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Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings

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Album Review

In early 1956, Bing Crosby ended the two long-term company affiliations that had defined his career for more than 20 years, leaving his exclusive associations with Paramount Pictures and Decca Records. Thereafter, he made movies and records on a freelance basis. The immediate results were more felicitous for his film work than his recording, as he went to MGM for the successful movie High Society. As a recording artist, in rapid succession he cut the movie soundtrack for Capitol (January-February); a new album for Decca, Songs I Wish I Had Sung (The First Time Around) (April); and a new album for Verve, Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings (June). The third was the least likely. Twenty-five-year-old Buddy Bregman, a friend of Crosby's son Gary, had recently been appointed an A&R executive at the fledgling Verve. His idea for Crosby was to copy the formula of recent Nelson Riddle-arranged Frank Sinatra successes such as Songs for Swingin' Lovers — take a collection of inter-war standards and give them punchy big-band arrangements. The approach was well-suited to the aggressive Sinatra, who wasn't shy about editing the arrangements himself, but singularly inappropriate to the affable Crosby, who left everything to his arranger/conductor. The 12 songs, none of which Crosby had released commercially before, were great standards from the likes of Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Berlin, and Gershwin, and Crosby turned in typically witty interpretations. But Bregman's repetitive, overly busy arrangements, full of loud, sudden horn blats and splats, forced the singer to compete for attention and occasionally smothered him completely. Crosby was looking for a way back to commercial appeal with this experiment. But the three albums were all released within a period of weeks in August and September, and only the film soundtrack got a fair hearing and became a hit.

Customer Reviews

Prime Crosby

A fantastic, swingin', rather concise outing; the way the richness of Crosby's voice is captured by these later advancements in recording technology make you wish a sound like this was possible for his recordings in the 30s/40s. Spectacular renditions of "Nice Work If You Can Get It", "Jeepers Creepers", "Blue Room" & "Cheek to Cheek", as well as a number of lesser known tunes, none of which dissapoint. Highly recommended for Crosby fans, Sinatra fans, swing fans, jazz fans... anybody who is willing to listen, really.

The Best

I believe this is the best album Bing ever did by himself. The charts really swing. Buddy Bregman's Orchestra is in top form...


Genre: Classics

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...
Full Bio

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Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings, Bing Crosby
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