Going My Way: Bing Crosby and American Culture by Ruth Prigozy

By Ruth Prigozy

Going My means: Bing Crosby and American Culture is the 1st critical learn of the singer/actor's artwork and of his centrality to the heritage of twentieth-century renowned track, movie, and the leisure undefined. the amount makes use of quite a lot of scholarly and cultural views to discover Crosby's designated and lasting achievements. it's also tributes and recollections from Bing's widow Kathryn, his grandson Steve, his checklist manufacturer Ken Barnes, and one in every of his most well liked successors, Michael Feinstein. different members contain Gary Giddins, the writer of a generally acclaimed fresh biography of the singer, and should Friedwald, the said professional at the improvement of the "great American songbook."
as well as learning Bing Crosby's concepts and noteworthy achievements as a recording artist, Going My Way explores his accomplishments as an actor, businessman, and radio and tv performer. Going My Way makes a powerful case not just for Crosby's huge expertise and inimitable kind, but additionally for his elevating the standard of renowned making a song to the extent of art.

participants: Ken Barnes, Samuel L. Chell, Kathryn Crosby, Steven C. Crosby, John Mark Dempsey, Bernard F. Dick, Deborah Dolan, Michael Feinstein, Will Friedwald, Jeanne Fuchs, Gary Giddins, Peter Hammar, M. Thomas Inge, Malcolm MacFarlane, Eric Michael Mazur, Martin McQuade, Elaine Anderson Phillips, Ruth Prigozy, Walter Raubicheck, Linda A. Robinson, Stephen C. Shafer, David White, F.W. Wiggins

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Sample text

In the age of rock ’n’ roll, Crosby gracefully absented himself in a semi-retirement, though it must be said that for Crosby semi-retirement meant a fairly constant regimen of work. He continued to make films until the mid-1960s, and never abandoned TV—there were, in addition to the annual Christmas specials, a mercifully short-lived situation comedy as well as gleaming variety hour specials, among them some thirty stints as host of The Hollywood Palace, and frequent guest shots. He never ceased recording.

Crosby himself took the power of the role very seriously. In his autobiography he recalled an episode in which studio executives encouraged him to appear in clerical garb as a gag cameo in one of Bob Hope’s films. He refused. He also recounted some of the negative reactions to his manner, noting: Not everyone approved of the fashion in which the young priest was humanized. I’d gone to a Jesuit school and I’d always found priests very human and not unlike the boys they taught, but in South American and Latin countries moviegoers objected to the priest I portrayed wearing a sweatshirt and playing baseball.

Gary was incredulous. He told me to get the guy on the phone, daring him to say such a thing in his presence. I told him that wouldn’t be necessary. The illusory Crosby, however, is more layered than a handful of stories. Consider his famous self-effacement, especially his modesty about acting. According to Crosby, he wasn’t really an actor at all—just a lucky crooner who played himself. Crosby even said he won his Oscar because the good actors were off doing war work. In truth, few worked harder for the war effort than he did, and his rivals for the prize were Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, Barry Fitzgerald, and Alexander Knox.

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