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Born: May 3, 1903, Tacoma, Washington (US)
Died: February 14, 1977 (age 73), Madrid, Spain
Primary songwriting role: lyricist; also singer and actor
Co-writers: View database of Crosby's co-writers and see list below.
Obviously Bing Crosby is best known as a singer not as a songwriter. Nevertheless his name appears as having received credit for two songs in the Cafe Songbook
Catalog of The Great American Songbook, and so he, like Sinatra, has a songwriter page devoted to him.
Wikipedia cites Crosby as lyricist for 15 songs, but Gary Giddins, Bing's biographer, says that Crosby shares the copyright on twenty-three [songs] including seven he never recorded. Giddins also states although Bing was "in a position to demand a credit [bycutting in] on dozens of songs (as Jolson did before him and Presley after), . . . he appears to have been scrupulous about taking credit only on those to which he made a contribution." Giddins also notes that most of his co-writers were also his friends, "chiefly" Harry Barris, Victor Young and Johnny Burke.
The most specific information Giddins gives relative to Crosby and cutting in is in regard to "Where the Blue of the Night," which became Bing's theme song. Apparently the singer was accused of cutting a deal with Ahlert and Turk, the other songwriters who are given credit and who were established writers having collaborated on many songs. The announced reason for the cut-in was that Bing helped Turk write the verse. The team denied it was anything beyond this and Giddins asserts that given Crosby's reputation among songwriters, "this was not the usual case of quid pro quo authorship" (p. 260).
That Bing collaborated with Harry Barris on several songs during the early part of his career is no doubt due to the fact that he and Barris were both members of The Rhythm Boys, the group with which Bing first gained significant success as a performer, especially when they sang with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
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Master List of Great American Songbook Songwriters
Names of songwriters who have written at least one song included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook are listed below.
Names of songwriters with two or more song credits in the catalog (with rare exceptions) are linked to their own Cafe Songbook pages, e.g. Fields, Dorothy.
Names of songwriters with only one song credit in the catalog are linked to the Cafe Songbook page for that song, on which may be found information about the songwriter or a link to an information source for him or her.
Please note: Cafe Songbook pages for songwriters are currently in various stages of development.