue a singing career..
  • Singing Career:
    • Enjoyed quick success.
    • Invention of microphone and recording tape allowed him to become one of the first recording artists.
    • Crooning style allowed him a wide range. Most famous song is White Christmas (1942).
  • Film Career:
    • Top box-office draw in the 1930s and 1940s.
    • Won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1944 for his role as Fr. O'Malley in Going My Way.
  • World War II:
    • Entertained troops in military camps and promoted war bonds.
    • Named as the person who did the most to raise soldiers' morale.

Crosby in 1977, singing "Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy" with David Bowie.