||From the Vault...
"Top O' The Morning/His Irish Collection"
© MCA/Decca Records
Year of Release: 1996
When Irish Eyes
Top O' The Morning
How Can You Buy
It's The Same
The Rose Of Tralee
Dear Old Donegal
St. Patrick's Day Parade
I'll Take You Home Again
Where The River
With My Shillelagh
Under My Arm
My Girl's An Irish Girl
That Tumbledown Shack
Two Shillelagh O'Sullivan
The Isle Of Innisfree
Who Threw The
Did Your Mother Come
Bing Crosby related sites:
"Top O' The Morning/His Irish Collection"
Bing Crosby -- Probably considered the first "icon" in music, before Sinatra, before Rock & Roll, and before Elvis came along. (The first icon in my opinion
would probably be Al Jolson.) Bing's music was legendary, for his pop songs, and especially his Christmas recordings. Of his pop recordings, comes this week's
review of Irish songs. The Top O' The Morning/His Irish Collection are recordings from 1941 to 1952. The songs in this collection are from those years, but
not in chronological order by year. Despite that, there are the standard Irish songs here, as they would be recorded by Bing, as well as countless other artists, and
of being the Irish nationality.
Among the most enjoyable and popular songs in Bing's wide-ranging repretoire were the "Irish" favorites that he often featured on is
radio program and recorded for Decca Records during the 1940's and 1950's. Bing was very proud of his Irish-American heritage (his maternal grandparents came to the
United States from Country Cork), and he visited Ireland on a number of occasions after he became an international radio and recording star.
"Top O' The Morning" is one of those Irish recordings (and a very popular Irish phrase), and it would be an appropriate title for this collection.
This song also has another popular Irish phrase -- "How do you do?" And of course, both of these popular phrases would have to be pronounced in typical Irish
accent fashion. Two other popular Irish songs are here by Bing, the famous "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," and the other, that would be one of Bing;s
signature songs - "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)" (There are two versions of the latter song here: The "first original version," from 1944,
and the second, from a year later.) The 1945 version would be the most popular. This song would be from his Academy Award winning role as Father O'Malley in the
movie Going My Way. And let us not forget one true Irish song that everyone should know is here by Bing -- "Danny Boy." There's even a song about the
most popular Irish holiday -- "St. Patrick's Day Parade."
Another term in music that Bing used (and most other singers), were the use of whistling. "Rosaleen" has this. There are many songs here that really
didn't ring memory bells for me, since I did have an interest in this era of music, and from the era of Old Time Radio. More or less, this was considered the
Big Band Era, being music from the 1940s. The style of the Big Band sound isn't really here in this collection; maybe on a few songs, like "It's The Same Old
Shillelagh." To recollect Bing's musical style here, would be be labeled in later years as "Easy Listening." Although many songs I may not have recognized,
Irish music has been popular for many. And from this particular section of music, Irish music is well defined and recorded here by Bing, as this 23-song
Irish and Irish-type songs were a natural for Bing's melodic voice and easy-going style -- whether traditional Irish airs such as "Danny Boy" and "The Rose
of Tralee," modern favorites by contemproary Irish composers like "The Isle of Innisfree" and "Galway Bay," or pseudo-Irish creations of the "I'll Take You Home
Again, Kathleen" variety. From the winsome ballad "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" to racous drinking songs like "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder"
and "It's The Same Old Shillelagh," Bing had an infectous way with anything that had a tinge of the Irish green or a bit of the blarney about it.
Bing recorded two original studio albums of Irish music - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Shillelaghs And Shamrocks. The songs from these two
albums are contained in this collection. Two songs from this collection appear for the first time on compact disc: "Top O' The Morning" and "Rosaleen."
"Top O' The Morning" was once included in a long-deleted series of MCA LPs honoring Bing's film career called "Bing's Hollywood," but "Rosaleen" only
appeared briefly as a 45 rpm single record some forty years prior, and consequently, is completely unknown to most of Bing's fans. (MCA Records would take over
the Decca label, and it's recordings.)
Bing Crosby achieved a total of four albums that reached #1 on Billboard's albums chart: Going My Way (1945), Merry Christmas (1945), The
Bells of St. Mary's (1946), and St. Patrick's Day (1948). These "albums" were originally recorded as single 78 rpm records. In locating the songs from
these "albums," they were found in various Bing Crosby CD compilations. His box set, His Legendary Years 1931 To 1957 is a great history of his recordings.
Of course, not all the songs from his #1 albums were in this box set. He recorded many albums throughout his career, spanning half a century of fifty years.
But then there are the mentioning of how Bing Crosby was abusive to his children. He had 4 sons from his first marriage. Gary Crosby, Bing's eldest son, wrote
a highly critical memoir, Going My Own Way, after Bing Crosby's death, in 1977. Phillip Crosby (Bing's youngest son) disputed Gary's claims about their
relationship with their father. Other siblings confirmed of their father's punishable discipline, of being both physical and verbal. In Bing's will, he established
a "blind trust" - being that his sons would receive an inheritance until they reached 65 years old. However, most of his sons didn't live that long. Lindsay Crosby
(age 51, 1989) and Dennis Crosby (age 56, 1991) both died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Gary Crosby (age 62, 1995) died of lung cancer. Phillip Crosby (age
69, 2004) died of a heart attack. His other 3 children were from his second marriage: 2 sons, and a daughter. They are all currently living.
Many claimed that Gary's book was false, and for publicity. Every parents' discipline towards their children differs. But it's Bing Crosby's music is what
made his name. Top O' The Morning/His Irish Collection is a great set of Irish songs and favorites. Bing had an unmistakable voice. His career as a
singer has given him his claim to fame. His "easy listening" songs and Christmas songs are best remembered. He was from the Old Time Radio Era, having his radio
programs, and his movies with Bob Hope were also popular. Bing Crosby died in 1977. An avid golfer, he collapsed at the La Moraleja golf course, of a heart attack.
He was 74 years old.
His real name was Harry Lillis Crosby Jr. But he will always be rememered as "Bing." Bing Crosby. He was the first multimedia star, and one of the most popular
and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1930 to 1954. He made over
seventy feature films and recorded more than 1,600 songs. His Irish collection is a great set of his many musical works.
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