Bridges to Bing, take 2

Anthony Szulc is the son of the late New York Times reporter and author Tad Szulc. I saw Tad Szulc speak in St. Paul in 1991 in connection with the publication of The Secret Alliance: The Extraordinary Story of the Rescue of the Jews Since World War II. Seeing Tad Szulc speak regarding the book was a memorable experience. In the question-and-answer session that followed his presentation, an elderly woman stood up in the audience and observed: “Mr. Szulc, I’m a living testament to the story you have told.” Szulc smiled broadly.

Anthony Szulc is himself an accomplished film editor and Power Line reader. He writes regarding “Bridges to Bing”:

I had the good fortune to work on a Bing biography for A&E Biography many years back, credited as Post Production Syncopator (because it just seemed appropriate), and we had terrific footage I’d never seen before from the days when he appeared in a Mack Sennett short singing and doing slapstick, as well as other early films. Giddins was in there as was Jack Lemmon and many others. Lots of anecdotal material, with special focus on the Bill Paley relationship. For me, it took working on this film to come to appreciate his breadth, depth and time span. I’ve worked on many documentaries on many subjects and yet this one–simply historical and archival–stays with me more than many others. As I recall, it’s Gary Giddins, discussing High Society, who says in the show that Crosby’s natural acting style enabled him to upstage the likes of a Frank Sinatra by actually doing very little–even when the other character has the lines and Crosby is reacting, your attention always goes to Crosby. It’s very true.

In researching the post on Crosby yesterday, I discovered that Crosby’s official video archivist (or something close to that) is Bob DeFlores of Minneapolis. I am informed by KFAI radio’s omniscient David Cummings that DeFlores and David are planning some kind of a special Crosby screening next summer in Minneapolis, about which we will have more information in due course. David observed Crosby’s birthday in great style during his weekly “Rockin’ in Rhythm” show yesterday on KFAI, available for two weeks online via the KFAI audio archive.

Among the highlights of David’s observance of Crosby’s birthday yesterday (toward the end of the first hour of the show) is the July 1944 live radio reunion of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey with Crosby on the Kraft Music Hall — together with the Kraft macaroni and cheese ad touting the product as costing only one ration point. As an added attraction, David observes the sixtieth birthday of Lesley Gore with recordings of “You Don’t Own Me” in English, French and Spanish.

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