Friday, February 20, 2009

The Crosby-Clooney Show, Pt. 8

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

So, when Bing took on the Crosby-Clooney assignment, he was well-stocked with pre-taped program material. In addition, Rosemary Clooney had her own show on CBS, also using the Cole combo. Many of her tapes were spliced into the programs, since she and Bing shared the solos equally. Then Buddy and his group came in for some of the spotlight with instrumental numbers. Buddy made extensive use of his electric organ, which was a novelty at the time but has become dated. Wish Buddy had stuck with the piano!

Unfortunately, it is impossible to put dates on the taping of many of the tracks used on these shows. Some went back to the mid-fifties. Others were lifted from the Ford show - still more were re-taped and there were some new ones cut, as revealed by the tapes of recording sessions in the 60's. Sometimes Bing sang with the whole ensemble in the studio, but there were also tracks Bing made with a bell tone, the combo's music to be laid in later. Bing and Rosemary made a string of fine duets together, which were used over and over.

Everything had to come together on Murdo McKenzie's splicing table, where the elements were balanced and laced together with topical comments by Bing, Rosie, and Ken Carpenter. A truly professional job!

And now for the song titles. I wish I could say that the contents of every program on this series are known: unfortunately, about 18 percent of the shows, some 125 of the 675, have not been found. Until they come to light, we'll have to be content with the 210 titles on the following list. They include Bing's solos and his duets with Rosemary Clooney, no Clooney solos or Buddy Cole numbers. And none of the commercial LP's that Bing occasionally slipped into a show for a free plug. What, you say? Only 210 different titles out of 550 shows? Yep, that's right. Bing repeated his songs a number of times. So did Clooney, so did Cole. If you, fellow collector, have a few gems not on this list in your collection, won't you send me the details?


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