'American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered'
(DVD / NR / 2014 / PBS)
Overview: Bing Crosby was, without a doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the twentieth century. For over three decades, through radio, film, television, and records he reigned supreme. A brilliant entrepreneur, Crosby played an important role in the development of the postwar recording industry. Rediscover Bing Crosby today in this brand new American Masters documentary from PBS.
DVD Verdict: A multimedia star, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations; this allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin.
Indeed, Yank magazine recognized Crosby as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, around 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Crosby also won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 motion picture 'Going My Way,' and was nominated for his reprise of the role in 'The Bells of St. Mary's' opposite Ingrid Bergman the next year - becoming the first of four actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character.
In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. Crosby is one of the 22 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (a star for motion pictures, radio, and audio recording).
Crosby’s estate, HLC Properties, Ltd., granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives, including never-before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more. Narrated by Stanley Tucci, the film features new interviews with all surviving members of Bing Crosby’s immediate family – wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel – as well as singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman.
'American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered' explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, revealing a personality far more complex than the image the public had only thought they'd known. For the man who still today remains the most recorded performer in history had more going on "behind the scenes" than just what we've discussed here today, trust me. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.