The Recording Star
Bing Crosby’s recording career began on October 18, 1926 with I’ve Got the Girl, a record that also featured his early singing partner Al Rinker and the Don Clark Orchestra. His final recording, Once In a While, from October 11, 1977 – just three days before his death – marked the end of a career that included over 2,000 recordings.
Bing’s records occupied the number one position on the charts 44 times, for a total of 179 weeks in the top spot. His first three number one records were as the vocalist in Paul Whiteman’s orchestra.
The Radio Star
Bing’s work on radio began during his years as a more-or-less anonymous band singer, and carried on through decades of Bing-helmed series and additional specials and guest appearances. His longevity in the medium was singular: He started out during the industry’s formative years, and remained a regular radio performer – creating original programming specifically for radio listeners – into the early 1960s, long after his contemporaries had moved into TV, quit performing entirely, or simply passed on.
The Film Star
Bing Crosby starred, co-starred, narrated or had a cameo appearance in 104 films. From 1944-1948, Crosby was the top Hollywood box-office star and ranked within the top ten Hollywood stars for fifteen years. Bing is currently ranked #7 on the Motion Picture Almanac list of the highest grossing movies stars of all time.
The TV Star
Apart from his obvious connection to Christmas, Bing Crosby may be best remembered today for his appearances in TV commercials for Minute Maid orange juice in the 1960s and 1970s. But that obscures not only an unsurpassed career in music, film, and radio, but also an impressive television track record.