Friday, February 13, 2009

The Crosby-Clooney Show, Pt. 1

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

The library of songs being recorded with Buddy Cole was still steadily expanding and was being used for other subsidiary assembled programmes such as “The Navy Swings” and “Stars for Defense”. It was raided again in 1960 when Bing and Rosemary Clooney teamed together in The Crosby - Clooney Show on CBS. This was a 20 minute show aimed at female listeners and was broadcast at 11:40 a.m. daily. Bing and Rosie would tape the dialogue weeks in advance and songs would be interpolated. The songs would usually feature Bing and Rosie singing solos and often a duet. Songs were repeated on many occasions. Murdo MacKenzie was again the producer. The shows commenced on February 29, 1960 and continued without a break until November 2, 1962 when Bing’s long association with radio in the USA effectively ended.

An article by Murray Schumach in the New York Times of 8th. October 1961 gave an almost eye -witness account of the dialogue recording sessions:

"Bing and Rosemary have worked out an almost foolproof system of parlaying work into fun and fun into money. Periodically they sit down in some pleasant environment and turn out material for some weeks of the 20 minute radio shows which are heard five days a week on the CBS network. The approach to these taping sessions is informal, just as it sounds on the air. There is a script, it is true. There are also numerous commercials which Rosemary usually rattles off whilst Bing grins smugly or stares stonily. By the time each of these meetings is ended, the floor is carpeted with pages of scripts and only the tape recorders know what is said.

" One of these Crosby - Clooney get-togethers was held recently in the Clooney home in Beverly Hills. While the engineer, Jack Lattig, tested tape recorders, amplifiers, mixers and microphones, Rosemary beguiled herself with a soft drink beneath a Vlaminck painting, leafing through her script. Comfortable sofas and easy chairs stressed the pleasant atmosphere of the spacious living room. Just before Bing arrived on this day, Bill Morrow who writes the scripts and hopes they will be followed within reason, explained what he tries to capture in the writing of the scripts. “We aim this at a lady’s audience” he said. “Men are allowed to listen. The tone of the conversation has to be light and we also toss in odd bits of information.” Murdo MacKenzie, the director of the show, tried to look solemn at this attempt to find logic in the Crosby - Clooney antics for radio."


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