Bing Crosby

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About Bing Crosby

Although he’s inextricably tied to holiday classic "White Christmas," Bing Crosby's true legacy was transforming popular music in the first half of the 20th century, with almost 400 chart hits and over 70 movie appearances. Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1903, Crosby became enamored with music as a teen after seeing the great Al Jolson. The lure of show business led Crosby to Los Angeles, where a member of Paul Whiteman's group discovered his singing in 1925. Crosby became part of The Rhythm Boys, a small combo playing interstitial performances between Whiteman's sets, but by 1928 his suave vocal stylings had become a main attraction. Crosby's deft absorption of jazz's rhythmic elasticity and liquid phrasing made him one of the most successful song stylists of all time, and his warm croon imprinted every tune with the laidback charm of someone unflustered by life's travails. He was also one of the first performers to exploit the microphone, leaning in to deliver effortless intimacy and nuanced phrasing. As the country grappled with the Depression and World War II, Crosby expanded to the silver screen, giving audiences a welcome escape. Amid the ascent of disciple Frank Sinatra and the advent of rock 'n' roll, he remained a cultural icon, affirmed by a duet with David Bowie that aired on Crosby's final TV Christmas special in 1977, shortly before his death.

Tacoma, WA, United States
May 3, 1903

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