Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Beatification of Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby's widow, Kathryn, is helping to find kinescopes and tapes of Bing's old shows. The purpose is to revive his career, if not the man. The scavengers found many tapes in Bing Crosby's wine cellar, which became a repository of his work. He also drank scotch, says Kathryn. Yet Bing was so pious, and typically, a hypocrite. Bing Crosby was an alcoholic and a self-righteous Catholic.

In his first marriage he fathered four boys. The oldest one, Gary, would have a modest career and battle alcohol as well. Der Bingle liked to give out beatings and verbal abuse. He called Gary "Fatso" and put him on amphetamines.

When Der Bingle died, his will contained a shock as bad as Joan Crawford's did to her kids. The four men would inherit their portion of his Estate -- when they reached the age of 65. Gary, who wrote a book about his father, died of lung cancer at the age of 64. The irony. Why do you bring kids into the world without cherishing them? What kind of message is that? What drew Bing to treat them with such cruelty? He wasn't like that in the movies he made. I venture a guess at the nasty combo of Alcoholism and Catholicism.

So he could sing. Two of his sons committed suicide. There was one son left from his first marriage. When interviewed, he called brother, Gary, by the endearment of Fatso and said Gary was a "slacker and a whiner, always was." So now this last son, a chip off the old block, has all 4 portions of his father's wealth.

Bing had a second family, one girl, Mary, and 2 boys. I don't think there was much abuse in his second family. But he did tell his only daughter, Mary, an actress, that if she lost her virginity before marriage he would disown her and cut her out of his will. How will he test that? Bloody sheets? A gynecological exam? A lie detector test?

On one Bing Crosby Christmas Special, he sang a duet with David Bowie. "The Little Drummer Boy." It was great, but I can't see Bing Crosby and David Bowie sharing a friendship. More hypocrisy. Maybe he resides in alcoholic Heaven now.

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