From 1934 to 1954, Bing Crosby utterly dominated American entertainment. Nobody has ever had as many hit records, and Crosby was the number one movie star for five years in a row. The rise of Bing Crosby was the rise of American popular culture itself. In his commanding biography, the eminent cultural critic Gary Giddins takes us on the remarkable journey that brought a provincial young law student from Spokane, Washington, to the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Giddins chronicles Crosby's rise from college minstrel shows through vaudeville; from Paul Whiteman's orchestra to matchless success in Hollywood; from his courtship of the beautiful and tragic Dixie Lee to his triumphs as the sportsman who created the first celebrity pro-am golf tournament and helped build the Del Mar racetrack.
Written with the critical insight and stylistic mastery readers have come to expect from Giddins, this definitive biography rescues Crosby from mythographers and debunkers alike. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to numerous archives, Giddins dramatizes the ascension of pop and firmly reclaims Crosby's central role in American cultural history.
"Edward Lewis delivers fascinating insights into Crosby's early years by way of Gary Giddin's impeccable research and painstaking interviews. With news reel style delivery and straightforward accounts, Lewis provides little known facts and insights covering Crosby's early childhood, vaudeville days in college, rise to fame in Hollywood, love affairs, love of sports, and contribution to society." (AudioFile)
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- Bindy Wuertenberg
Great biography, though heavy on the technical info
- David K. Bramson