Western Wanderings: The Voice of Christmas

By Fish, Peter | Sunset, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Western Wanderings: The Voice of Christmas


Fish, Peter, Sunset


* SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--In our house, the December ritual goes like this. We gather around the VCR, eggnogs in hand, and fidget until the movie begins. Opening scene: Christmas Eve 1944, the European theater, not far from the front lines. On an impromptu stage, two song-and-dance men in Santa hats soft-shoe for their fellow GIs. Then the dance number ends, and one of the hoofers steps forward. In a baritone of almost ethereal purity and strength he begins to sing, "I'm dreaming of ..."

The dream is of a white Christmas; the singer is Bing Crosby. At one time, such identifying information would have been superfluous. But in the quarter century since his death, the singer has been pushed aside in favor of flashier entertainers. Now he is being rediscovered.

"I could listen to him for hours," says Stephanie Edwards Plowman, curator of the Bing Crosby Collection at Gonzaga University in Spokane.

The Bing Crosby Collection is here because Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was a Spokane boy; he studied with the Jesuits at Gonzaga High School and later at Gonzaga University. He was pondering law school when he realized his weekend passion--singing with a local five-piece band known as the Musicaladers--mattered more to him than being an attorney. In 1925, at the age of 22, he hotfooted it to Los Angeles and tried to break into show business.

He hit it big. He toured with jazz band leader Paul Whiteman, made a movie, sold records and more records (although his first gold record, Sweet Leilani, did not come until 1937). By the late 1930s he was among the nation's most popular radio personalities; by the 1940s he was one of Hollywood's top stars. And all the time he was singing in a voice that friend Louis Armstrong likened to "gold being poured out of a cup."

Mementos from this career fill the Crosbyana Room: sheet music and gold records, posters from Crosby's Road movies with Bob Hope, and the Oscar he earned in Going My Way.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Western Wanderings: The Voice of Christmas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.