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.
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