Bing Crosby was a renowned American singer and actor who have a long list of movies and awards to his credit.
Bing Crosby was born on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington. His birth name was Harry Lillis Crosby. “Bing” was actually a nick-name given by a neighbor.He has six other siblings- four brothers and two sisters. His father and mother had an English and Irish lineage respectively. The Bing Crosby family moved to Spokane, Washington in 1906. While in Spokane, he worked part-time in an auditorium where he was inspired by the performances of Al Jolson. He studied law at the Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. That was when he joined a local band called “Musicaladars” along with some high-school students.
The band met with phenomenal success and he dropped out of school for a singing career. Helost his first wife to ovarian cancer in 1952 and had four children from that marriage. After a series of link-ups he married Kathryn Grant in 1957 and went on to have three children from her. He also had a history of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana abuse in his early days but quit after a lung surgery in 1974. He was also an avid sportsperson. He died of a massive heart attack while playing golf in Madrid, Spain on October 14, 1977. He was 74 at the time of his death.
Bing Crosby was discovered in 1926 by a popular bandleader Paul Whiteman who instantly hired him. The first song he recorded was “I’ve Got The Girl”. The band was rechristened “The Rhythm Boys” and Bing Crosby became a popular figure in the music industry. His first hit was “Ol’Man River” which came out in 1928. Bing later left the “Rhythm Boys” and signed up with Brunswick Records and came out with many hit songs with them. Eventually, he parted with the band members and the company to establish a solo musical career.
From the 1930-1950’s Bing Crosby ruled the roost with chart-toping numbers and hit solos. His popularity also landed him roles in 79 movies. He made his radio debut with the Carl Fenton Orchestra. He hosted NBC’s Kraft Music Hall for ten years. It was due to him that the word “crooner” came to exist in popular music. In 1942, he delivered his biggest musical hit- “White Christmas”. He stayed at #1 position on the charts for 11 consecutive weeks. Other Academy award winning songs by Crosby include "Sweet Leilani" (1937), "White Christmas" (1942), "Swinging on a Star" (1944), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (1951) — and won an acting Oscar for Going My Way (1944).