Bing Crosby

Sing and Swing With Bing [TIM]

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The idea of this German compilation, which takes advantage of the 50-year European copyright limitation to press up various Bing Crosby recordings without having to pay for their use, is to present Crosby duet recordings. So, tracks featuring him with such vocal partners of the 1930s and '40s as the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Connee Boswell, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Al Jolson, Peggy Lee, Mary Martin, Johnny Mercer, the Mills Brothers, and Jane Wyman are included. Actually, the unnamed compilers start to run short of vocal counterparts after the first disc, and the second one suddenly finds the backup orchestras and vocal groups credited as if they were worthy of co-billing with Crosby (even though their presence was not listed on the first disc). Thus, for example, it's noted that "San Fernando Valley" features John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra, the group that backed Crosby on most of his radio shows and many of this records and that plays on other tracks on the disc without being credited. Oddly enough, the annotations become more detailed for the second disc, with recording dates frequently listed. Most of the tracks were purloined from Decca studio recordings, though there are occasional airchecks. The sound quality is generally good, but variable. There are brief, generic liner notes in German and English that mix fact with rumor. The sloppy presentation is typical of the flood of public-domain releases coming out of Europe in the 1990s, and the package can be recommended only to Crosby completists on the one hand, or those whose interest is so casual they can enjoy the performances without demanding scholarship or coherence. Certainly, there are many wonderful performances here by Crosby and his contemporaries, as long as one doesn't expect a high-quality compilation.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:06
2
feat: Fred Astaire
2:19
3 2:30
4
feat: Peggy Lee
2:53
5
feat: Al Jolson
3:13
6
feat: Jane Wyman
3:35
7
feat: Bob Hope
2:23
8 2:44
9 2:38
10 2:50
11
feat: Judy Garland
3:15
12 3:02
13 3:04
14 3:00
15 3:09
16 3:00
17 3:09
18 2:39
19
feat: Bob Hope
2:36
20 4:19
21 3:01
22 3:02
23 2:52
24 2:55
25 2:26
26 2:24
27 3:09
28
feat: Bob Hope
2:33
29 3:00
30 2:42
31 3:08
32 3:14
33
feat: Ken Darby
2:35
34 3:05
35
feat: Judy Garland
2:42
36 2:56
37
feat: Judy Garland
3:09
38 3:13
39 2:49
40 2:31
41 3:31
blue highlight denotes track pick