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(Credit: Associated Press)

BING'S HIT RECORDS

By Charles Apple
The Spokesman-Review

After growing up in Spokane and performing regularly at the Clemmer Theatre – now called the Bing Crosby Theater – Bing Crosby and his pal Al Rinker left Spokane in 1925 to try to make it big in Hollywood.

By 1928, Crosby, Rinker and Harry Barris had formed the Rhythm Boys, but clearly, Crosby’s talent stood out from that of his pals.

By the end of 1930, Crosby’s path was clear: He set out to become a solo artist. History – and the record-buying public – would take it from there.


How many times Crosby's records peaked at ...

Crosby’s 41 No. 1 hits – 43 if you count the two additional times “White Christmas” topped the chart – rank him No. 1 among singing artists with the most No. 1 songs.

Crosby's No. 1 hits

1927
My Blue Heaven
Jack Fulton sang the lead vocal in this recording. Crosby sang as part of the chorus.

1928
Ol’ Man River
By the Rhythm Boys

1929
Great Day
By the Rhythm Boys

1930
Three Little Words
By the Rhythm Boys

1931
Out of Nowhere
Crosby’s first solo recording
Just One More Chance
At Your Command
Dinah

1932
Please
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

1933
You’re Getting To Be a Habit With Me
Shadow Waltz

1934
Little Dutch Mill
Love in Bloom
June in January

1935
Soon
It’s Easy to Remember
Red Sails in the Sunset

1936
Pennies from Heaven

1937
Sweet Leilani
Too Marvelous For Words
The Moon Got in My Eyes
Remember Me?
Bob White

1938
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

1940
Sierra Sue
Trade Winds
Only Forever

1942
White Christmas
Moonlight Becomes You

1943
Sunday, Monday and Always

1944
San Fernando Valley
Swinging on a Star
I Love You
I’ll Be Seeing You
A Hot Time in the Town of Berlin
Don’t Fence Me In

1945
It’s Been a Long Time
I Can’t Begin to Tell You
White Christmas (reissue)

1947
White Christmas (reissue)

1948
Now is the Hour

Bing Crosby’s top-selling single was the Irving Berlin holiday tune “White Christmas,” which has reportedly sold more than 50 million copies.

Crosby recorded the song in just 18 minutes in May 1942, releasing the 78-rpm single in July as part of the soundtrack for the film “Holiday Inn.” The song would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

That Holiday season, the single would occupy No. 1 on the Billboard chart for 11 weeks. It would return to the charts 20 times, hitting No. 1 twice more, in 1945 and in early 1947.

By that time, the original master recording was damaged from frequent use. The version heard most often today is a re-recording Crosby made in 1947.

Sources: BingCrosby.com, BingMagazine.co.uk, Steven Lewis’ Bing Crosby Internet Museum, PBS’ American Masters, Biography.com, SocietyArtRock.org