Bing Crosby by Gary Giddins
A Pocketful of Dreams--The Early Years 1903-1940

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From Bing Crosby's early days in college minstrel shows and vaudeville, to his first hit recordings, from his 11 year triumph as star of America's most popular radio show, to his first success in Hollywood, Gary Giddins provides a detailed study of the rise of this American star.

About Gary Giddins

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Gary Giddins is a long-time columnist for the Village Voice and a preeminent jazz critic who received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, and the Bell Atlantic Award for Visions of Jazz: The First Century in 1998. His other books include Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams: The Early Years, 1903 1940, which won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research; Weatherbird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century; Faces in the Crowd; Natural Selection, Warning Shadows; and biographies of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. He has won an unparalleled six ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Peabody Award in Broadcasting.
Published November 11, 2009 by Back Bay Books. 768 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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(Crosby nursed at least some of these pleasures well into adulthood.) Chosen class speaker for his sonorous voice, Crosby parlayed a love for singing popular and operatic songs into a place in famed bandleader Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, where he honed his skills as a showman, carefully developed ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Giddins reminds us that, in the 1920s and '30s, Crosby was a very jazzy singer indeed: ""the first white performer to appreciate and assimilate the genius of Louis Armstrong."" This sober, comprehensive biography lacks the thematic breadth and action-packed sentences that made Giddins's Visions o...

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Book Reporter

In the introduction to BING CROSBY: A POCKETFUL OF DREAMS, Gary Giddins writes: "A performer of such enormous popularity becomes, inevitably and in spite of himself, a social critic.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of D...


Bing Crosby sounds the way other people think they sound in the shower, some wag once observed.

Jan 22 2001 | Read Full Review of Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of D...

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