PBS's new documentary will reveal an unseen side of the jazz legend.
Bing Crosby is about to receive a tribute of the documentary variety with PBS’ upcoming series Bing Crosby: Rediscovered. The doc aims to introduce a new generation to the many sides of the pop and jazz icon. In a heartbeat, Crosby went from a meticulous musician to a media master, to a generous philanthropist. But he had his less than admirable moments too – according to those who knew him, he was notoriously difficult with his family. Even so, after his death, his family wanted to pay their respects – in as public a way as possible, apparently.
Continue reading: PBS Documentary To Reveal Unseen Side Of Jazz Legend Bing Crosby
Mariah Carey ruddy loves reminding us that she sang one of the best known Christmas pop songs of all time. Just in case her original version of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' wasn’t played enough around this time of year as it was, she also decided to pop up wearing a really quite short Santa’s outfit alongside then 17 year-old Justin Bieber in re-do of the song last year.
So we were pretty firmly on Carey watch this year, just waiting to see when she’d pop up to offer yet another ‘fresh’ update on her ubiquitous track. And it happened with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots in tow. In fairness, the chat show host sort of asked for it; he was going to perform a version of the song anyway with rappers The Roots in tow on toy instruments. Trust Carey to want to get in on the act though; sure enough, after the slow intro, there she was in a red dress, admittedly still hitting the notes and taking center stage as the rest of them played amiably behind her. Reports that she’d rushed off soon after the show because her senses had picked up a family in the Tulsa region about to get going on their own karaoke version of the song in their living room remain unsubstantiated.
Check out Carey join Fallon and The Roots below; then scroll down to see our own festive top 5.
Happy 60th birthday, the UK Singles Chart! Yes, today (November 14, 2012) marks six decades since music publication the NME published the first ever chart of the biggest selling tracks in the country. In 2012 the relevancy of such a chart is becoming increasingly moot, with the advent of iTunes and subsequent integration of digital track sales with physical meaning that any track off an album can feasibly rise to the top of the pile, whilst music piracy and streaming has severely impacted the standalone commercial quality of just one single. Many singles are now used mere promotional tools for the subsequent album, or given a video to boost an act’s profile. Yet with Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ currently the biggest selling single in the UK this year, with over 1.14 million downloads alone, it’s clear that the chart isn’t done as a force just yet.
As the Official Charts site itself writes, one of the founders of the New Musical Express, Percy Dickins, constructed the first chart by phoning 20 record shops up and down the country and tallying up their best-selling singles, the first ever chart seeing American crooner Al Martino going to the head of the pile with his hit ‘Here In My Heart’. The debut single for Martino, it was also to prove as good as it got for him on UK shores, and after 1955’s ‘The Man From Laramie’ he had to wait another five years for another top 50 hit there.
The Official UK Single Chart, Noveber 14, 1952
Continue reading: Official UK Singles Charts Celebrates 60 Years: Who Was No.1 In 1952?
Road to Rio stands apart from the other "Road" films as having the most eclectic mix of film, radio, and recording celebrities and references. Where other "Road" films concern themselves with cinematic deconstruction (Road to Utopia, Road to Bali) and others are mired in B-movie plot development (Road to Singapore, Road to Zanzibar), this "Road" proceeds more like a variety show within a flimsy extended sketch comedy framework.
Continue reading: Road to Rio Review
The Road To Rio stands apart from the other "Road" films as having the most eclectic mix of film, radio, and recording celebrities and references. Where other "Road" films concern themselves with cinematic deconstruction (The Road To Utopia, The Road To Bali) and others are mired in B-movie plot development (The Road To Singapore, The Road To Zanzibar), this "Road" proceeds more like a variety show within a flimsy extended sketch comedy framework.
Continue reading: The Road To Rio Review
Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, a washed-up actor who's since bottomed out as a severe alcoholic. His wife (Grace Kelly) spends day and night caring for him, and she's gone to seed because of it. Along comes Bernie Dodd (William Holden), a director who's willing to give Frank a shot at a comeback if he sobers up for the big show... but there are obstacles in the way and skeletons galore in the closets.
Continue reading: The Country Girl Review
Sinatra plays a low-level gangster named Robbo, and his band of merry men (with usuals Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., plus a cryptically cast Bing Crosby) battles the malicious big-time hood Guy Gisborne (Peter Falk, quite funny here). Things aren't going so well until Robbo comes across $50 grand he refuses to accept. He ends up donating the money to charity -- and suddenly, the legend of Robin Hood, who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, is born.
Continue reading: Robin and the 7 Hoods Review
That's Entertainment! -- which would spawn two sequels and another DVD of extras (available on the box set, see right) -- is more accurately a celebration of MGM and its legacy of movie musicals. Shot in 1974, the film takes us on a tour of MGM's then-sprawling backlot (which was torn down shortly thereafter), radically contrasting the dilapidated sets with the films that were originally shot on them. Stars like Sinatra, Astaire, Crosby, Kelly, Minnelli, and Reynolds (Debbie, not Burt) are our tour guides, hosting us on our walkthrough the back lot and introducing the clips of past films starring themselves and their friends.
Continue reading: That's Entertainment! Review