All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby was the fourth of seven children of Tacoma, Washington, brewery bookkeeper Harry Lowe Crosby and Kate Harrigan Crosby. He studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in playing the drums and singing with a local band.

Bing and the band's piano player, Al Rinker, left Spokane for Los Angeles in 1925. In the early 1930s Bing's brother Everett sent a record of Bing singing “I Surrender, Dear” to the president of CBS. His live performances from New York were carried over the national radio network for 20 consecutive weeks in 1932.

His radio success led Paramount Pictures to include him in The Big Broadcast (1932), a film featuring radio favorites. His songs about not needing a bundle of money to make life happy was the right message for the decade of the Great Depression. His relaxed, low-key style carried over into the series of “Road” comedies he made with pal Bob Hope.

Crosby has had numerous jazz affiliations including with his first vocal group, The Rhythm Boys, but is normally classified as a pop music figure. Be that as it may, he remains associated with jazz through his many appearances with jazz greats, through his love for the music of jazz, and through his singing on several swinging jazz sides and albums.

The nickname “Bing” came at an early age and is really short for “Bingo,” a character in the comic strip “The Bingville Bugle” which he loved to read as a child. Crosby never studied music seriously. He was blessed with a naturally warm, deep, resonant, and appealing voice and learned how to phrase with it almost by osmosis. In the early 30’s Crosby’s chumming around with the jazz greats of the day helped him pick up on jazz phrasing. He claimed, “I used to hang around The Dorseys and Bix and Bunny Berigan and Glenn Miller and Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang - all the musicians I admired - and I was having a helluva good time. I really had no idea that I was learning anything. But I certainly was.”

Read more






Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra
voice / vocals
Rosemary Clooney Rosemary Clooney
voice / vocals
Tony Bennett Tony Bennett
voice / vocals
Billy Eckstine Billy Eckstine
voice / vocals
Johnny Mathis Johnny Mathis
voice / vocals
Paul Whiteman Paul Whiteman
Dean Martin Dean Martin
voice / vocals
Kay Starr Kay Starr
voice / vocals
Mildred Bailey Mildred Bailey
voice / vocals
Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr.
voice / vocals
Fred Astaire Fred Astaire
voice / vocals

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
Specializing in music, movies and video games
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.