Today’s rock 'n' roll generation may remember Bing Crosby for his annual golf tournament or possibly for late night television appearances of his series of On The Road films with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
For the older generation, he was the leading recording artist in the world from 1927-1954. He dominated radio and his 78 rpm records sold in the tens of millions of copies. He placed 383 songs on the American top thirty charts with 41 reaching the number one position. His recording of “White Christmas” was re-issued during the holidays for decades and would sell fifty million copies worldwide. He even had time to win the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Father O’Malley in the film Going My Way.His popularity would fade as rock ‘n’ roll became the dominant music form although he would continue to record until his death.
Bing Crosby would die on a Spanish golf course October 14, 1977 just a short time after finishing the songs for his final album. Seasons was released shortly after his passing. The album quickly disappeared and was never issued on CD.
Collectors’ Choice Music has now rectified that over sight by including it as a part of their massive six CD release of many of Crosby’s rare, unreleased, and out of print recordings. This “Deluxe” release includes the original album plus thirteen rare bonus tracks.
The original album was recorded in London during September of 1977. He sticks to the type of songs which had served him well down through the years. Such standards as “Summer Wind,” “Autumn In New York,” “September Song,” “April Showers,” and “In The Good Old Summertime” all find him at his interpretive best.
The bonus material is an interesting mix. They include five poems which he recorded for various fan clubs around the world just after finishing the album. He chose selections by Kipling, William Wordsworth, and Longfellow.
The final eight songs were recorded for broadcast on the BBC just two days before he left for Spain and remain his last. His final song was “Once In A While” which ends with; “I know that I’ll be contented with yesterday’s memories knowing you’ll think of me, Once In Awhile.”
Seasons and Bing Crosby’s career celebrates music from before the rock ‘n’ roll era. It may be a tough go for today’s rock ‘n’ rollers but for aficionados of American pop music it will be a delight.