January 26, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams--the Early Years 1903-1940

Current Status
In Season
Movies, Music, Biography
We gave it a B-

This massive first volume of the life of Bing Crosby attempts to restore the crooner’s rep as one of the most influential singers of the 20th century and save him from being remembered primarily as an ”old man who made orange juice commercials.” This obsessively panegyric account gently glosses over Crosby’s well-known alcoholism, gambling, philandering, and parenting deficiencies to focus on his pioneering use of the microphone and his numerous studio recordings. Unfortunately, except for the occasional human touch (such as Kitty Carlisle’s observation that her unlikely leading man in Paramount’s She Loves Me Not ”had a behind the size of a barn”), the book is so academic and reverential that it borders on the bu-bu-bu-boring. B-

You May Like