Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sunday Minstrels, Hardly Depressed.

 Harry Crosby, Jr...who got his nickname from
a neighbor girl who took a local newspaper column,
The Bingville Bugle,
and slapped it on Harry at age 7.
When Bing was 22, he and fellow singer Al Rinker 
jettisoned Spokane venues for California.
One year later, they had a contract with Paul Whiteman.

 Couldn't resist this pic of Bing and Bob,
who starred together in 7 Road films,
from 1940 to 1962,
not counting all of the duo's radio, TV, and stage appearances.

 Bing on the set of "Pennies From Heaven,"
joined by the gang from Our Gang.
Top Left is Judith Fellows,
who starred with Bing in the film.

 The Boswell Sisters (above with Bing):
Helvetia (Vet), Connee, and Martha.
They hailed from New Orleans,
and despite their early classical training,
that city's musical style won 'em over.
Connee rearranged the popular songs of the day,
with tempo and major-to-minor key changes,
something a lot of other groups never did.
The burgeoning of radio helped too:
they performed on Bing's show 13 times,
and had 20 hit records over the course of the 1930s.

 Darla Jean Hood,
born in Oklahoma, but by the age of 3, 
her parents her brought to New York
(they knew a good thing when they saw it!)
for a screen test.
A contract for Our Gang episodes followed,
where she debuted as "Cookie."
From 1936-41, she was Darla...
and in The Pinch Singer epi, she sang "I'm In The Mood For Love."

 Her final Our Gang episode was 1941's "Wedding Worries." 
Above with George "Spanky" McFarland,
below with her on-screen heart throb,
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer.

Darla sang in nightclubs and made
TV appearances (Jack Benny's show, Merv Griffin's, etc.),
and made several recordings,
but passed away at the age of 47.
Spanky said she died of a broken heart. 

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