Through the Years, Vol. 5: 1953

Through the Years, Vol. 5: 1953

by Bing Crosby

Compact Disc

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British reissue label Sepia Records' Through the Years series, presenting the commercial recordings of Bing Crosby in chronological order by recording date (which has taken over from Jonzo Records' The Chronological Bing Crosby series), reaches its fifth volume with this disc, covering the bulk of 1953. Crosby turned 50 years old that year (though he thought he was 49), and he marked that milestone by publishing his best-selling autobiography, Call Me Lucky, and talking of retirement. Notwithstanding that unrealized threat, he maintained his usual schedule, which included hosting his weekly radio show, making movies (Little Boy Lost, White Christmas, The Country Girl), and making records. The last, however, was becoming a less primary concern. While he remained a star in radio (although the medium itself was quickly deteriorating in popularity) and in the movies (ranking fourth in box-office success for the year), he had dropped precipitously as a record seller, actually not scoring a Billboard chart single at all during the calendar year. This was not because of a change in musical tastes, as the ascendency of Perry Como, a Crosby sound-alike, to the top of the list of pop recording artists proved. But making records just wasn't a Crosby priority any more. Among the 28 selections heard here are a couple of country-flavored singles; a duet single with his son Gary Crosby; a few songs from the Little Boy Lost soundtrack; and the complete contents of two 10" LPs, Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris and Some Fine Old Chestnuts. The former, Crosby's first 33-1/3 rpm LP to be recorded as such, was cut in Paris and consisted of eight songs sung in French, including the Edith Piaf standard "La Vie en Rose" and "La Mer," later known as "Beyond the Sea" when it was given an English lyric. Crosby was a competent singer in French, though he certainly wouldn't fool a native speaker. The eight songs making up Some Fine Old Chestnuts are vintage pop standards like "Dinah" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," which Crosby sang over only a piano trio accompaniment. This LP reflects the reduced significance of recording to the singer. Now that he was pre-recording his radio show instead of appearing on the air live, he took to excerpting transcribed performances from the program and simply offering them to his label, Decca Records, to be mastered as discs, and Some Fine Old Chestnuts was a release of such recycled material. (This makes the recording dates vague; the dates sometimes refer to the days on which the tracks were mastered as records, not to when Crosby actually sang the songs.) Nevertheless, the actual performances are comfortable and confident, as the singer takes a slightly jazzy approach to the familiar material. But for the Bing Crosby of 1953, making records had become, at best, a part-time pursuit, and something of an afterthought, rather than a primary element of his career.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/11/2010
Label: Sepia Recordings
UPC: 5055122111467
catalogNumber: 1146
Rank: 181831


  1. Tenderfoot
  2. Walk Me by the River
  3. Cela M'Est Egal (If It's All the Same to You)
  4. The Magic Window
  5. Violets and Violins
  6. A Propos de Rien (All About Nothing)
  7. Mademoiselle de Paris
  8. Au Bord de L'Eau (At the Seaside)
  9. Embrasse-Moi Bien (Hold Me Close)
  10. La Mer (The Sea)
  11. Tu Ne Peux Pas te Figurer
  12. La Seine
  13. Mon Coeur Est un Violon (My Heart Is a Violin)
  14. La Vie en Rose
  15. Embrasse-Moi Bien (Hold Me Close)
  16. Mademoiselle de Paris
  17. Do You Ever Think of Me?
  18. I Never Knew (That Roses Grew)
  19. Somebody Loves Me
  20. After You've Gone
  21. Sleepy Time Gal
  22. Dinah
  23. I Never Knew (I Could Love Anybody)
  24. I Can't Give You Anything but Love
  25. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
  26. Down by the Riverside
  27. Y'All Come
  28. Changing Partners

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bing Crosby   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Edith Piaf   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Charles Trénet   Composer
Perry Botkin   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Joe Darion   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Turner Layton   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Paul Misraki   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Sam M. Lewis   Composer
Arlie Duff   Composer
Ted Fio Rito   Composer
Paul Durand   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Harry Akst   Composer
Harry Woods   Composer
Guy Lafarge   Composer
Ange Lorenzo   Composer
Henri Contet   Composer
Raymond B. Egan   Composer
Bob Bowen   Composer
John Cooper   Composer
Richard Driscoll   Composer
Flavien Monod   Composer
Dazz Jordan   Composer
Harry D. Kerr   Composer
Roy K. Marsh   Composer
Andre Grassi   Composer
Tom Pitts   Composer
Joseph R. Alden   Composer
Earl Burtnett   Composer
Larry Coleman   Composer
Margery Rothgeb   Composer
Miarka Laparcerie   Composer
Bill Brill   Composer
Jac Richepin   Composer
Auguste Richepin   Composer

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