It’s about time, I say. Kathryn promised this book in 1983, and I agreed to write the introduction. She has finally done her part, and here comes mine:
I still miss Bing daily. He could do anything better than almost anyone. He may well have been the most versatile human in the history of the world -- or of Paramount, whichever comes first.
He was known to his generation as a singer and actor, simply because his contemporaries rewarded him lavishly for singing a few songs or filming a movie, but he hadn’t a days training in the one or the other.
He was an actor who never trod the stage, and a singer who never learned to read a note of music. On the other hand, he was an insomniac who immersed himself in the classics of our literature while others slept.
In another lifetime, he might well have been a novelist, or a professor of literature. He was certainly a master of spoken and written English.
Bing never bothered to publish, but Kathryn, the person who knew him best, so closely approximated his style that it always took me a moment of adjustment to decide which of them had written a given letter. Thus the following narrative could as easily have been penned by its subject.
The level of conversation in the Crosby household was such that if it could have been recorded on film or in printer’s ink, it would have been hailed as a classic. Between these covers, Kathryn has preserved a select portion of it for posterity.
Open her book now, and meet the Bing that only his closest friends knew, a sportsman, athlete, and raconteur of the first water. And remind him that I’m looking forward to seeing him again very soon.
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