“On this album Dad’s voice is crystal clear and the orchestra is just the best. It’s magical” – Mary Crosby*
CELEBRATE A CHRISTMAS ‘JUST LIKE THE ONES YOU USED TO KNOW’…
WATCH MARY CROSBY SPEAKING ABOUT ‘WHITE CHRISTMAS’ HERE
22 NOVEMBER 2019 (TORONTO,ON) - Today marks the release of a very special album from Decca Records, featuring the soothing, nostalgia-provoking vocals of one of history’s most-loved singers, Bing Crosby, as you’ve never heard him before. With stunning orchestral accompaniment from the world-leading London Symphony Orchestra, 'Bing at Christmas' boasts a unique sound and warmth that sets it apart from past Bing Crosby releases.
Included on the album is Crosby’s biggest hit, the 1942 Decca recording of ‘White Christmas’ by American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin. This track is not only the essence of Christmas in song, but the world’s best-selling single, with sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide and, more recently, achieving over 1.8 billion streams. It is also the most-recorded song of all time. Despite these staggering sales figures, the song hit the headlines last month for never having reached the top of the UK charts. This year, the Crosby family wants to change that and, in Bing's memory, get this newly-orchestrated version to its rightful place: No.1 for Christmas.
The song resonated especially strongly with listeners during World War II and had a huge impact on the lives of both young soldiers serving in the forces, as well as their families back home. As reported in the news this week, the estate of Bing Crosby has, for the first time, released a series of extremely moving letters sent from Bing to the families of servicemen. Alongside his words of support and reassurance are also handwritten letters to Bing, from those relatives, thanking him for bringing joy and a sense of hope to their beloved sons, husbands and brothers. Decca today releases an online image library of these letters, accessible here.
Among the fourteen remastered tracks are exquisite arrangements of ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas’, ‘The Christmas Song’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’, on which David Bowie joins in a duet recorded in September 1977, just a month before Bing Crosby died. Recalling the recording session in a recent interview, Mary Crosby – Bing’s only daughter – noted the rock musician’s red hair, full make-up and long mink coat: “…when they started to sing you could see them both relax – Dad realised David was an incredible musician and David knew he was in good hands. They made magic.” (Daily Mail Weekend).
Households up and down the country are sure to be left spellbound by this album of classic Christmas hits from the man whose voice is synonymous with the festive season. The release is now available on CD, vinyl and streaming/download platforms.
‘Bing at Christmas’ with Bing Crosby & The London Symphony Orchestra is released today on Decca Records.
Notes to Editors:
Bing Crosby (1903-1977) is the most recorded performer in history. He made over 2000 commercial recordings including ‘White Christmas’, the best-selling record of all time, as well as thousands of other recordings for film, radio and television. Crosby has sold over a billion records, tapes, CDs and digital downloads around the world. In the US he scored 41 No.1 records and his recordings reached the charts 396 times - more than Frank Sinatra (209) and Elvis Presley (149) combined.
Films starring Bing Crosby are estimated to have sold over one billion tickets. Crosby won the Academy Award as Best Actor for his performance in ‘Going My Way’ in 1944. His films appeared on the annual Top 10 grossing films of the year list 29 times. He was the No.1 box office star for five consecutive years from 1944 – 1948. He also received the recording industry’s first Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1962 and a Peabody Award for his contributions to the television industry in 1970, but he might have been most proud to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, an honour he received posthumously in 1978.
Crosby was also a brilliant and innovative businessman, playing critical roles in the development of the magnetic tape recording and frozen foods industries. In the world of sports he founded Del Mar Race Track and the first Pro Am Golf tournament, and for many years was a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.
Bing Crosby has three stars on Hollywood’s walk of fame – one for recording, one for radio, and one for motion pictures.
He referred to himself as, “an average guy who could carry a tune.”
*Daily Mail Weekend