The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Der Other Bingle

Artist: Gary Crosby
Song: Cheatin' On Me (b-side) (a-side is Judy, Judy)
Label: Verve Black and Silver Label V-10153x45 B
Number: 22,494-12
Songwriters: Pollack - Yellen
Time: 2:07
Released: 1958

Yes, today's post is by, not Bing Crosby, but his son Gary. Born Gary Evan Crosby on June 27th, 1933, he was the oldest son of Bing Crosby and actress Dixie Lee. The stocky-framed, lookalike son of singing legend Crosby had that same bemused, forlorn look, fair hair and jug ears. Gary and his three brothers' childhood was an intensely troubled one with all four trying to follow in their father's incredibly large footsteps as singers and actors. As youngsters, they briefly appeared with Bing as themselves in the motion pictures Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) and Duffy's Tavern (1945). Gary proved to be the most successful of the four, albeit a minor one. As a teen, he dueted on two songs with his famous dad, Sam's Song and Play A Simple Melody, which became the first double-sided gold record in history. He and his brothers also formed their own harmony singing group "The Crosby Boys" in subsequent years but their success was fleeting.
In the late 1950's, Gary concentrated on a solo acting career and appeared pleasantly, if unobtrusively, in such breezy, lightweight fare as Mardi Gras (1958), Holiday For Lovers (1959), A Private's Affair (1959), Battle At Bloody Beach (1961) (perhaps his best role), Operation Bikini (1963), and Girl Happy (1965) with Elvis Presley. Making little leeway, he turned to TV series work. The Bill Dana Show (1963) and Adam-12 (1968) as Officer Ed Wells kept him occasionally busy in the '60's and early '70's, also guesting on such shows as The Twilight Zone (1959), The Rockford Files (twice, 1977 and 1979), and Matlock (1986).
In 1983, Gary published a "Daddy Dearest" autobiography entitled Going My Own Way, an exacting account of the severe physical and emotional abuse he and his brothers experienced at the hands of his overly stern and distant father, who had died in 1977. The tell-all book estranged Gary from the rest of his immediate family and did nothing to rejuvenate his stalled career. Two of his brothers, Dennis and Lindsey, later committed suicide. Gary was divorced from his third wife and was about to marry a fourth when he learned he had lung cancer. He died on August 24th, 1995, two months after the diagnosis. At the time of his death, Gary was working on an album in which he would be paired electronically with his late father, Bing, in much the same way Natalie Cole did with her father, Nat 'King' Cole, on her Unforgettable album.
After hearing today's song, you'll see that all comparisons between Gary and his more famous father Bing, are only minor. Gary had a singing style all his own, and he showed it with much verve and peruasion on Cheatin' On Me. It's a catchy little number with just a hint of rock and roll guitar during the solo that you'll be glad you downloaded. Here is Gary Crosby crooning Cheatin' On Me, doing it in his own way. It's a shame that he came along at the beginning of the rock and roll era, or he could have had an even bigger singing career.

1 comment:

Ravel said...

Thanks for this tune. I only heard (I have) a couple of his recordings w Bing and didn't think it was enough to judge his talents. Still, there's a lot of his father in his voice... Some of the intonations and the velvet of it. Cool tune!
Thanks for Ms Page too.
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