Gary Giddins, Bing Crosby Swinging On A Star: The War Years 1940-1946 (Little, Brown)
Seventeen years following his initial installment, Gary Giddins continues the story of the man who absorbed and internalized early jazz values in the 1920s and became the most important popular singer in the world. Crosby retained that distinction until the expanding dominance of Frank Sinatra in the 1950s and then the advent of rock and roll. Crosby was a movie star whose early light-hearted screen work brought him additional fame. He later developed into a compelling dramatic actor. As in the initial volume published in 2001, the new book’s admirable readability occasionally slows where rigorous editing would have been welcome. Readers encouraged by Giddins’s book to seek out Crosby’s records will find deep satisfaction in the singer’s best work. This four-volume set has generous amounts of his singing from three decades. This CD includes young Crosby with the Paul Whiteman band that that also had Bix Beiderbecke.