The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).
Join Bing & Sing Along, by Bing Crosby & His Friends
- First “sing-along” album released by Crosby in 1960.
- In 1958, Mitch Miller released the first of several albums of classic old standards, where he would lead a chorus of singers through a verse or two, and the listener would sing-along with the songs. Generally, several songs were mashed together into a medley. The album included multiple sheets of paper that included the lyrics, so that listeners could “sing along with Mitch.” The genre became even more beloved when the concept was picked up for television – a Sing Along With Mitch series ran from 1961 to 1964 – the lyrics were presented on the bottom of the TV screen so that viewers could sing along.
- Recognizing the popularity of the sing-along, Crosby wanted to take advantage of the fad. He was well into his career by 1960 – his early solo albums dated from 1939, and his earliest recordings as a singer in an orchestra were in 1927. This album was the 89th solo album that was released by Crosby.
- The album consists of 12 medleys. Nine them combine 3 old songs into 1 medley, and three of them combine 2 old songs, for a total of 33 sing-along songs. The songs include a wide variety of tunes – children’s songs (Old MacDonald Had A Farm; Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me), songs from musical films and theater (Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis; The Bowery; Toot, Toot, Tootsie), Americana (Take Me Out to the Ball Game; You’re A Grand Old Flag) and many other standards from decades earlier.
- I bought the record in the early 80s, as I was trying to get more eclectic in my record collection. I had plenty of alternative rock, classic rock, new wave. I was expanding into jazz, musical theater, and classical music, and this naturally got me interested in music from the early half of the 20th century. The sing-along shtick was fun, and I found it at my favorite used record store – in perfect condition, and with two lyric sheets still in the sleeve. Soon after buying this record, I bought another Crosby sing-along from 1961.
- Unfortunately, I can’t find these records on my streaming services. But, just about everything is on YouTube – including this whole album, as well as some of the individual medleys. Here are three of the tunes – Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis; Daisy Bell; and When You Wore A Tulip. Whoever put this on YouTube chose 3 songs that are not mashed into a medley, so it is not quite true to the record, though each individual song is exactly as sung on the album. Listening to it now – I will now spend the evening playing my vinyl copy on my record player! They don’t make music like this anymore!