posted 08/06/05 04:33 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I don't want to start a firestorm here, but yesterday I finally got around to reading Eddie Fisher's second book. It was roundly panned by his ex-wives, his children and by several of the ladies with whom Eddie claimed to have been intimate.
I was appalled at his comments about Bing's private life and Bing in general. I have no doubt they were blatant lies, since I personally counted 14 mistakes relating to other celebrities.
Has anyone else read Fisher's book and care to comment? I never liked this man and after reading his trashing of Bing, he is off my radar screen for good.
posted 08/06/05 10:03 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Fisher's first book also had negative things about Crosby. (Reading between the lines, I gather that Crosby had met Fisher and had made it plain that he didn't like him.) In the first book Fisher claims to have sat next to Gary Crosby on an airplane and that Gary told Fisher about all the awful abuse he had suffered at the hands of his father. This conversation supposedly took place during Bing's lifetime and well before the publication of Gary's book. However, Fisher's account of this supposed conversation was written several years after the publication of that book. What is interesting to me is the fact that Gary's first wife, to whom he had been married for many years, told the press that the first time she ever heard about the "abuse" was when she read Gary's book. In all the time she knew him, Gary never mentioned anything about it to her. I hardly think that Gary would decline to mention these supposed events to the person closest to him, but then unload on a complete stranger he met for the first time on an airplane trip.
After Fisher's second book was published, his daughter Carrie, disgusted at the lies told about her mother, said that she wanted to have her "genes fumigated."
This sort of "piling on" has been going on ever since Bing's death. Joan Rivers, for example, accused Crosby of being a wife-beater, a child molester and a pedophile. Not even Gary, in his worst drunken flights of fancy, ever made accusations of that sort. One of Sinatra's daughters said that Frank was angry at Bing's abusive treatment of his sons, and warned him on the set of "Robin and The 7 Hoods" that he'd better stop it. She apparently forgot or didn't know that at that time all of his sons were adults and had left Bing's home years earlier. You will note, of course, that all of these statements were made after Bing's death. The only thing any of these people really know about Bing Crosby is that you can't be sued for slandering a dead man.
posted 08/07/05 01:04 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Thanks, Don. Very well said!
From what I can deduce, Eddie Fisher cobbled together from various sources (including "The Hollow Man"), various negative Bing stories and the incorporated them into his book. Eddie claims "Bing was a notorious womanizer," and then dishes dirt about this which he gathered up from Jim Bacon's book. I seriously doubt Eddie had any firsthand knowledge of most of what he wrote about. If he took half as many drugs as he claimed, the man would have no memory at all.
No wonder Eddie's kids disowned him... what a thoroughly worthless human being, and I base this on his book.
posted 08/09/05 02:52 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
For years, whenever anyone has asked me what book I am reading now or what my favorite book is I've always had a standard answer: My Life, My Loves by Eddie Fisher. No, I've never read the book nor would I. I just find it to be such a mind-numbingly stupid title that it's always struck me as being funny.
Eddie Fisher is a pathetic has-been; Hardly worth the space on this site. He's famous only for the women he married and the children he's fathered. What does anyone remember of his singing career. Oh My Papa? Please.
posted 08/12/05 11:27 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Tom, well said! LOL!
Apologies for adding to this thread, but I passed along the Eddie Fisher book to my mother. She underlined these phrases in Eddie's book, which made me bust out laughing:
1. "I was much bigger than Elvis."
2. "Being bigger and more famous than Elvis was a joy."
3. "The Beatles hit America in 1964 but they had nothing on me. I was much bigger than they ever were."
4. "I didn't have to remind her [Connie Stevens] that my name sold more tickets than Elvis and the Beatles combined."
5. "The fame I'd accumulated eclipsed the Beatles and Elvis and my agent knew it."
Can anyone spell E-G-O? What a deluded Bozo!
posted 08/12/05 12:54 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Eddie Fisher HAD the talent to be as big as Elvis, but he blew it away on pills,booze, and women. It was often reported that Fisher was tone deaf and had problem keeping pitch.
I do like some of his recordings, but as with many stars he was his own worst enemy. It was also reported that when his mentor and person that discovered him, Eddie Cantor died in 1964, Fisher refused to go to the funeral because Cantor did not have Fisher in his will.
posted 08/12/05 01:40 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
If Fisher was "tone deaf and had problems keeping pitch", how could he have the talent to be as "big as Elvis"?
Actually, Fisher's problem, musically speaking, was basic: he had no rhythmic sense. He had trouble keeping the beat and had no "pulse" in his singing. He often got lost within an arrangement, as can be seen on the EDDIE CANTOR COLGATE COMEDY HOUR in which he co-stars with Sinatra and Connie Russell. His rhythmic ineptness was common knowledge among musicians. Singers with smaller, less "legit" voices (such as Presley or Dino) will nevertheless always have broader, longer appeal because of their magical ability to swing (or rock) with the beat.
posted 08/12/05 03:38 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
As Arne said Fisher could not keep time. When they recorded their duets "Maybe" and "Watermelon Weather" Perry Como said he had to nudge Fisher in the ribs when it was time for him to come in.
But Eddie Cantor, Irving Berlin, and others regarded Fisher's voice as the most Jolson-like of any singer.
Fisher's voice, at it's best, had that buzz saw splitting the air quality.
posted 08/12/05 04:07 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I always thought Eddie Fisher's voice was a bit more like Eddie Cantor's than Al Jolson's voice. Needless to say, Fisher did put out some popular records and was very popular during the era of Johnnie Ray and Frankie Laine.
He was no Bing Crosby though!
posted 08/13/05 04:02 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
This discussion promted me to do a google on poor, pathetic old Eddie. Did you realize that in his new book, "Been There, Done That", he claims that he shared drugs and women with President Kennedy???? What an idiot! Didn't he know that a simple check of the historical record would would show that Jack Kennedy's contacts with the likes of Fisher (who as early as 1960 was on the decline career-wise) would prove to be distant if not non existant? He also claims to have had more number one hits than the Beatles. Just a cursory glanse at the Billboard archives puts that assertion to rest. This guy is such a fool he's actually factinating!
posted 08/13/05 09:07 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Tom, you pegged it right and I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but Eddie's book was so salacious, so foolish and so disgusting that it was indeed fascinating. I'm referring to this second book, published in 2001. The first book was almost interesting but not nearly as revelatory. The amount of lies he tells are truly mind-boggling and many are so easy to spot.
As for Eddie's talent, I have to humbly disagree with
David. I think Elvis had more talent in his little finger than Fisher had in his entire body. He didn't have the voice, the feel, the movements, the looks, the persona or anything else that Elvis had. Presley took as many drugs as Eddie did and was hooked on uppers from 1958 onwards, so he also compromised his talent, but look at him now... bigger than he ever was. Fisher is hardly even known anymore and that suits me fine. :)
In fact, I'm amazed that Fisher ever made it as big as he did in the 50's. I find his voice mediocre and run of the mill, his looks average (at best), his stage manner dull and his charisma zero. Contrast this with people like Frank, Bing, Dino, Perry... no contest.
posted 08/13/05 09:44 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Some consider Fisher the intermediate station between Sinatra and Presley while others feel it was Johnnie Ray.
Of course RCA's acquisition of Presley in 1956 pushed Fisher aside.
Fisher returned to RCA in the mid 1960s and ended his recording career with a tribute album to Al Jolson.
His Jolson medley on his "Winter Garden" concert LP is outstanding and has been issued on CD by Taragon.
posted 08/16/05 06:31 AM Central Time (US) no email address given
Interesting that Fisher recorded "Where the blue of the night" as a tribute to Bing Crosby... (He also included musical tributes to Jolie, Valee, Columbo, Sinatra, Tony Martin and Nat King Cole on the same LP.) In my opinion that makes Fisher even worse than just pathetic. I don't believe I would ever buy another Fisher album.
Which reminds me, after I heard an interview with the late singer Matt Monro in which he claimed Bing's importance to popular song in the mind of everybody was incomprehensibly (or words to that effect) and then continued (to make things even worse) to speak about how much he adored Sinatra and that Sinatra was the singer with the most important influence on popular singing.... Well, I still appreciate Monro's recordings but I've hesitated to buy his recordings lately as whenevr I pick up one of his records I'm reminded about how he felt about Crosby. I don't dislike Monro (as I do Fisher) but I know I would have bought more of his recordings if he had not put down Bing. That's at least one thing they could have learned from Bing, if they didn't have anything positive to say about somebody don't say anything at all. If Monro instead when Bing's name came up just had said something neutral I'm sure I wouldn't have reacted as much. A difference in taste is one thing, and I can respect that even when I disagree. But to show disprespect of the importance and influence Bing had on everybody following him is another thing entirely - imo.
posted 08/17/05 10:06 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I agree entirely with Lars comments about Matt Monro. I like his singing very much, especially his songs in Spanish. Also, I can listen to his "From Russia With Love" over and over. I do have a number of his CD's. I believe he got his start in England doing an immitation of Frank Sinatra, which apparently he did very well. All that said, I just can't get his comments about Bing out of my mind and it takes something away from my enjoyment of his singing.
posted 08/17/05 08:40 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Interestingly, in an interview with Leonard Feather shortly before his death, Bing mentioned Matt Monro, as well as Buddy Clark and Barry Manilow as singers he thought the best at singing a song simply, without embellishments.
Also, it was reported that after his engagement at the Uris (now Gershwin) Theater, he left a note for Barry Manilow who was scheduled to appear there next, saying "I Love Your Songs!"
To my knowledge, Manilow has never publicly acknowledged Bing - despite his recent duet reprise of "A Slow Boat to China" with Bette Midler. Come to think of it, neither has Midler regarding her appearance with Bing on his 50th Anniversary Special.
Funny how selective memory can be.
posted 08/17/05 09:04 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Manilow's recent recording of "Jingle Bells" also owed a lot to Bing and the Andrews' 1943 version, right down to the pauses in the delivery and the female backup group singing 3-part harmony identical to that of the gals from Minnesota--not to mention the carbon-copied arrangement. I guess since he's never acknowledged any debt to Bing we can classify it as a "ripoff" rather than an "homage".
posted 08/18/05 04:00 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I never knew about Matt Munro's disparaging comments about Bing, but I have always disliked his songs in Spanish. It's not his voice, but his pronunciation is worse than laughable!! As for Barry Manilow, I was a fan as a teen, but I prefer Bing a million times over.
posted 08/23/05 12:32 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Just on Barry Manilow - he has publicly acknowledged Bing a couple of times in interviews. I was working in radio in the early 90's in Sydney Australia for a TV/Radio personality called Don Lane (an American who made it very big here in the 70's and 80's). Don interviewed Barry at the time and they talked about Bing's liking of Barry's singing and songs. I provided Don with Bing's 'Blow-Up' of 'Jingle Bells' to play on air for a bit of fun. I then put together a whole cassette for Barry (because afterwards he said he'd love to get a copy of the Blow Up) of Bing's rejected takes. He wrote back to me saying how much he enjoyed hearing the recordings and having them in his collection.
So as a final note - he did record his version of 'Jingle Bells' as a tribute to Bing.