Crosby turned pop singing into big business in the middle years of the 20th century and this lushly illustrated book tells the story of a unique career. The impact of the easy-going voice is thoughtfully assessed and the hugely successful move into film is well documented. Freedland claims Crosby was the greatest ever screen priest, better even than Spencer Tracy, and the run through his dramatic, comic, and just plain excuses to sing a song parts is comprehensively delivered.
But while Bing was a hit with the public, at home things were different. Some of Crosby's own children have depicted him as a vicious martinet, a drunk, and a bully. To his credit Freedland doesn't dodge these allegations and ultimately this book provides a rounded and convincing picture of a remarkable entertainer and a complex man. --Nick Wroe