Bing Crosby

So Rare: Treasures from the Crosby Archive

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Like his friend Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby was a prolific recording artist, and also like Armstrong, he spent a great deal of time recording himself. (He was an early backer of the Ampex Corporation, since committing his radio shows to tape allowed him to be out on the golf course during weekend air times.) Fittingly, So Rare: Treasures from the Crosby Archive is a mammoth outpouring of material both private and public, including three dozen tracks in all -- two-thirds of which have never been released. The double-disc set forms a compelling audio biography of Bing, beginning with a clip from his first radio show and proceeding through his early movie roles, wartime broadcasts, private recordings of the post-war years, outtakes from his '50s radio shows, singles from his later years that are rounded up for the first time, and innumerable one-shots like private recordings or fan-club-only discs. It's a treasure trove for anyone who can't get enough Crosby, and includes a surprising number of gems; his golf-themed single, "Right Down the Middle"; a song he recorded that was played at Del Mar, his seaside horse-racing track ("Where the Turf Meets the Surf"); and a 1960 single for M-G-M on "The Second Time Around" (which he had sung a few years earlier in High Society). As could be expected, So Rare is not for everyone, and not even for every Bing Crosby fan; it's the package to get when you can't get enough, and that time comes quickly for many who love to listen to America's golden voice at mid-century.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:53 Amazon
0:32 Amazon
3 3:32 Amazon
4 1:53 Amazon
5 1:02 Amazon
6 4:00 Amazon
7 1:52 Amazon
8 3:20 Amazon
9 1:35 Amazon
10 1:21
11 1:00 Amazon
12 0:56 Amazon
13 1:41 Amazon
14 1:41
15 3:19 Amazon
16 1:52
0:49 Amazon
18 2:06 Amazon
19 2:47 Amazon
20 2:57 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick