Bing Crosby - História

Bing Crosby - História

Bing Crosby

1903- 1977

Cantor

Nascido em 3 de maio de 1903 em Tacoma Washington, o calmante barítono de Bing Crosby trouxe-lhe o sucesso do rádio ao cinema e à televisão. Visto como um dos criadores da música "pop", Crosby teve quase 50 sucessos Top-Ten na década de 1940, incluindo "White Christmas" e "Swingin 'on a Star". "White Christmas" continua sendo o single mais popular da história das gravações, com vendas de mais de 30 milhões. As habilidades de atuação de Crosby foram reconhecidas com um Oscar por "Going My Way" de 1944 e ele se juntou ao comediante Bob Hope por uma série de memoráveis ​​filmes de "estrada".


Primeira mão: a evolução do programa de rádio Bing Crosby

Nos últimos anos, as pessoas me perguntaram sobre minha associação com Bing Crosby e seu programa de rádio. Uma questão que se destaca é a respeito da edição de seus programas gravados. As pessoas acreditavam que os programas de rádio eram performances reais do público que foram gravadas para uma transmissão posterior. No entanto, eles observaram a mesma música aparecendo em diferentes programas de rádio e até mesmo em gravações da Decca, e essa repetição do material causou confusão sobre como os shows foram produzidos. A verdadeira resposta é que o programa de rádio evoluiu ao longo dos anos à medida que os processos de gravação e edição melhoravam. Abordei esse problema em meu artigo de primeira mão, Bing Crosby e a Revolução da Gravação [1] no site Engineering and Technology History Wiki, e minha apresentação no encontro anual International Club Crosby [2] em Leeds, Inglaterra, em outubro de 2014. No entanto, como as técnicas de produção foram parte fundamental do programa de rádio, sua evolução merece uma explicação mais detalhada.


Compartilhado Todas as opções de compartilhamento para: Bing Crosby era proprietário parcial do Tigers

Foto por Pictorial Parade / Archive Photos / Getty Images

Quando as pessoas pensam em Bing Crosby, elas podem pensar com carinho no filme clássico Natal branco, ou sua voz de ouro. Ele foi indiscutivelmente um dos artistas mais famosos e bem-sucedidos de sua época.

Ele também era proprietário parcial do Pittsburgh Pirates e os Detroit Tigers.

Sua participação no Pirates é de longe a mais conhecida dos dois. Em 2010, foi descoberto que Crosby - que ajudou a criar e popularizar as gravações de filmes - tinha uma das únicas gravações do jogo sete da World Series 1960. Na verdade, Crosby pediu a seu assistente para gravar o jogo da transmissão de TV, algo que simplesmente não era uma prática comum em 1960.

A história de Crosby como fã e membro integrante da organização Pirates é um tesouro de factóides. Ele comprou ações da equipe no final dos anos 40 e manteve a propriedade parcial até os anos 60. Ele atuou como vice-presidente e possuía cerca de 15% da equipe.

Sua propriedade das ações da Tigers mal chega a uma nota de rodapé, mas em 10 de janeiro de 1957, o então comissário do beisebol, Ford Frick, determinou que Crosby pudesse manter suas ações da Detroit Tigers, apesar de ser co-proprietário da Piratas. De acordo com o obituário de Crosby, sua compra de ações da Tigers veio depois de sua compra com os Pirates, e ele possuía cerca de 5% da franquia Tigers.

Na época, quando Crosby aguardava o julgamento de Frick, alguns sugeriram que ele poderia ser forçado a vender ações de uma das equipes. O irmão de Crosby, Larry, aparentemente deixou bem claro que, se fosse esse o caso, Bing manteria suas ações do Pirates. Isso evidentemente se tornou um ponto discutível quando Frick governou a favor de Crosby.

“Bing tem apenas um controle simbólico no clube de Detroit. Ele fez isso apenas para entrar no negócio com os amigos ”, foi a declaração de Frick. Aparentemente, as ações de Crosby no Tigers valiam menos de US $ 1.000, o que Frick não considerava violado a regra de que ninguém poderia possuir "ações substanciais" em mais de um time da liga principal.

Curiosamente, a compra de ações da Tigers por Crosby ocorreu cerca de dez anos após a aquisição, em 1947, do grande Hank Greenberg da Tigers pelos Pirates. Os Pirates adquiriram Greenberg por cerca de US $ 35.000, graças a uma confusão envolvendo uma foto antiga de Greenberg em um uniforme dos Yankees que havia sido tirada durante o All-Star War Bond Game 1943, onde Greenberg havia esquecido seu uniforme dos Tigers (ele estaria usando um All-Star -Jérsei estrela para o jogo e não previu que precisaria do uniforme do time para um treino público, então alguém lhe emprestou um uniforme dos Yankees).

O renascimento desta foto irritou o então proprietário do Tigers, Walter Briggs. Em vez de promover Greenberg ao cargo de gerente geral, conforme Greenberg havia solicitado, Briggs vendeu seu contrato para Pittsburgh e seu novo proprietário: Bing Crosby.

Agradecemos ao Tigers History no Twitter por nos chamar a atenção para este assunto.


Na tela grande

No início dos anos 1930, Crosby assinou um contrato com a Paramount Pictures. Sua estrutura esguia e orelhas proeminentes podem não ter sido as características de um ator tradicionalmente bonito, mas o charme fácil e o jeito suave de Crosby rapidamente conquistaram o público do cinema. Ele começou em uma série de comédias musicais, como 1934 & aposs Aqui está meu coração, com Kitty Carlisle e 1936 & aposs Qualquer coisa serve, com Ethel Merman. Crosby também estrelou em 1936 Centavos do céu, que lhe deu outro single de sucesso com a faixa-título.

A carreira cinematográfica de Crosby & aposs continuou a florescer, atingindo seu pico na década de 1940. Ele co-estrelou com o comediante Bob Hope na popular série de Estrada fotos, que começou na década de 1940 The Road to Singapore. A dupla dinâmica na tela também criou uma afeição genuína um pelo outro fora da tela. Crosby e Hope permaneceram amigos por toda a vida e apareceram juntos em vários filmes. Com Dorothy Lamour como líder feminina, eles fizeram sete Estrada filmes juntos.

No ano seguinte, Crosby se juntou a outra estrela musical, Fred Astaire, para Holiday Inn. O filme apresentava música de Irving Berlin, incluindo um dos maiores sucessos de Crosby & aposs, & quotWhite Christmas & quot. Tomando uma virada paternal, Crosby estrelou como Padre Chuck O & aposMalley em 1944 & aposs Indo à minha maneira. Ele interpretou um padre católico romano caloroso e mundano, que ajuda a endireitar um grupo de crianças e, por sua vez, ajuda sua paróquia. Este papel dramático rendeu a Crosby seu único prêmio da Academia, que foi reprisado para 1945 e aposs. Os sinos de Santa Maria e aposs.

Voltando às comédias leves, Crosby se reuniu com Hope for 1946 & aposs Estrada para a utopia e 1947 & aposs Estrada para o rio. De acordo com alguns relatos, Crosby foi a estrela de maior bilheteria de 1944 a 1947. Até hoje, ele continua sendo um dos artistas de maior bilheteria de todos os tempos. Crosby continuou a aparecer em musicais, como 1954 & aposs Natal branco, com Danny Kaye e Rosemary Clooney. Com a canção-título do movie & aposs, Crosby mais uma vez alcançou o Top 10. Ele teve mais de 300 singles de sucesso durante sua longa carreira.

Naquele mesmo ano, Crosby deu o que alguns críticos chamam de sua melhor atuação dramática. Ele interpretou um ator alcoólatra em A garota country, com Grace Kelly interpretando sua esposa. Crosby recebeu sua indicação final ao Oscar por seu trabalho no filme. Dois anos depois, ele e Kelly se juntaram novamente para a comédia musical Alta sociedade, junto com o colega crooner Frank Sinatra. Crosby fez seu último Estrada filme com Hope e Dorothy Lamour em 1962 & aposs A estrada para Hong Kong.


Anos de Bing Crosby de Pebble Beach Pro-Am: grandes nomes, muita diversão

5 de 24 (da esquerda para a direita) Harrie Ward, Doug Ford, Ken Venturi Bayer, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby Cary Middlecoff e Mike Souchak iriam todos jogar no Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Foto de 10/10/1956, p . 4H Bob Campbell / The Chronicle Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

6 de 24 Tony Lema sai da armadilha do segundo buraco do campo de Pebble Beach durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo executado no 0118/1963, p. 37 AP foto Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

7 de 24 A galeria assistiu Arnold Palmer alinhando uma tacada leve no primeiro buraco do campo de Pebble Beach durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo executado em 23/01/1965, p. 41 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

8 de 24 Johnny Miller é considerado o homem a ser derrotado enquanto ele e sua galeria sobem o 14º fairway do campo de Pebble Beach durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo publicado em 23/01/1975, p. 41 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

9 de 24 Dean Martin cobre os ouvidos no Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, enquanto seu parceiro profissional Bruce Devlin perde uma tacada no 6º buraco. Foto tirada em 14/01/1971, p. 35 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

10 de 24 Joe Campbell passou por maus bocados no quarto buraco do campo Spyglass hill durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. e saiu de uma armadilha de areia e pousou nesta. Foto tirada em 14/01/1971, p. 35 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

11 de 24 Arnold Palmer ergueu uma pedra de sua bola perto do 13º green no Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo, realizado em 23/01/1965, p. 35 AP foto Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

12 de 24 Clint Eastwood tenta ficar seco na rodada de treinos durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo shot 26/01/1981 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

13 de 24 Clint Eastwood contempla sua bola no buraco 12 do campo Cypress Point durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo shot 31/01/1980 John Storey / The Chronicle Show More Show Less

14 de 24 Clint Eastwood contempla sua bola no buraco 12 do campo Cypress Point durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament Photo shot 31/01/1980 John Storey / The Chronicle Show More Show Less

15 de 24 Jack Nicklaus coloca-o no terceiro green da Spyglass, durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Foto tirada em 23/01/1967, p. 43 AP foto Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

16 de 24 A galeria no famoso buraco 8º abismo no campo de Pebble Beach durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Foto tirada em 20/01/1959, p. 1H Bill Young / The Chronicle Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

17 de 24 O ex-presidente Gerald Ford disse olá à espectadora Clarissa Dyer a caminho do 17º tee em Cypress durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament de 1981 Foto shot 27/01/1981 Frederic Larson / The Chronicle Show More Show Less

18 de 24 Doug Sanders fez esta tacada no 17º green no campo de Pebble Beach durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Foto tirada em 18/01/1959, p. 1H Bill Young / The Chronicle Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

19 de 24 As Galerias eram menores naquela época, aqui no 15º green no Crosby National Pro = Am Golf Tournament Photo de 1964, em 23/01/1964, p. 49 Bill Young / The Chronicle Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

20 de 24 Joe Campbell passou por maus bocados no quarto buraco do campo Spyglass hill durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. e saiu de uma armadilha de areia e pousou nesta. Foto tirada em 14/01/1971, p. 35 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

21 de 24 O Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament seria adiado pela neve Foto publicada em 22/01/1962, p. 49 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

22 de 24 (da esquerda para a direita) Jack Lemmon body inglês no torneio de golfe Crosby National Pro-Am de 1963, UPI Photo Photo, realizado em 19/01/1973, p. 49 Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

23 de 24 Nathaniel Crosby e seu irmão Harry jogam um contra o outro na Spyglass durante o Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament de 1983 Foto shot 27/01/1983 Michael Maloney / The Chronicle Show More Show Less

24 de 24 Nathaniel Crosby e sua mãe Kathryn estão preocupados com a chuva atrapalhando seu torneio Crosby National Pro-Am de golfe de 1981 Foto de 27/01/1981 UPI photo Mostrar mais Mostrar menos

Antes de haver o AT & ampT Pebble Beach Pro-Am, havia o Crosby Clambake.

O crooner clássico Bing Crosby começou o Crosby National Pro-Amateur Tournament em 1937 no Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club fora de San Diego. Os profissionais jogavam de graça, enquanto os amadores convidados pagavam $ 3. Um prêmio colossal de $ 3.000 em dinheiro foi concedido, e os lucros foram revertidos para instituições de caridade.

O popular torneio foi suspenso por causa da Segunda Guerra Mundial, mas começou novamente em 1947 em Pebble Beach. Em 1950, todos os profissionais de alto calibre estavam aparecendo e as celebridades estavam escalando umas sobre as outras para entrar na diversão.


Bing Crosby pelos números na música

Bing Crosby vendeu cerca de um bilhão de discos, fitas, CDs e downloads digitais em todo o mundo. Ele pode ser o artista que mais vendeu de todos os tempos. Apenas The Beatles, Elvis Presley e Michael Jackson podem rivalizar com os números de vendas do Bing. Bing vendeu 200 milhões de discos em 1960 e o número dobrou em 1980.

Sua versão de “White Christmas”, escrita por Irving Berlin, continua a ser a gravação mais vendida de todos os tempos com o Livro Guinness dos Recordes Mundiais relatando vendas mundiais de mais de 50 milhões de singles. As vendas totais estimadas da música estão perto de 100 milhões. “White Christmas” entrou nas paradas pop americanas 20 vezes diferentes e alcançou o primeiro lugar três vezes, em 1942, 1945 e 1947.

Tendo feito mais de 2.000 gravações comerciais e aproximadamente 4.000 programas de rádio, além de uma extensa lista de filmes e aparições na televisão, Bing Crosby é o artista mais gravado da história.

Bing Crosby marcou 41 recordes em primeiro lugar (43 incluindo o segundo e o terceiro toppings de “White Christmas”) & mdash mais do que The Beatles (24) e Elvis Presley (18). Suas gravações alcançaram as paradas 396 vezes, mais do que Frank Sinatra (209) e Elvis Presley (149) juntos. O rival mais próximo de Bing é Paul Whiteman (220), com cuja orquestra ele cantou no início de sua carreira. Os recordes do Bing chegaram ao Top 10 203 vezes e passaram 173 semanas no primeiro lugar.

Bing foi a voz de 13 canções indicadas ao Oscar, quatro das quais ganharam o Oscar de Melhor Canção: & # 8220Sweet Leilani & # 8221 (Casamento waikiki, 1937), & # 8220White Christmas & # 8221 (Holiday Inn, 1942), & # 8220Swinging on a Star & # 8221 (Indo à minha maneira, 1944), e & # 8220 No Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening & # 8221 (Aí vem o noivo, 1951).

Bing Crosby foi homenageado com três estrelas na Calçada da Fama de Hollywood: uma para gravações, uma para rádio e outra para filmes.


HistoryLink.org

As carreiras musicais de algumas das estrelas cantoras mais significativas do século XX - Bing "The King of the Crooners" Crosby e Mildred "That Princess of Rhythm" Bailey - estão tão entrelaçadas que suas histórias talvez sejam melhor contadas como uma só. Esses dois vocalistas inovadores da Era do Jazz conquistaram o mundo da música em grandes formas, mas seus começos compartilhados nas periferias da cena de jazz speakeasy da Era Proibição, em Spokane, Washington, foram bastante humildes.

The Dizzy Seven

Nascido em Tacoma, Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby (1903-1977) mudou-se para Spokane em 1906 onde - embora fosse o quarto de sete filhos em uma família pobre - sua mãe reconheceria seu amor pela música e de alguma forma acabou juntando fundos suficientes para pagar algumas aulas particulares de canto. Em 1917 - depois de ver seu próprio ídolo cantor, Al Jolson, se apresentar no Spokane’s Auditorium Theatre - Crosby percebeu que queria ser um músico profissional.

Depois de tocar bateria na banda de jazz do colégio, Crosby foi para a Gonzaga University, onde se juntou a uma banda de dança local chamada Dizzy Seven. Essa banda tocou danças do colégio e festas ilícitas movidas a gim por alguns meses antes de Crosby ser atraído pelos Musicaladers, outra banda local com um pianista / líder de banda, Al Rinker, cuja irmã mais velha, Mildred Rinker, por acaso era balconista da Bailey's Music Shop. E foi lá que os caras foram expostos a todos os discos quentes de favoritos do jazz como a Dixieland Band original, o McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, o Memphis Five e até mesmo a banda de dança de Vic Meyer de Seattle.

Outra fonte para aprender novas melodias, como Crosby observou certa vez, era diretamente de grupos em turnê:

Nos dois anos seguintes, os Musicaladers se apresentaram no Manito Park Social Club, no Casino Theatre, no Pekin Café, no Lareida's Dance Pavilion e, em seguida, no Spokane's Clemmer Theatre, onde um novo empresário logo abandonou a banda em favor de apenas uma dupla de “novidades” : Rinker no piano e Crosby cantando, dançando e jiving.

Aquelas coisas “Vo-do-de-o”

Enquanto isso, a irmã de Rinker - que adotou o nome artístico de "Mildred Bailey" - se tornou uma pequena sensação em Los Angeles, onde "cantava blues todas as noites no bar clandestino mais popular da cidade, o Silver Grill". Como Crosby, ela também havia demonstrado desde cedo uma aptidão para a música, tocando o piano da família durante a infância. Mas então, depois que sua mãe faleceu, ela foi enviada para morar com uma tia em Seattle. Lá, quando adolescente, ela ganhou uma renda tocando em cinemas mudos e demonstrando partituras para clientes na loja de departamentos Woolworth. Ao retornar a Spokane (e enquanto trabalhava na Baileys), ela conseguiu seu primeiro show tocando no bar clandestino mais badalado da cidade, Charlie Dale, e logo partiu em busca de fama e fortuna em Hollywood.

Inspirados pelo sucesso fácil de Bailey, Crosby e Rinker deixaram Spokane em 15 de outubro de 1925, em um velho Ford Modelo T de 1916 e com grandes esperanças de seguir seu caminho para o sucesso. Mas seu caminho para Hollywood incluiu uma breve visita ao litoral. De acordo com Crosby: “Nossa primeira parada foi Seattle. Queríamos ouvir a banda de Jackie Souders no Butler Hotel. Nós o tínhamos ouvido no rádio e o conhecemos quando ele tocou em Spokane. ” Após a chegada em Seattle, os meninos foram apresentados a Souder e, aparentemente, a outro líder da banda, Vic Meyers (que costumava ficar no bar clandestino mais chique da cidade, o Rose Room do Butler Hotel). Vários relatos conflitantes sugerem que ambos testemunharam a audição da dupla.

O próprio Crosby uma vez lembrou que foi Souders quem “nos deu uma audição e depois nos colocou no Butler durante um fim de semana, quando o lugar estava cheio de crianças da Universidade de Washington. As músicas e arranjos que fizemos eram em sua maioria canções de ritmo rápido e eu cantei alguns solos. . Tivemos uma boa recepção e poderíamos ter ficado lá por um tempo, trabalhando uma ou duas noites por semana, mas estávamos pensando em seguir para o sul. ”

Curiosamente, as lembranças de Souders e Meyers daquele dia diferiam daquele relato aparentemente róseo do jovem cantor, cuja abordagem vocal abafada seria mais tarde saudada como o estilo “crooner”. Um repórter com The Seattle Times mais tarde entrevistou os líderes da banda e escreveu que Meyers testemunhou o teste fatal quando o desconhecido "jovem barítono de orelhas de abano fez o teste para o emprego de solista. Ele tinha um estilo bonito e saltitante e Meyers ficou impressionado. Mas John Savage, o proprietário do hotel, chamou Meyers de lado e disse: "O garoto consegue cantar uma balada?" Meyers pediu ao "garoto" que cantasse uma balada. Saiu com o mesmo som boo-boo-boo saltitante. Savage balançou a cabeça em um movimento "sem dados". ” Souders concordou dizendo "Todos nós achamos que eles eram muito bons, mas o proprietário do hotel, o falecido John E. Savage, disse que não gostava de todas aquelas" coisas vo-do-de-o "e não os contrataria.”

Viva Hollywood

De qualquer maneira - alugada ou demitida - a dupla abasteceu sua calhambeque e continuou rumo ao sul. A lenda diz que eles também tocaram por uma semana em um teatro Tacoma e "em vários bares clandestinos em Portland e San Francisco no caminho" - finalmente chegando quase a Hollywood antes que seu motor explodisse e Mildred tivesse que dirigir para Bakersfield, Califórnia, para resgatá-los. Querendo apresentá-los às luzes brilhantes e à ação da cidade grande de Hollywood, Bailey primeiro levou seu irmão e seu parceiro musical ao Silver Grill, onde a assistiram se apresentar, e então ela trabalhou para conseguir uma audição para eles com a companhia teatral Fanchon e Marco que reservou um circuito de quase 40 cinemas da Costa Oeste. Contratado, o duo trabalhou nesse circuito algumas vezes e depois assinou contrato para aparecer no Morrisey Music Hall Revue, um show criado e financiado por um ex-compositor de Seattle de grande sucesso, Arthur Freed.

Foi em 18 de outubro de 1926 - apenas um ano após deixar Spokane - que os caras gravaram seu primeiro disco ("I've Got The Girl") com Don Clarke e sua Biltmore Hotel Orchestra para um grande selo, Columbia Registros. Logo depois, eles foram descobertos por um líder de banda de Nova York, Paul "The King of Jazz" Whiteman - e com Harry Barris se juntando ao ato como um segundo pianista, o trio se tornou o Rhythm Boys de Paul Whiteman. No ano seguinte, Whiteman e os meninos gravaram um disco ("Wistful and Blue" / "Pretty Lips") que se tornou um sucesso estrondoso, que levou Crosby a gravar um disco solo, "Muddy Water" de 1927.

Em 1929, Rinker foi capaz de retribuir todos os favores ajudando sua irmã quando ela deu uma festa em casa. Ele convidou seu chefe, e quando Whiteman ouviu Bailey cantar uma música, ele a contratou na hora. E com essa contratação, Whiteman se tornou o primeiro líder de orquestra de nível nacional a apresentar uma vocalista - um momento histórico que logo fez com que "outras bandas de dança na moda do show business" adicionassem "cantoras também". No mesmo ano - e agora conhecido como "That Princess of Rhythm" - Bailey cortou sua gravação de estreia, "What Kind O’ Man Is You ", para a Columbia.

O rei do jazz

Foi em 1930 - e logo após concluir uma série de concertos no Auditório Cívico de Seattle, no Salão de Baile Espanhol do Olympic Hotel e em Portland no Salão de Baile Espanhol de Cole McElroy e nos estúdios de rádio KOIN no Hotel New Heathman - que Whiteman cortou o ritmo Meninos soltos. Ele começou a se sentir desencantado com suas novas estrelas - especialmente Crosby, que ele achava que o enganava demais. Whiteman criticou a dupla por sempre perseguir garotas e querer jogar golfe. O fato de os caras terem começado recentemente a sair no Harlem com estrelas negras como Cab Calloway e Duke Ellington - e relatos de que Crosby começou a fumar maconha com Louis Armstrong - provavelmente não ajudou em nada.

Então, bem no meio da filmagem O rei do jazz No filme, Crosby foi condenado a 30 dias de prisão por dirigir embriagado, perdeu a chance de fazer uma aparição solo no filme e irritou seu chefe. Quando Whiteman voltou para Nova York, os Rhythm Boys ficaram para trás.

Ao longo de sua carreira subsequente, no entanto, Crosby se daria muito bem. Antes de sua morte em 1977, Crosby gravou mais de 1.700 canções, apareceu em 4.000 programas de rádio, em 100 filmes e em 300 programas de televisão. Crosby foi elogiado de várias maneiras: a "estrela de rádio mais popular de todos os tempos", a "maior atração de bilheteria da década de 1940", a "estrela de mídia mais popular e influente da primeira metade do século 20", a "mais artista musical de sucesso de todos os tempos ”e a“ voz mais reconhecida do mundo ”. Além de tudo isso: “O sucesso de Crosby como cantora celebridade no início dos anos 1930 abriu caminho para o movimento dos vocais pop que varreu a cena de big band com instrumentos pesados ​​da era da Segunda Guerra Mundial”, e Crosby foi “um dos mais populares e influentes Cantores e atores americanos do século 20, rivalizados apenas por Elvis Presley e The Beatles. ”

The Missing Links

Enquanto isso, em 1932, Bailey estreou "Ol’ Rockin ’Chair’s Got Me" em uma transmissão ao vivo em Chicago do programa de rádio semanal Old Gold de Whiteman, e a melodia gerou uma resposta pública imediata e avassaladora. Uma gravação de estúdio da música tornou-se um sucesso tão grande que Bailey ficou conhecido como a "Rockin 'Chair Lady". O disco também fez história significativa do jazz como “a primeira gravação de uma 'cantora feminina' com uma big band, uma inovação que estabeleceria o padrão para a era do swing”. Bailey também ganhou atenção gravando músicas com os mesmos melhores músicos que apoiaram as sessões clássicas de Billie Holiday - e muitas pessoas perceberam seus caminhos pioneiros quando ela começou a liderar um combo todo preto, Mildred Bailey e Her Oxford Browns. Bailey também se casou com o jazzista, Red Norvo, eles ficaram conhecidos como “Mr. e a Sra. Swing ”, e seu combo a apoiou em uma série de bons sucessos antes da morte de Bailey em 1951.

Desde então, Bailey tem sido reconhecido por historiadores da música como: “um dos músicos mais dinâmicos da era do swing”, “um excelente cantor. com entonação e tom perfeitos. Sua interpretação das letras das baladas foi fascinante, e ela foi excelente em melodias up-tempo, onde seu conhecimento de harmônicos foi utilizado para cantar variações sobre o tema melódico que estavam anos à frente de seu tempo ", um inovador estilístico que" influenciou diretamente o estilo vocal de cantores lendários como Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett e Billie Holiday ”,“ a primeira cantora não negra a ser aceita no jazz e a primeira vocalista de big band ”e com“ a possível exceção de Billie Holiday (que pode até ser considerada a própria descoberta de Bailey), Bailey foi a cantora de jazz feminina mais consistente e prolífica dos anos 30. . Nenhuma compreensão do canto pop e jazz pode ser considerada completa sem levar em consideração Mildred Bailey. Ela é um dos elos essenciais que faltam na música americana. ”

E a saga de Crosby e os irmãos Rinker é um dos grandes “elos que faltam” musicais na história do jazz do Noroeste do Pacífico.

O estado de Washington
Departamento de Arqueologia e Preservação Histórica do Estado de Washington

Bing Crosby e Al Rinker

Mildred Bailey, n.d.

Phil Harris, Bob Littler e Bing Crosby, Seattle, julho de 1956

Cortesia UW Coleções Especiais, Coleção P-I (1986.5.22566.1)

Publicidade, programa de rádio Bing Crosby, The Seattle Times, 28 de maio de 1947


BING CROSBY & # 8217S SECRET LIFE & # 8211 DOCUMENTOS DO FBI REVEAL SINGER & # 8217S LAÇOS PARA MOB

TAQUI pode ter sido mais para a grande amizade entre Bing Crosby e Frank Sinatra do que apenas garotas e jogar fora a bebida.

Como Sinatra, Crosby tinha uma queda por mafiosos.

Novas evidências do FBI mostram uma imagem perturbadora de alguém que parecia ser o homem de família angelical e classificado para menores de idade & # 8212, mas que vivia em um submundo desprezível de corrupção quando as luzes do palco se apagaram.

Ontem, o site APBnews.com obteve documentos do FBI que mostram que a lenda de Hollywood era um jogador em série, às vezes forçado a pagar a amigos & # 8220conectados & # 8221.

Ele combinou noites brilhantes de alto perfil com amigos como Dorothy Lamour, Bob Hope e Mel Torme com recompensas ilícitas e passeios de jogo após o anoitecer.

Considerado o artista mais querido da América por sua interpretação de & # 8220White Christmas & # 8221 e se tornar um padre gentil em & # 8220The Bells of St. Mary & # 8217s & # 8221 & # 8212 Crosby também foi alvo de inúmeras ameaças de morte.

Não é nenhum segredo que a estrela de fala mansa e voz melíflua tinha um lado sombrio e destrutivo - uma queda por mulheres, bebida e jogos de azar. Aos 16, ele foi preso sob a acusação de dirigir embriagado.

Mais tarde, ele deixou duas esposas e sete filhos para a alta vida e namoros com co-estrelas como Grace Kelly e Rhonda Fleming.

Mas o quão perturbador seu comportamento realmente era, nunca se sabia & # 8212 até agora.

No final da década de 821750, o FBI soube que Crosby estava namorando mafiosos, incluindo o líder da máfia Moe Dalitz, que ele convidou para caçar veados.

Sua paixão pelo golfe também o levou a empresas problemáticas.

O biógrafo de Crosby J. Roger Osterholm disse que um dos parceiros de golfe de Crosby & # 8217s foi Jack & # 8220Machine Gun & # 8221 McGurn, um suposto atirador no massacre do dia de St. Valentine & # 8217s.

& # 8220Crosby simplesmente amava golfe, ele não se importava com quem jogava. Sublinho que era muito inocente & # 8212 era apenas para jogar golfe & # 8221 Osterholm disse.

Em parte, parece que Crosby foi apenas uma vítima da época e do lugar. Um memorando dos anos 1930 escrito pelo agente do FBI Clyde Tolson diz que & # 8220 existe uma situação extremamente séria em Hollywood & # 8230 com todos os tipos e tipos de bandidos atacando pessoas proeminentes na indústria do cinema. & # 8221

Tolson nunca especulou sobre quem eram os gângsteres & # 8212, mas Bugsy Siegel, o mafioso que construiu Las Vegas, e Frank Nitti, um capanga de Al Capone são mencionados.

Tolson revelou que Crosby uma vez havia desembolsado $ 10.000 por causa de uma ameaça que pairava sobre ele.

No entanto, biógrafos e fontes dizem que as amizades profanas de Crosby e # 8217 se encaixam nele como uma luva.

Crosby gostava tanto de jogos de azar que procurava ansiosamente por jogos ilegais para explodir seus milhões.

APBnews.com diz um memorando detalhando uma invasão de 1947 em um estabelecimento de jogos de azar em Burbank, Califórnia, observou que & # 8220aproximadamente 100 clientes, entre eles Bob Hope e Bing Crosby, foram autorizados a deixar o local. & # 8221

Espero que ontem tenha verificado o ataque a APBnews.com.

& # 8220Bing me disse que um de seus cavalos de corrida foi um vencedor certo. Se eu não acreditasse nele, poderia obtê-lo da boca do cavalo. Então eu fiz, e veja o que aconteceu, & # 8221 Ol & # 8217 Ski Nose brincou.

O temperamento de Crosby & # 8217s também estava fora de controle, de acordo com o site.

Reimprime uma carta de um homem que alegou ter passado a noite toda em uma farra de jogos de azar em Nevada com Crosby e sua primeira esposa, Dixie Lee. & # 8220Surgiu uma discussão & # 8221 o homem escreveu.

& # 8220Dois homens seguraram & # 8230 Crosby com armas e quatro homens me levaram para fora, me colocaram em uma limusine Cadillac preta, me algemaram e me levaram para um passeio bem rápido e me espancaram no caminho & # 8230 & # 8220

Não é de admirar que Crosby fizesse inimigos.

APBnews.com relata que uma ameaça de morte que Crosby recebeu avisou: & # 8220Crosby, quero que você me mande $ 6.000 wright (sic) embora. eu odeio o seu

entranhas seu bastardo. Seu (sic) não vai me fazer de idiota.

& # 8220Você terá que me enviar todo o seu dinheiro pelo que fez comigo e pelo que tentou fazer. & # 8221

O escritor nunca explicou como Crosby supostamente o prejudicou.

Mas outros foram registrados & # 8212 e em grande detalhe & # 8212 sobre como Der Bingle agiu errado.

Até o próprio filho de Crosby foi levado a escrever um "Tell-all", & # 8220Bing & # 8217s Boy, & # 8221 queimando seu pai.

Afinal, Crosby havia abandonado sua mãe enquanto ela morria de câncer.

Gary disse que seu pai regularmente batia nele com uma pulseira de couro sem motivo, o provocava cruelmente com apelidos como & # 8220Fatso, & # 8221 & # 8220Bucket Butt & # 8221 e & # 8220Stupid & # 8221 e não o deixaria falar durante refeições.

& # 8220Acho que devo agir como se o amasse toda a minha vida? & # 8221 Gary certa vez perguntou.

& # 8220I & # 8217d abaixei-me e tirei minhas calças e bati até sangrar. & # 8221

E a filha de Crosby, Mary, disse que seu pai havia prometido renegá-la por viver com um homem.

Crosby & # 8212 cujos filmes e sucessos pop o tornaram um multimilionário aos 35 anos e # 8212 morreu de ataque cardíaco em 1977 aos 74 anos.

Ironicamente, ele talvez tivesse gostado da ideia de detalhes de sua vida dupla emergindo agora.

O homem nascido como Harry Lillis Crosby sempre esteve envolto em uma mortalha de mistério & # 8212 desde o dia em que nasceu em maio de 1903, sem uma certidão de nascimento ou mesmo uma data real.

Ele gostava que ninguém soubesse exatamente qual era o seu aniversário & # 8212 e nunca deixasse saber quando realmente era.


BING CROSBY E A REVOLUÇÃO DA FITA

Em novembro de 1951, larguei meu emprego na televisão em Los Angeles devido ao conflito com minhas aulas no colégio. Quando saí, um dos diretores me deu um pedaço de papel com um endereço, 9030 Sunset Blvd e um nome: Jack Mullin. No dia seguinte, descobri que ele estava me esperando. O diretor era amigo de Frank Healey, chefe da Divisão Eletrônica da Bing Crosby Enterprises. John T. (Jack) Mullin era o engenheiro-chefe e decidiu me contratar com base na recomendação do diretor. Eles sabiam mais sobre mim do que eu! O trabalho era fazer trabalho eletrônico de bancada para Mullin porque ele havia quebrado o braço. It was to be for two weeks or until his broken arm healed but the two weeks turned into six years.

Are you the sort of demanding vinyl fan who only buys original issues because they utilised master tape? Are you pinickity about vinyl reissues for the same reason? Do you have or lust after reel-to-reel tape recorders? Still fondly remember your first hi-fi tape recorder? Loved your Sony Walkman? Still use or scour eBay for a Nakamichi? Are you old enough to remember how glad you were when you received your first VHS TV tape recorder way back when? If any of these statements ring a bell in your life…blame this guy. It’s all his fault.

Over the months after I started working for Jack Mullin, he became my mentor and took me under his wing. He had been the person that had put the Bing Crosby radio show on magnetic tape and, with Bing, developed the art of editing the tape.

Jack not only described to me these events but took me to see the recording studios and equipment. He also taught me how to record and edit magnetic tape and that prepared me to be an alternate editor for the radio show.

No início

Bing Crosby was one of the pioneers of the radio music show. In 1935, the Kraft Music Hall on the NBC Red Network was a ‘standard’. It was a quality live production that held a high position in the ratings over the years. The summer of 1945, though, was a turning point. Crosby decided that doing a live show every week was too demanding and it did not permit him to pursue his other interests (principally golf) and to be with his family.

A rare although poor quality image of the Vine Street Theater (now The Montalban Theater), set-up for the Bing Crosby Show (Norm Dewes/BCE/RP)

Even worse and adding to the workload, during one period, the show had to be done live twice, once for the east coast and once for the west coast. It also was confining for the freeform Crosby personality since the recording had to be completed within a certain strict recording regime that took away Bing’s casual side. The adlibs and jokes had to be done according to the script, there was no editing to remove mistakes.

This is why, from 1945–1946, Kraft Music Hall program began without Crosby because of the inevitable, resulting dispute. NBC demanded ‘live’ programmes only and Crosby disagreed. The show went on and NBC and Kraft sued him for not appearing. Crosby did return to finish the season beginning with the 7 February 1946 program but that was basically the end of Crosby on the NBC Red Network. This time he had set his mind on having a pre-recorded production.

At that time, the Bing Crosby Productions organisation, headed by Bing’s brother Everett, did not have the resources to establish an independent pre-recorded show operation, neither did it own the technical support it needed. This is why, in December of 1945, Crosby hired expert, Basil Grillo, to help him with this task and improve the operation of Bing Crosby Productions.

Meanwhile, 1941, the US Government was busy moving the radio goalposts, breaking up the NBC empire and forcing the company to sell its Blue Network (NBC had its ‘sophisticated’ programmes on the Red Network and the other features, like jazz, on the Blue Network). This allowed greater competition which is where the eager ABC network comes in. It wished to compete but needed to develop its own programmes. Although, ABC shared the NBC facilities at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood until 1948, it desperately needed programmes with high ratings and the upcoming 1946–1947 season was no exception. Crosby was a target to achive those ratings and, to win him over, ABC told Crosby that, if he joined ABC, he could record his show but the quality had to be equal to the live broadcast. It was to be a 30 minute show known as the Philco Radio Time programme.

Transcriptions Discs…Bad

The new 1946–1947 Philco Radio Time program began with Bing Crosby recording his show on transcription disks using the NBC recording facilities assigned to ABC and supervised by Frank Healey. All was not well with this new production, though. The recordings on the disks lacked the quality of the live show and the editing process was difficult. The show was done as a live production but with additional recorded material that could be used if there was a problem. While it took two disks (15 minutes each) for the 30 minute show, the recordings were edited before the show was played at the appointed time on the ABC network.

Typcial Bing Crosby Transcription disc

The pre-recorded show permitted changes to be made if Bing or his staff did not like something in the show. The sponsor also was known to require changes that could not be done with a live show. That was fine but the editing process was difficult, since it required recording from one disk to another several times. At least two or three playback units were required to permit the different parts to be merged on to a new recording disk and of course, with each copy, the sound quality dropped. At times, this process took over 40 disks and many days to complete the edit. O resultado? The recorded show quality was less than desirable and the radio audience noticed the difference. The ratings dropped and ABC began to question if they should not return to the live broadcast.

Another Bing Crosby Transcription disc, this time from his Philco era

The Recording Revolution

While the Crosby show was struggling with the disk recordings, a new technology had arrived. Jack Mullin had returned from his World War II army service with parts for two German Magnetophon magnetic tape recorders that he had shipped back in mail sacks over a number of months.

It’s important to be aware that Mullin was faced with two distinct types of tape recorder while he was in Germany. One was a standard utility recorder, which Mullin ignored. The other was a special, high quality model utilised for radio broadcasts (he found two of these to ship home).

3M Magnetic Tape 111A – The industry standard. This example looks a bit scruffy but that’s because it was a well worn example as used by the Crosby Show. You can just make out Bing’s name on the label (BCE/RP)

The standard utility model wasn’t left alone, though. A certain Colonel Ranger, who was part of the same Army unit as Mullin, probably sent these recorders home. He enters the story a little later.

When Mullin did return to the USA, he joined a friend, William Palmer, in a recording and movie business. William Palmer had a machine shop where they restored and modified the Magnetophon. Mullin made new electronics using standard American parts and replaced the DC bias with AC bias to improve the tape signal-to-noise and added pre-emphasis for the high frequencies. These rebuilt Magnetphon recorders were then used in their recording business.

In May 1946 Jack Mullin demonstrated the modified Magnetphon recorder at an Institute of Radio Engineers (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) show in San Francisco with the help of William Palmer. This demonstration caused a number of people to take notice of the quality that could be obtained from a magnetic tape recorder. There were other tape recorders on view at that time but none of them had the outstanding quality of the rebuilt Magnetophon.

During the following months William Palmer set up a number of demonstrations of the recorder for Mullin to various movie, recording and broadcast people. The demonstrations showed that the recorder could reproduce sound as if it were ‘live’. Not only that, the magnetic tape could be edited by cutting it with a pair of scissors and splicing it with Scotch tape.

Mullin and MacKenzie in front of the two Magnetphons used to record the Crosby show. It may have been taken in summer of 1947 when MacKenzie met Jack for the first demo. (Mullin)

These demonstrations were, at the time, seen as more of a novelty to the industry than a genuine major step forward. After all, there were only two recorders in existence and only 50 rolls of tape (also brought home from Germany) that was no longer made. The movie companies had already made other agreements for their sound tracks and the recording companies were happy with their current recording process.

The demonstrations did seriously impress one individual, though, Frank Healey, who was involved with technical production of the Crosby show. Healey encouraged Murdo McKenzie, the producer of the Bing Crosby show, to investigate them for the show. McKenzie arranged for a demonstration in San Francisco where Jack and Bill Palmer had their business and was impressed enough to arrange for Bing Crosby to hear the demonstration, which took place on the first of August 1947 in Los Angeles. When Crosby heard the sound quality and saw the editing possibilities, Jack Mullin was asked to do a test recording of the first Bing Crosby show of the 1947–1948 season. It was only a week way and the Crosby people expressed concerns that Mullin had only two recorders and a limited amount of tape on tap. In the long run, the Crosby people knew, there needed to be way forward other than just the Magnetophon.

To complicate matters, though, Mullin had made a prior agreement with Colonel Ranger of Ranger Industries to provide Ranger with information so that Ranger could build his own version of the Magnetophon. Ranger also planned to make a usable tape to work with it because tests had shown that the Minnesota Mining (3M) tape would not work with the German recorder.

By this time, 3M had developed a black oxide plastic backed tape that evolved from their paper-backed tape. It was the Scotch Magnetic Tape No.100 designed for the Brush recorder, which was another early tape recorder. However, the Magnetophon needed a tape that could record a stronger magnetic field and have a better signal-to-noise ratio. The research group at 3M realised this need and set out to develop a higher grade tape using a red oxide, not knowing exactly what the target machine would be. During this period, Ampex also had decided to build a broadcast quality tape recorder and asked Mullin for assistance but, rather frustratingly, Mullin could not help due to his prior Ranger agreement.

The Big Showdown

For the ‘play-off’ competition, ABC was now aware of Ranger and wanted him involved. There may have been tension between Ranger and Mullin who were about to offer the Crosby organisation competing tape recorders, as well as between Ranger and the Crosby people, since Ranger was ‘forced’ on the Crosby organisation by ABC.

The recorder built by Colonel Ranger. It is the type used by Ranger in the Crosby show run-off on 10 Aug 1947. (unk/RP)

Ranger’s tape recorders were set up alongside the Magnetophon recorders and the standard Transcription disk lathes in the recording department of NBC for the competition. Two Ranger machines and two Magnetophons were brought in because each could only record 20 minutes at a stretch and the Crosby show spanned 30 minutes in total, two recorders meant that precious time was not lost changing tape reels. The showdown was held on the evening of 10 August 1947 and the moment of truth had come. Which would provide the best sound quality? The NBC engineers recorded the show on the standard disk lathes and Jack Mullin and Colonel Ranger also recorded on their respective machines.

For this ‘competition’, the disk system had already lost for reasons stated above. After all, that’s why the tape system was there, as a prospective replacement.

As for Ranger? Although, he used a magnetic tape that worked with his own machine, it wasn’t anything particularly special for the time. The Ranger tape was not based upon new technologies but from tape that was already on the market. and was not up to broadcast quality. It had been developed for home and dictation use only. As for the technology? While the Ranger machine was based on the Magnetophon and had some of Mullin’s additional expertise added to it during its build (although there is speculation as to exactly how much was utilised by Ranger), it did not have all the features that Mullin’s later designs included. Hence, the Ranger design was not as refined as the Mullin hardware. In fact, the Ranger recorder was very noisy. It is possible that this noise was due to the wrong bias selection and the mismatch of his heads with the tape. Mullin’s Magnetophon recorders used the high quality German heads that matched the tape characteristics.

Hence, when McKenzie asked Ranger to play his recording first, the sound quality was poor, with plenty of distortion and noise.

Mullin’s own Magnetophon design offering outstanding sound quality was selected and Ranger, rather distraught, soon sold the rights to his design.

These photos (above and below) show Jack Mullin’s modified recorder used for the first recording of the Crosby show. (Mullin/RP)

Success and the spoils went to Mullin, therefore. Before we move on, though, astute readers may wonder why Mulllin, who was earlier tied to Ranger by an agreement, could have been able to develop his own hardware and then enter into competition with him. Surely, Mullin should have been contractually excluded from doing so? The wrinkle was that Mullin’s agreement with Ranger was a loose one and restricted to technical consultations only. Ranger could not restrict Mullin from selling his services through William Palmer to Bing Crosby.

Thus history was made as the very first radio show, aywhere in the world, to be recorded directly on magnetic tape was broadcast on 1 October 1947.

Mullin, who was still working for Palmer, was given an old studio and control room in the NBC (ABC) facilities where he could set up his machines and do the recording and editing of the show. It also served as his office. The 1947–1948 season was the first time a radio program was aired from a magnetic tape recording even though the program was transferred to disk for broadcast. This transfer was due to the need to preserve the tape and insure that a tape break would not disrupt the broadcast.

The tape breakage problem was due to the Magnetophon tape having been used many times and being full of splices. As the season wore on, Mullin took each reel apart and re-spliced the tape segments to get at least several good rolls to use for the next session. There was great concern that the splices would come apart so the program, after editing, was transferred to disk for broadcast.

Tape Issues

There was no new tape made for the Magnetophon at this stage although 3M did try. Later, when Ampex built their Model 200 recorder, a new tape type was created by 3M to match its recording heads. Mullin worked with 3M on these projects for a new improved recording tape. Ultimately, of course, once there was a good supply of quality recording tape, the transcription disks were no longer used.

For now, though, the quality of the show had improved even though disks were used, since the show was only transferred in final form and not edited on the disks. More importantly, the ratings of the show improved and the pre-recorded show was preserved. The first step had been taken but a bigger problem still needed to be addressed – new recorders and tape.

Alexander M. Poniatoff, the head of Ampex, heard one of the early demonstrations of the Magnetphon. He was in need of a new post-war product and was so taken by the recorder that he decided to build one. He put his chief engineer, Harold Lindsay, in charge of the project and asked Jack Mullin to help them. Unfortunately for Mullin, he had already made the agreement with Colonel Ranger so couldn’t join the project at that time. Nevertheless, Ampex decided to go ahead with the project anyway. A lifeline was then handed to Mullin. After the poor showing of his recorders to the Crosby group, Colonel Ranger was persuaded to give Mullin his contractual freedom. A call was placed to Ampex in October 1947 and Mullin was now on board. 3M also was brought in as the tape supplier.

Alezander Poniatoff and Harold Lindsay with the first Ampex 200 recorder. (Ampex)

Ampex, by the spring of 1948, had developed its first prototype but lacked finances to bring it to market. Unlike today, banks did not dabble in the concept of venture capital. Pressure began to build because the Bing Crosby show needed new recorders and tape for the 1948–1949 season. Everyone was convinced that Ampex was the answer but the project couldn’t progress because of a lack of funds. Bing Crosby sent them a cheque for $50,000 (around $500,000 in today’s money) to insure he would get the first recorders in time.

Nada chique. Just the money in an envelope without any covering letter.

It was what Ampex needed to begin production of the Ampex 200 reel-to-reel.

This Crosby cash injection arguably launched an entire industry for, without it, one can only speculate on the success or otherwise of the tape industry and its related hardware.

This poor image shows Jack Mullin, Murdo MacKenzie and Norn Dewes (L-R) from around 1950, in front of the equipment that was taken on the road. The equipment consisted of two Ampex portable 200 recorders behind Mullin, RCA remote mixers and microphones, amplifiers and speakers. (Norm Dewes/BCE/RP)

In late 1947, Jack Mullin visited 3M to see if it could provide the required magnetic tape to work with the Magnetophon and the future Ampex recorder. By then, it had started development on their new red oxide tape that would work with the Ampex recorder. Jack Mullin began to work with Robert Herr and William Wetzel of 3M, conducting tests to help develop a high quality magnetic tape for audio recording. His work focused on the dropout rating, frequency response and signal-to-noise for the different test tapes that 3M produced. The result was the Scotch Magnetic Tape No.111 that later evolved into the No.111A.

For these efforts by Crosby and Mullin, Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE) was awarded, in 1948, the distributorship west of the Mississippi River for Ampex recorders and the 3M tape. The Electronic Division of BCE under Frank Healey was given responsibility to market and service these products. The division began to grow when Jack Mullin left Palmer to become its chief engineer in August 1948 to support the development work with Ampex and 3M.

The Ampex 200

Harold Lindsay led the team to produce the Ampex 200 for Alex Poniatoff and Crosby in 1948. It was housed in a polished black wood console with a stainless steel top. The Crosby show received the first two of them, serial numbers 1 and 2, in time for the 1948–1949 season. Later, the only two ‘portable’ (well, really luggable…at a push) Ampex 200 recorders built, serial numbers 13 and 14, were delivered. Each of them consisted of two wooden boxes with handles. It took at least two people to carry each case but they were taken everywhere the Crosby show went during the later part of the 1948-1949 radio season, even to Canada. At one time, Jack Mullin described how they had to push and pull the four boxes up a spiral staircase to reach one of the upper dressing rooms where the recorders were set up. The audio mixing was done at the stage level using RCA OP-6 and OP-7 equipment. The output was fed over a telephone line to the recording location.

This facility was created by Jack Mullin in the summer of 1949 when Bing went to CBS. (BCE/RP)

By the 1949–1950 season, the Bing Crosby show had moved to CBS and BCE had to establish its own recording-editing facility. It was a small facility located in the CBS Columbia Square Complex at 6121 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, on the second floor in the east wing of the complex. The recorders were located in the front of the building. There were two windows that were open most of the time: people on Sunset Boulevard could even hear the editing process. The Ampex recorders were on a waist-high shelf with a special tape speed control unit and acoustical equaliser at one end. In the hallway, outside the room, there were shelves of indexed tapes of past recording sessions. By 1950, others like Robert McKinney were involved in the recording and editing of the show. In Hollywood the live show was completed at the CBS studios and in a theatre behind CBS. The microphone placement and mixing of the show was arranged by Norm Dewes. He was a true professional held in high esteem by Jack Mullin. It has been said that the balance of the shows recorded was outstanding. There were no multiple tracks, just one channel that was fed to the recorders.

Those of us in the recording room had no visible contact with what was happening. I used to sing along with Bing during the recording sessions, since I was the only one there at times. I may have sung more ‘duets’ with him than most people but it helped to learn his phrasing for editing.

During the first two seasons that used the magnetic tape recorders, the Crosby radio show was recorded in front of a live audience when Crosby was available. There were recorded rehearsals but the editing process was limited by having only two recorders.

With the recording of the show, Crosby was more relaxed and the audience had more fun with the ad-libs, since mistakes could be repaired. The quality was equal to a live show and the broadcast version was mistake free. With the portable recorders, the show also could be taken on the road, if Crosby wanted to travel. By early 1949, Ampex had begun to produce the Ampex 300, which was smaller and lighter than the Ampex 200. The big plus was that the Bing Crosby show now had three recorders for the 1949–1950 season. These changes opened the door to new innovation and the Crosby show did not lose time in coming up with new ways to record a radio show.

The Development of the Recording Art

With three recorders, Crosby, McKenzie and Mullin set out to see how the show could move away from the basic live audience format. No one had done this type of programme before. Tape editing was being undertaken elsewhere but not of this high quality.

This image from early 1949 shows Jack Mullin in the ABC control room (in NBC) with the first two and only portable Ampex 200 recorders. There also is the first Ampex 300 recorder. (Eve Mullin Collier/Mullin)

There were a number of issues that arose as a result of using tape. With the higher bandwidths of the new Ampex recorders, it was now possible to hear things that were hidden by the lower quality recorders. Also, there were problems due to timing (or tape speed) and wow and flutter that had to be resolved. In addition, the tape also forced dropouts due to imperfections in the newly developed and imperfect oxide that was coated on the plastic backing. To solve this problem, 3M was trying different coating techniques for their 111 audio recording tape and Jack Mullin would test each new batch to determine the dropout rate. After a number of trials 3M produced the 111A tape that later became the industry standard.

Since Crosby did not read music and sang by ear, one take of a song could be in a different key from the second take. This change in pitch posed a problem when using segments from different recording sessions to make one complete piece of music. Today matching the pitch is easy with digital technology but, in 1950, things were different. To do the matching, one tape was slowed down and the other was speeded up until the pitch was the same. This change in tape speed led to timing problems so, after the splice was made, the tape was then slowly returned to its normal speed. Unless one was listening very closely this speed variation was not detectable.

Jack Mullin worked with Ampex to develop a unit to correct the Ampex 300 recorder tape speed. The unit produced an 18kHz control signal modulated by a 60Hz reference. On playback, it then used the 60Hz signal to control the speed of the Ampex 300 capstan motor. Not only did this correct the timing problem but it was able to improve some of the low frequency wow effects. It was now possible to record a tape on one machine and play it back on a different machine without speed changes that caused changes in the pitch of the music.

Most of the staff of the Bing Crosby Enterprises Electronic Division in the Spring of 1953 (Sunset Boulevard looking east). (back l-r) Chester Shaw, Ed Corey, Mary Jane Snavley, Unknown, Frank Healy and Wayne Johnson (front l-r) Frances Able, Gene Brown, Hoppie Healy, Bob Hopkin and Jack Mullin (BCE/RP)

Another major problem was not being able to play from two machines and record on a third. The ability to fade from one program segment to another was limited. These edits had to be pre-planned in the recording process but, at times, long diagonal cuts were made that would allow one segment to fade and the other to get louder. This process was difficult and only used as a last resort. The Magnetophon recordings were made at 30 inches per second (ips), which made the long cuts impossible. The Ampex 200 operated at both 30 and 15ips while the Ampex 300 normally operated at both 15 and 7.5ips. At these lower speeds the long cuts were finally were possible.

Splicing

Cuts were made with a pair of scissors and Scotch tape. In most cases, it was possible to cut the tape as it was running since there was a lot of room for error. Jack Mullin had great ear-to-hand coordination and could make the cuts even at 15ips. I used to do it as well but not with the accuracy that the he had. When it came to cutting a note or syllable, it required the tape to be stopped and moved back and forth until the correct spot could be located. The tape head ‘gate’ was then opened and the tape cut at the playback head gap. Jack and I did not use any splicing blocks since we were able to cut the tape at the same angle. In most cases, the ends of the tape were overlapped. This overlap caused problems when rewinding the tape since the splices would get caught going through the head gate. The tape in the early days was put together using Scotch tape that would stick to the other windings of tape on the reel. To prevent the sticking, talcum powder was used: it is still present today in early tape restoration. Around 1951, 3M produced a splicing tape that eliminated the sticking problem.

One of the great edits of Jack Mullin was made late at night on 2 November 1948 when it was found out that Harry Truman had won the Presidential election instead of Truman’s competing candidate, Thomas Dewey. When the show was recorded, Crosby said that Dewey had won. With no “Truman” word recorded by Bing, Mullin had to manufacture Truman’s name from Crosby’s use of similar syllables using the existing tape and do it with the two Ampex 200 recorders.

Not Canned Just Fake

When the Crosby Show received its three Ampex 300 machines, the editing process changed as did the format of the radio show. The early radio programs were recordings of live shows with little editing but the later shows were assembled from many different recording sessions. One of the new innovations of this period was the introduction of recorded audience reactions.

Fake laughter had always been around. It was added by turning the volume up and then fading it down. The same laughter was used every time and it became known as Canned Laughter. ‘Fake laughter’ wasn’t only of use to insert energy into a flagging show but also to edit shows that were, in effect, doing too well. For example, during one live show, Crosby and his guest produced too much audience reaction. The audience laughed for too long in terms of the show’s running time so that reaction that had to be cut. Jack Mullin was going to throw out the rejected tape. Crosby happened to be there at the time and told him to save it for future use. Thus the concept of the ‘laugh track’ was started. By the time I began to edit, the ‘laugh track’ had grown to 42 different segments. These ranged from great outbursts of laughter to the groans of the audience. The orchestra had their reactions as did the lady in the balcony.

Shows the CBS address where the editing facility was located and the show numbers. These were the sort programs that Bing did with Buddy Cole and others after his weekly show ended. (BCE)

The maturing radio programs evolved into a new beast. That is, a finished radio programme was scripted down to each segment of tape. These segments came from many different sources that had to be matched. The acoustics of Bing’s ranch house in Elko, Nevada had to match with the characteristics of the studios in Hollywood and New York. The Marine Auditorium in San Francisco had to agree with a theatre in Canada. To match the acoustics, Jack Mullin built a filter box where the audio characteristics could be altered and echo added, if required. When a recording session was held, material was recorded for four to six shows. Portions of these sessions also included a live audience and parts of it would be used in other shows.

Separate segments also were recorded to keep the shows current. These were made wherever Crosby happened to be and the same applied to the guests on the show. Besides these different sources, a large library of recorded material was created that was cross-referenced by date, artist and subject. This catalogue made it possible to reuse old recordings and cut back on the new recording sessions.

Each radio programme was assembled from the different sources according to the script. Once the music segments were edited and put into one continuous programme, the voice segments were added and the show was cut to the proper time. This cutting involved the editing of verses, refrains or portions of them so that the piece was the correct length to be broadcast. The audience reactions were then added. That involved listening to the show and deciding what type of reaction was required. Bad jokes got bad responses and good ones got good ones. However, the process involved the ear of the beholder and arguments occurred between the editors. McKenzie made the final decision. He sat on a bar stool behind the editors with an old Paris taxi horn attached to its side. To get the editors attention he would squeeze its large bulb. We had the speakers turned up so loud, it was difficult to hear him. Besides the standard reactions to the banter between the parties on the show, other reactions were injected where it appeared that something was happening with the orchestra or on the stage.

This editing might be described as the high point of recorded shows. Many of these editing techniques were later used by the radio networks and record companies. The Bing Crosby radio show during its last few seasons produced shows that never happened the way they were heard by the radio audience. This art form was created by the talents of Bing Crosby and Jack Mullin. It was made possible by the recorders produced by Ampex and the magnetic tape manufactured by Minnesota Mining (3M).


Bing Crosby&rsquos foyer

The spacious foyer with its antique lowboys is used as an addition to the living room on the rare occasions when the Crosbys throw a party.

Few people can afford a 14-room house with a forty-foot living room, or even one share in the Pittsburgh Pirates. But in one respect, many of us can live luxuriously &mdash by making every part of our home serve us.

If you love antiques, for instance, don&rsquot treat them like sacred cows. Make them work for you, as the Crosbys do, and you&rsquoll cherish them even more.

&ldquoWhen I get married,&rdquo little Lindsay says, &ldquoI&rsquom taking the television set with me.&rdquo

&ldquoHe can&rsquot kid me,&rdquo says Dixie. &ldquoIt&rsquos the Welsh dresser that the set&rsquos in that my boy really loves.&rdquo

Since Lindsay&rsquos only twelve, Dixie can hang on to it for a while. And the house, whose future may hang in the balance, she can hold, too &mdash hold tight with, memories.

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Assista o vídeo: Bing Crosby