The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #690


Bing Crosby and Bob Hope prepare for spring training.

9 comments :

Fred said...

Bing used to own the Pirates back when they stunk (well, actually, the Bucs haven't had a winning season since Barry left to allegedly take HGH in the City by the Bay). He left the country for Paris during the 1960 World Series because he was sure that he would jinx his team, and wasn't there when Mazeroski hit his walk-off homer in Game 7 to win the Series. But it was a good thing, since Bing had them film the broadcast so he could watch it later, and it is now the only surviving copy of one of the greatest games in baseball history.

Trader said...

Maybe the only interesting thing that Bing did... ;)

Nasrudin said...

Oh, dear!

Sorry, but Bing was beyond a god.

Your realize, of course, that you're speaking, however snottily, outward from an icon of the Blues Brothers, who were the clearest representation of blackface minstrelsy of their time.

And that Bing was, in decade after decade, one of the heppest white cats ever. At a time when being a hep white cat was nothing that mattered, really.

It's so easy, if extraordinarily uncharming, to be late to the party.

toohep said...

I totally agree with Nasrudin,Bing was ,is the greatest,a musical god,with talent,that mere words cannot describe .

toohep said...

Bing talent cannot be described by mere mortals,I agree he was beyond a musical god. He was blessed with talents the likes of we shall never see or hear agiain.......but we do have his voice,and screen appearances to marvel at thanks to film ,and tape.

Trader said...

Let's say he expressed huge emptiness with great art.

Henry Miller would have agreed with me, especially the White Christmas album.

Go see the link and weep your eyes with joy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Music_album_record_white_christmas.jpg

swac said...

I'm not sure what that's supposed to prove, but it's hard to dispute the fact that Bing Crosby was the first great singer of the electronic age, who knew how to express himself via the microphone and make it sound intimate and natural. Listen to his recordings with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, for example. Sure his later stuff was on the schmaltzy side but there are still great records into the '50s (his duets with Rosemary Clooney for example).

He wasn't a bad actor either, when he wanted to be, but even when he was coasting through a film, Bing was better at just being Bing onscreen than Elvis was at being Elvis.

Trader said...

Just not my cup of tea.

I hardly understand his contribution to the elevation of the human spirit, other than this righteous tackiness approach of life.

I see his work (and the ones of his followers) as an entrance to the world of consumption and materialism.

But that's only me. All my excuse. ;)

swac said...

Fair enough I suppose. But Bing's music did help people get through the Great Depression, Pennies From Heaven and I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store) and all that, but he also recorded a hell of a version of Buddy Can You Spare a Dime.

He's hardly the poster boy for ostentatious living.