How popular was Bing Crosby? Well, he sold more than a half billion records. In addition, he was a megastar in movies and on radio and TV. His “cool” style set the pace for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble.
And when it comes to the holidays, Bing Crosby gave us the music of Christmas.
Bing was the first person to be given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammys. He was nominated for three Academy Awards, and won for Going My Way. As for ticket sales, it’s estimated that 1.07 billion tickets were bought for Bing’s movies, making him the third-most-popular movie star of all time, behind Clark Gable and John Wayne.
The very peak of Bing’s career may have been 1948, when he was voted the most admired man alive – even ahead of the Pope. And that year Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music. That’s hard to grasp.
But now it’s Christmas, the time most associated with Bing Crosby music today. His “White Christmas” is the best-selling single of all time, and his “Merry Christmas” is the all-time number one Christmas album. We love us some Bing Crosby at Christmas.