Jim Kershner did his usual superb job of laying out a story that is important to Spokane in his profile of Mildred Bailey (April 1). Kershner noted an interesting fact: There were some weeks in the 1930s in which four of the top 10 popular songs in the country were sung by a Spokanite – either Mildred Bailey or Bing Crosby. It’s an amazing story.
I think Spokane is missing a bet by not offering tourists a museum on 20th-century entertainment, as seen from its local origins. Mildred Bailey’s story could represent the jazz and blues tradition. Bob Crosby, who sang with the Dorsey Brothers and whose own band, the Bobcats, was one of the major swing orchestras, could introduce the topic of Big Bands. Bing’s career pretty much covers the rest of 20th-century show business.