Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Crosby-Clooney Show, Pt. 2

Reprinted in the January, 2009, Old Radio Times.

The Crosby-Clooney Show
Excerpts from Bing Crosby –– The Radio Directories (out of print)
compiled by Lionel Pairpoint

reprinted by permission

"Among the subjects elaborated upon by Rosemary and Bing for these shows have been:
- the eccentric behaviour of salmon after a still has overflowed into their stream;
- Is home-made apple pie on the wane?;
- the significance of the fact that men out-faint women three to one during Las Vegas marriages;
- cuffola (non payment) as a status symbol in dealing with British sailors;
- the exercise break instead of coffee during business hours.

"Wherever they are taping - and this work has been done in Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Carmel, San Francisco and Seattle - they dress in comfort. This day Rosemary was wearing a colourful pair of slacks and a summer blouse. Bing brightened the room with a pink sports shirt. “I think,” said Bing as he picked up his pile of scripts for the first time, “you might call this show flexible.” Rosemary, who had been furrowing her brow over commercials for one of the four sponsors, burst into hearty laughter. They do not see their scripts until shortly before each session and neither of them bother to look at the other’s lines. They try to grind out about a month’s supply of material at each meeting because they never know when they will be in the same city at the same time! It was agreed at this session that they would next cross tapes in London, and this they did.

"Under such conditions, slips are bound to occur, but they seem to give added freshness to the shows. During this session, Rosemary taunted Bing when he had difficulty in pronouncing ichthyologist. He bided his time, eventually caught her eye at an awkward moment, disconcerted her by quick mimicry so that she lost her place. She went through several sentences before the mistake was realised. As a result, the next three or four minutes were spent in crawling through the paper drifts, trying to locate the page she had discarded prematurely.

"Even the generally methodical Ken Carpenter is lured into false security by the general atmosphere of nonchalance. Once, certain that he had skipped a line, he and the others checked quickly through the script. It developed that a line had indeed been skipped. It was one of Bing’s. Each half hour or so, a roll of tape is filled and a fresh one loaded. This is an excuse for a general period of refreshment and a sense of awe fills the atmosphere as though another miracle has been worked. To add to the scene on this day, the children come running in from the swimming pool during these breaks. Sometimes during these breaks from recording, they postpone looking at their scripts for as long as possible, and swap information about experiences and personalities in show business. On this occasion the talk led to Marlene Dietrich. Rosemary reported that Miss Dietrich had spent much of her time slinking behind doorways and chairs. It had nothing to do with creating an exotic atmosphere. “I was fat” said Miss Dietrich.

"The present CBS show began in February 1960. There seems to be no intention of abandoning it as long as Rosemary and Bing can agree to meet somewhere for part of a day over some cool drinks and hot tape recorders."


At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For full details of Lionel Pairpoint's book, go to and click on the radio link.


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