Bing Crosby

Radio Stars of America

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Budget labels are often able to advertise the giants of popular song by releasing compilations that feature only innumerable short excerpts from radio shows. The results are usually desultory, with clumsily edited performances that erase all the context and interplay between hosts and their celebrity guests. Living Era's Radio Stars of America presents only nine tracks, but all are longer excerpts (at least five minutes) of Crosby shows from the '30s and '40s, including a parade of hilarious guests: Jimmy Durante, Peter Lorre, Ethel Merman, and Judy Garland. Obviously, there's a much higher percentage of dialogue than music, but that allows the listener to get a true picture of what Crosby's radio show was like.

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