Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby Entertains for Woodbury Soap

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Issued on a non-profit basis and sold through the auspices of the International Club Crosby, the major Bing Crosby fan club, Bing Crosby Entertains for Woodbury Soap consists largely of transcriptions from radio programs featuring Crosby during the fall season of 1934, although there are also a few appended tracks from a 1932 show and a couple from December 1933. The transcriptions come from acetate discs made by bandleader Georgie Stoll, who accompanied Crosby with his orchestra, that went to auction after the death of Stoll's wife in 2001 and were purchased by Michael Feinstein, who arranged for the release. Crosby's extensive radio career is well represented on disc in its later stages, but the early years are largely a mystery, and this material is quite early. Crosby began broadcasting as a solo performer in 1931, taking up the sponsorship of Woodbury Soap in 1933 when he was 30 years old, and remaining with the sponsor for two years before becoming the long-running host of the Kraft Music Hall. Of course, he was also making movies for Paramount and making records for Decca at the same time, and there are performances here of songs featured in both, notably several from Here Is My Heart with the participation of Crosby's co-star, Kitty Carlisle. There is also a regrettably brief take of "St. Louis Blues" with the Boswell Sisters, who also appeared regularly with Crosby on the radio show. (The sisters take the major part of the fragment, with Crosby adding jazzy interjections.) As if that weren't enough for fans, there are also half a dozen songs Crosby never made commercial recordings of, starting with the chorus of "For All We Know" that leads things off and also including "I'm in Love," "P.S. I Love You," "A New Moon Is over My Shoulder," "Out in the Cold Again," and "If I Had a Million Dollars." Geoff Milne has done some extensive audio restoration on the tracks. There is still some surface noise, but not enough to deter fans, who will delight in the unexpected availability of rare recordings from Crosby's prime.