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More respect for Bing

Rodney Dangerfield is not the only entertainer who gets no respect. The greatest of all time doesn’t get much, even in his hometown.

You’d expect more love for Bing Crosby, whose birthday was May 3, 1903. After all, he has sold more records than any other artist, to the tune of a billion (with a “b”) in formats from 78-RPM records to digital downloads. He earned three Best Actor Oscar nominations (winning one) and sang a record 14 Oscar-nominated songs (winning another record four) in his long film career.

Besides his fame in singing and acting, he was part owner of the 1960 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates and the horse Seabiscuit and began the first pro-am national golf tournament. Elvis Presley has a weeklong Memphis, Tennessee, festival in his hometown. Duke Ellington rates a U.S. currency portrait on a quarter, yet our musical giant has no named holidays, parks, schools or streets in Spokane. His name does adorn a downtown movie theater, plus there’s a statue and his childhood home standing on his old campus at Gonzaga (which, incidentally, he pronounces “Gun-ZOG-uh”).

Spokane’s homebody and Zog (excuse me, Zag) dropout deserves a lot more respect.

Dale Roloff


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