The King of Croon

Gary Giddins has unemasculated Der Bingle.
photo courtesy of Gary Giddins
Gary Giddins has unemasculated Der Bingle.

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Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams: The Early Years 1903-1940
By Gary Giddins
Little, Brown, 728 pp., $30

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That blandness ultimately enshrouded Crosby in our collective memory. Though he made some superb jazz records through the 1950s and a few gems as late as the early '70s, we could no longer see Bing Crosby, the artist, through the pipe smoke of his submissions to banality. Gary Giddins has finally cleared the air.

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