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Bing Crosby: The Radio Years, Vol. 2

Bing Crosby

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Album Review

GNP Crescendo's release of The Radio Years, Vols. 1-2 in 1987 (the volumes were available separately or together) wasn't the debut of these mid-'50s recordings, but for the first time master discs from Crosby's own collection were used, resulting in clear performances and, for the most part, excellent quality. Informal and gently swinging on most of the selections (a natural considering the high novelty content on his shows), Crosby shines on favorites such as "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Everybody Loves My Baby," and "That Lucky Old Sun." Thirteen of the 25 tracks are duets with special guests on the show, such as Bob Hope on "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake," Jimmy Durante on "You Gotta Start Off Each Day With a Song," Maurice Chevalier on "Lois," and Peggy Lee for "On a Slow Boat to China" and "Cuanto le Gusta." Inferior material on the second volume — like "Zip a Dee Doo Dah," "Vaya con Dios," and an unfortunately dramatic reading of "On Top of Old Smokey" with Burl Ives — make it less essential than the first, but both are essential buys for Crosby fans.

Biography

Born: 03 May 1903 in Tacoma, WA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Bing Crosby was, without doubt, the most popular and influential media star of the first half of the 20th century. The undisputed best-selling artist until well into the rock era (with over half a billion records in circulation), the most popular radio star of all time, and the biggest box-office draw of the 1940s, Crosby dominated the entertainment world from the Depression until the mid-'50s, and proved just as influential as he was popular. Unlike the many vocal artists before him, Crosby grew...
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