posted 11/25/05 07:05 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Good going, Jerry! You got it out that Bob and Bing hated each other's guts on Hard Ball with Chris Matthews this evening. You've lost all (ALL) credibility. If anyone has had any doubt as to Jerry's moral worth this should be the end of it. My Dad knew Jerry in the late 40's when he used to hang out at a restaurant on 54th Street in NYC called Jerry Luccia's. He told me that he was the most obnoxious jack ass he had ever met in his life.
Good going for you, Jer! You wait until these people are dead and gone before you trash them! How pathetic. How jaw-droppingly pathetic! Sleep well, Jerry!
posted 11/26/05 12:48 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Tom Degan: Your dad got that one exactly right. Lewis recently wrote a book in which he supposedly tells the "true story" about why Dean Martin (also conveniently dead) dissolved their partnership and then refused to have anything to do with him anymore. Although I haven't read the book and have no intention of doing so, somehow I suspect that Lewis leaves out the part about Martin quitting because Lewis was an unfunny, overbearing, ego-maniacal "obnoxious jackass." Waddaya think?
posted 11/26/05 04:36 AM Central Time (US) no email address given
Yeah, Shirley MacLaine, in her book "My Lucky Stars," wrote about what a sweet man Dean Martin was (and not a heavy drinker at all), and what an egomaniac Jerry Lewis was, at least when he was young. She knew both of them well in her early career, when she hung out with the Rat Pack. She told of how Jerry used to refer to himself in the third person to his secretary: "Jerry wants you to do this" and "Jerry doesn't want that." She told other stories of his ego, but I can't recall any of them.
She adored Frank Sintra, but told similar stories about his ego and out-of-control behavior. In the 1980s, when she was on tour with him and the Rat Pack, she witnessed Sinatra order spaghetti sent up to his room, took one bite, didn't like it, and threw the plate of spaghetti into the wall, right in front of the waiter. The waiter got the manager, who came up and told Sinatra, "You're going to have to clean that up, because we're not doing it." I can't recall how that incident ended... I think Sinatra just brushed the manager off and had one of his own people clean it up.
Later, Dean Martin left the tour because Sinatra, as a joke, dumped a plate of spaghetti on Dean Martin's head in a restaurant! Martin and Sinatra were fond of trading insults, but Sinatra would get carried away. Martin made a quip that left Sinatra stumped, so he dumped a plate of spaghetti on his head. Martin just froze, deadpan, which REALLY cracked Sinatra up -- he thought it was an act. Martin got up and silently left the room, and Sinatra sincerely thought it was all in good fun. The next day, Martin left the tour for "health reasons," later privately telling MacLaine that he just couldn't deal anymore with Frank and the whole gang and their out-of-control lifestyle. I seem to recall MacLaine saying Sinatra truly had no idea why Martin left the tour.
posted 11/26/05 04:50 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I don't know you, but I do know that anybody who professes to know the contents of a book they haven't read is either a clairvoyant freak, or a "fool". in this case, you are neither, you are simply wrong. If you'd read the book, or were able to divine it's contents magically, you'd know how incredibly off-base you are: Lewis absolutely idolized his partner, and his book is full of nothing but the highest praise for Martin and his incredible talents. His book is a straightforward look at what constitutes the most phenomenal entertainment entity of the late 40s-early 50s, and one man's opinion as to what made it end. Lewis may occasionally knock some aspect of Martin's way of relating to him as they were breaking up, but IF YOU'D READ THE BOOK, you'd know that he is much harder on himself than he is on Martin. The book is fascinating, a much-deserved best-seller, and I'm glad I read it. Lewis is clearly the most influencial film comedian of the second half of the 20th century (ask Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Woody Allen, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, etc.)
It absolutely galls me that people who spend half their time on this board braying about "Bing is forgotten" and "Bing is misunderstood" and "People are lying about Bing" and Blah- blah whatever, will, at the drop of a hat, commit the same stupid mistake themselves about some OTHER celebrity who they find unpleasant in some regard, all too thrilled to have their repulsion validated by some half-assed inuendo that they THINK they've heard (but conveniently DON'T take the time to research, or even read the very source they think they're quoting). I don't want to hear these people wining about how nasty everybody is to poor, misunderstood Bing in the future. Pure hypocracy.
By the way Tom, Lewis carried whatever resentment he might have had for Bing for over 50 years; and never said anything about it. I didn't see the show tonight, but in the book he reveals, slightly, some very low-key negativity towards BIng and Hope, based on what, I'm not sure. He does acknowledge that Bing was Dean's idol and hero, and that Dean was quite self-conscious about always being compared (unfavorably) to Crosby in the early years. Perhaps Lewis still carries some (mis-placed) defensiveness on Martin's behalf over this issue. As far as the interview tonight (which, once again, I didn't see): Let's face it - Lewis is intemperate, he shoots from the hip, and at times says things that are abrasive and disagreeable. God knows, he has been raked raw over the critical coals for decades now, a real critics' whipping boy. Perhaps he's just sick of it, and speaks his mind.
Incidentally, I spent an hour in his company in 1990, interviewing him for my radio program while he was at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. One of the nicest, most pleasant times I've ever spent in the company of a major celebrity (not that I've experienced that many, but enough to make comparisons).
posted 11/26/05 08:26 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Jerry is his book keeps stressing that he and Dean "loved" each other as opposed to the relationship between Bing and Bob.
Their bitter estrangement after they broke up he also cites as proof of their "love" as in his opinion if you don't hate it means you didn't love in the first place.
When Dean is lamenting that he is only a "half-assed" Bing Crosby Jerry tells his partner that he has something Bing doesn't have.....a heart.
What we may be talking about is an Italian/Jewish sensibility as opposed to an Irish/English one.
posted 11/26/05 10:13 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
On the other hand Jerry tries to have it both ways in his book.
While talking about the "love" they shared he complains about Dean's remoteness and aloofness and how this hurt him.
Dean tells Jerry at one point "You can talk about love all you want. To me you're nothing but a dollar sign."
Perhaps Dean saw Crosby's reserve as a means to cope with Hollywood and celebrity and adopted these traits as well as Bing's singing style.
Lewis compares Dean to Sinatra and refers to Sinatra as a "Mama's Boy" who was quick to respond in anger to any perceived slight or insult as oppossed to Dean's coolness under fire.
Other writers, like Nick Tosches, in comparing the personalities of Martin and Sinatra will point out that Sinatra exhibited the character traits of a Sicilian while Dean was a classic Neapolitian.
Neapolitians are more stoic and not prone to exhibiting a "brute facce" in public as would a Sicilian who felt disrespected.
posted 11/26/05 12:52 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
I must add my own little whine to Arne's roses. Jerry was asked to participate in an hour-long radio tribute to Bing in 1951. Jerry used the interview to sing the praises of himself, not Bing, something one could not remotely imagine Bing doing. It is no wonder Dean felt compelled to go his own way.
posted 11/26/05 01:16 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
You forgot to mention that Lewis, in that interview, calls Bing "the nicest guy I know". certainly he's "putting it on" for the interviewer, but at least takes the time to give Bing his "propers".
You also have to consider that, at the time he gave that interview, Lewis was only 25 years old and in the midst of the greatest career explosion that had ever occured to an entertainer (surpassed by Presley and the Beatles, etc. later, of course) and it went to his head in a big way, a fact he has mentioned many times in recent years. He often acknowledges his excesses of ego and temperment in those years by saying he was suffering from a horrible disease at the time: "my twenties...".
Look, I know that something about Lewis rubs some people the wrong way. I make no excuses for him, except of course when I think his critics are guilty of their OWN excesses. I simply get annoyed and reactive when people make the same judgements as they do about Crosby, in that they try to deny him his place in history (clearly the most popular motion picture comedian of the 1950s and first half of the 60s - and NOT just "in France", dammit, a real urban myth if there ever was one), or perpetuate untruths or exagerations about him based on unfounded (or in this case, unread!) books or articles. As people who are extra-sensitive when this is perpetuated on Bing (by people who are obviously as repulsed by Crosby as some of today's posters are by Lewis), we should be a little more mindful of the pitfalls. (or pitful of the mindfalls).
By the way... "influential". I keep spelling that damn word wrong (see my previous post).
posted 11/26/05 02:18 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
One of the personality traits I appreciate about Bing is that he was never 'wrapped up in himself' Always modest and self depreciating. Personalities such as Jerry Lewis always remind me of that funny little skit by Bette Midler when, after a rambling personal assessment of her many attributes, says "OK, enough about me. What do YOU think about me?"
In any event I always found his brand of humour rather childish.
posted 11/26/05 02:56 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Hey, this is turning into an idea for a really great thread!
Let's dump on ALL the performers that we hate, for whatever reason - because their too childish, too adult, "not funny", too untalented, or whatever! ...especially if we think we've read something negative about them that we really want to believe ("hollow man" - style!).
Neil Diamond, John Denver, Miles Davis, Buster Poindexter, KC and The Sunshine Band, Matt Munro, Nelson Eddy, Arthur Tracy, Guy Lombardo, Johnny Mathis, Johnnie Ray,
-- That's all I can think of right now.
But I hate lots more, and they'll come to me. This is fun!
posted 11/26/05 03:43 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I'm glad that your experience interviewing Jerry Lewis was such a positive one. Personally, I have been turned off on Lewis ever since I was quite young. On one occasion Lewis came to my hometown (St. Louis) to perform at one of the local theaters. He was slated to appear on a local TV show while he was in town. He didn't arrive anywhere near on time, forcing the hostess (Charlotte Peters, mother of syndicated cartoonist Mike Peters) to "wing it" and improvise until he finally showed up. When he did arrive, he made no apologies or excuses for being late, but spent the remaining time insulting and belittling the hostess for being a second-rate talent in a one-horse town. It was just about the most arrogant and ungracious performance I have ever witnessed. I couldn't help but think later that if he conducted himself in a similar manner in every American city he visited, it's no wonder that most of his most of his most ardent admirers are French.
posted 11/26/05 05:34 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Do you judge ALL your favorite performers on whether or not they're beautiful humans all the time? Lewis can be abrasive and egotistical. Tell us something we don't know. Too bad he was having a tasteless day in your town (I'll bet it was funny!).
Oh, by the way,how could I have forgotten: WAYNE NEWTON - I HATE him. In fact, I really, really hate him. He can't sing, and I've heard him say stuff that I don't like, and so therefore, I think he's bad and worthless, except as a target of hate. In fact, I LOVE hate when it comes to him.
posted 11/26/05 05:50 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I've seen Jerry Lewis be all the things, good and bad, that have been said about him above. But one appearence really sticks out in my mind. I think it was one of those old syndicated Merv Griffin Shows. After a hour or so of onterview, Griffin asked Lewis a common questions. "If you had it to do all over again, what would you do?". Lewis gave the best answer to that question that I ever heard. He said; "I'd do it the same, but I'd do it better".
posted 11/26/05 06:00 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Arne: The simple answer to your question is: No, I don't. In fact, I find that I place most entertainment figures into five separate categories:
1) People whose talents I greatly admire and whom I respect as individuals: Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Rosemary Clooney and others too numerous to mention; 2) People whose work I greatly admire and enjoy, but don't particularly like on a personal level: Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson and Russell Crowe, to name just a few: 3) Those whom I think are extremely charming individuals, but who just don't appeal to me as performance artists, such as Debbie Reynolds, Ozzie Osbourne, etc.; 4) Those whom I just don't care for either as people or as artists: (In this Rock and Roll era, these are too numerous to mention); and 5) Those toward whom I am completely ambivilant and don't think about one way or another (Wayne Newton would fall into this category.)
With respect to Jerry Lewis, there was a time when I considered him an absolute laugh riot. But then I turned 12.
posted 11/27/05 01:25 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Interesting list, Don (yours, too, Steve).
However, the worst category you've described for yourself is "those whom you just don't care for". Otherwise, all is very dignified and even-tempered. So, I'm wondering where the comments regarding Lewis as an "unfunny, overbearing, ego-maniacal "obnoxious jackass" came from a day or so ago. Sounds like you're not quite so "above the fray" when it comes to Lewis.
Which puts me in mind of the notion that many people in the general public and in the journalism field could well describe another category of performers for themselves:
1. Those performers who, for whatever reason personally or sociologically, create a feeling of unexplainable negative over-reaction, from whom the slightest personal quirk or inconsistency creates a feeling of utter loathing, unreasonable revisionist historical writing, and a piling-on of copy-cat insult and derogatory (usually non-factual) writing or utterance from wanna-be (and professional) critics. The performers who are loathed by this certain, constant faction of the general public.
Under this category, I would list two artists:
1, Bing Crosby
2. Jerry Lewis
Let's face it, you can talk about the differences between these two artists all you want, ....one thing they have in common is the fact that they are detested by large numbers of people for a variety of reasons, real or imagined. For the followers of one artist to blindly heap the same kind of abuse that they, themselves protest so loudly when it's directed at their own favorite, seems hypocritical to me, as I've said.
Also, Don, regarding your pubescent rejection of Lewis: I, too, laughed at Jerry when I was a little kid. I also laughed at Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, the Marx Brothers, and Charlie Chaplin. it's OK to keep laughing at the same comics you laughed at as a kid. It's not uncool. Lots of grownups laugh at Lewis: As a night-club performer,, in concert, in Vegas, over the years on TV, and in movies like "The Nutty Professor" and "The Patsy", which were created for, and enjoyed by, adults as well as children (much as Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello were). Many's the time that I, as an adult, have sat in roomsful of other adults,, all of whom were laughing themselves into hysterics over Lewis in performance or in a film. Needless to say, I was one of the laughers.
By the way, the "Jerry and the French" routine is a cliched weeze perpetuated by lazy, ignorant journalists who are looking for something smartass to say about Lewis and don't even care enough to explore the subject matter they write about: Jerry Lewis was top-box-office IN AMERICA for the better part of twenty years, both in the movies and in his personal appearances. If the Europeans in general seem more enthusiastic about Lewis these days, it's because there seems to be more of a culture of loyalty there as regards entertainers - someone once said "if they loved you at all, they'll aways love you" in regards to England, for instance, a fact which Crosby devotees can confirm. In France, in particular, there is also a higher appreciation for pure physical comedy in general, hence the deep appreciation for such artists as Chaplin, Marceau, Keaton, Tati, and yes, Lewis. But America made Lewis a star and kept him there for a generation.
posted 11/27/05 08:04 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
"I'm so confuuuuused," says she who is easily befuddled ... "Did I stumble across a parallel universe where all things Bing are now Jerry?" ;-)
posted 11/27/05 10:45 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I can't think of an entertainer that I hate. I can, however, think of some that I don't like. The ones I don't like, I think, are for a variety of reasons. Some are for the actions and attitudes they take in their personal lives. Others are because their performances don't appeal to me, be they singers, actors or comedians. Dosn't this apply to all of us?
posted 11/27/05 12:32 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I don't think Bing is "detested' by a large number of people.
I just think that time has somewhat dimmed his memory in the consiousness of the general public except; of course, at this time of year.
In his lifetime Bing was also spared the "derision" that Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and others experienced in their lifetimes and after.
posted 11/27/05 01:44 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Ben, regarding the "hate" issue. - I was just trying to use a little reflective irony to make my point a few days ago - there's really nothing productive about that strong a word as regards artists and their efforts. You'd think it should apply to all of us, as you've suggested, but I'm saying that Lewis seems to bring out very strong emotions, from most people: one either is intensly loyal or intensly loathing. As a fan of both Lewis and Crosby, I tend to try to defend them when their critics engage in the kind of cliched over-kill that Don presented near the top of this thread.
I'm not alone in this type of reaction; Tom Degan heard some negative words, in his case regarding Bing, uttered by Lewis on TV. It set him off and he went straight for Lewis' jugular - that's what started this thread in the first place!
Ronald, you don't think Bing is "detested" by certain segments of the population? I'll remember that the next time someone on this board develops apoplexy over the latest example, in print, of Bing as the wife-beating, cold-hearted child molester.
My whole point has been this. I love Bing and his career. I love Lewis and his career. There are many, many other stars whose work I admire, but none of them are the victims of as much undeserved critical, nasty overkill as the two above-mentioned gents. in addition to defending an artist whose work I've always enjoyed, I was (in joining this thread) mostly trying to draw a parallel between our own crying "foul" when Bing is cruelly attacked, and yet our willingness to turn around and dump on some other artist in the same way.
Ronald - I like Jerry Lee Lewis too! In fact, I listen to far more Jerry Lee Lewis records than I listen Jerry Lewis records.
posted 11/27/05 06:51 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I've just finished Jerry's book and as a fan of Dean, Jerry and very much Bing's, I found the book extremely entertaining due to it's ability to take me behind the scenes of Jerry and Dean's personal and professional lives. I did however cringe whenever I read the negative comments about Bing however upon thought I came to these conclusions:
Bing and Bob enjoyed a professional relationship that started in 1932 and were on friendly terms however were not friends. They became closer when working together at Paramount and when cast in Road to Singapore and had a great chemistry together which they both happily capitalised on but they were still not close friends at this point. Bing said in interviews that he and Hope were 2 totally different people - Bob stayed awake late/woke up late and hated going on Holidays because he got bored whilst Bing was early to bed early to rise and loved 'loafing around'(fishing, camping etc). They certainly enjoyed working together and enjoyed the friendly banter but it could never be said that they hated each other during the 40's and 50's. It was in 1961/62 when they went to England to film Road to Hong Kong that Bing and Bob and their families became really close (they admitted as much in interviews) and that friendly and professional relationship that started in 1932 became a true close friendship. By this time Jerry had nothing really to do with Bing and Bob so I feel that his asumption was based on his limited exposure to both Bing and Bob when on the Paramount lot and on radio shows in the early to mid 50's.
It could NEVER be said that Bing and Bob hated each other at any time and Jerry is wrong to say this.
It is funny to note that Bing counted Dean as a close friend when interviewed in 1954 on a TV interview and Jerry didn't get a mention - maybe it could be a case of 'sour grapes', who knows. Anyway I do recommend Jerry's book to read - it's a good insight into one of the great comedy teams of the 20th century.
posted 11/28/05 03:36 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I highly recommend Shawn Levy's Lewis biography, King of Comedy. It's a very even-handed portrait of a very complex personality, and very well-researched.
One can only guess if there was a little resentment on the part of Crosby and Hope re: the ascendancy of Martin and Lewis. Martin and Lewis even did remakes of Ghost Breakers and Rhythm on the River; by this time, the Road movies were rather played out, but still watchable.
In truth, Jerry's box office clot as a solo in the US was only from about 1957 to 1963, at least until the great success of his best film, The Nutty Professor. His grosses steadily declined from around 1965 to 1970, the year that yielded one of his worst, Which Way to the Front. Most of the 60s movies are very uneven. Road to Hong Kong, for all its weaknesses, is still quite amusing, especially compared to Jerry's 3 on a Couch ,Way, Way Out. Jerry, however, continued to be a force in Europe and a headliner in Vegas for many years. But by the time I was in Elementary School, most of my peers were interested in the Beatles and much later, Monty Python (whom Bing reportedly liked) and Woody Allen.
Many of the 40s and 50s icons had their best work behind them in film and recording - especially in the wake of the British Invasion and the new musicians who mostly wrote their own personal songs.
The surviving 1952 clip of Martin and Lewis charging on stage with Crosby and Hope as MCs of the Olympics Telethon is quite fascinating, as is their only exchange of radio guest shots with Bing in October 1951.
posted 11/28/05 06:32 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
David Pomerantz, that was very well said and interesting to read. I liked Jerry Lewis when he was a team with Dean Martin, but I never liked him after 1956. That is not to say he is not a talent...just my personal tastes. One of Jerry Lewis' best roles was in the "King Of Comedy"(1983), which was originally offered to Dean Martin.
There are a lot of entertainers I like for their body of work, but not their "true personalities"...most of them are like that. Stars like Bing Crosby and Jack Benny, for example, were the minority of that group. They were great performers AND decent people.
posted 11/29/05 12:05 AM Central Time (US) no email address given
i never found jerry lewis funny he acted more like a retard
posted 11/29/05 12:32 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I've never really liked Jerry Lewis, but I'm amazed at the amount of venom that has been spewed against him here.
Things I like about him:
* When he was a younger comedian, working with Martin, and he had a sweet, puppy dog look on his face. You could feel the admiration.
* "I like it! I like it!" in that crazy voice. Seeing my son and my husband die laughing whenever he is on the screen. Though he doesn't touch my funny bone as much, I love how he touches theirs!
* His work with the Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. The results of that work, I should say. I can't really watch the telethon, it is not an interesting event, but I admire anyone who dedicates themselves for so long to a cause to benefit others.
* His performance in "King of Comedy". It was a wonder to me. The movie is not a pleasant one, and some of the other actors were not as spot on as Lewis here. It took courage to do this part, and he nailed it.
Things I don't like:
* Negative comments made about performers I like by other performers (Jerry included).
I guess I should include Bing here, because his comments about Elvis Presley once were not very charitable, though he did talk more reasonably on another day about EP. I guess we all have good and bad days, days when we actually behave as the people we like to think we are. Unfortunately, we have other days when we don't quite meet that mark.
Anyway, enough of the diatribe. I just wish we'd all offer other performers the same courtesies we expect posters on this page to offer Bing. Not that we can't criticize things, just not with such venom.
posted 11/29/05 01:18 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Sue, are you referring to Bing's comment as quoted in the Slatzer book, something like, "he never contributed a damn thing to music?" If so, I should point out that this was discussed recently on this board, and it seems, judging by the unedited John Salisbury interview with Bing, from which the alleged comment was culled, and which Steven subsequently featured in streaming audio--courtesy of Arne Fogel--it seems that Bing was (surprise, surprise) misquoted by Slatzer...or, at the very least, something was lost in the translation.
If I may quote Arne, here's his synopsis:
"The context is important: Salisbury has just been firing off a number of names of people who Bing either idolized, worked with, or generally had something in common with and regarded highly: Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Connie Boswell, etc. etc. Suddenly, Salisbury says something about some more 'contemporary figures' and asks about Elvis Presley. Although it would be easy to understand Bing's being 'underwhelmed' by this sudden shift away from the discussion of the music and style he so dearly loved, Bing replies with absolutely no sense of anger or bitterness in his voice. Here is his response, verbatim (whatever that means):
'Well, he's got something....what it is eludes me.... I can hear him once in a while. I don't think he's, er...really contributed anything, in the way of..... he's certainly unique! - He's got a great manager, and he's done some great, great records. Maybe one or two of 'em I like, but most of 'em sound a great deal the same...'
Next, Salisbury says: "The Beatles?" Bing's response:
'....The Beatles wrote some great things, and they had some big records, too. But I think their greatest contribution has been what they wrote, and the vogue they started. - Because they opened up the field for that kind of singing group, and some great ones have come out of it, because of the fact that the Beatles made it popular. They were young, good-looking, and full of enthusiasm, and they really created a tremendous, tremendous era in the music business...'
...There you have it. The event of these interviews is described in 'Hollow Man' as having been attended and conducted by BOTH Salisbury and Taylor, hence my confusion before regarding these two. The book's distortion of Bing's quotes is due either to Taylor's faulty memory (or his personal dislike of Presley-Beatles music), or Slatzer's own penchant for distortion. Either way, the nature of the now often-quoted Bing remark regarding Elvis is clearly a lie."
posted 11/29/05 10:53 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Jon, thanks for reproducing the whole text. I remember reading it when the discussion was in full force, and I think that's why I brought it up again.
I think it proves the point I was trying, however ineffectively, to make. Bing, whether he was caught off guard or not, did not give a very positive review of EP's contribution to music at the time of that interview. Perhaps he was underwhelmed, perhaps he wasn't expecting the question, whatever the reason. Those words were later twisted for other ends. In any case, when EP died, Bing was much more eloquent in his expressions about the man and his contribution to music as a whole. No doubt he was prepared to answer the question and had given it a little thought.
In the context of some of the comments we Bing fans have made against other performers and personalities on this site, all I am trying to say is that we don't always say exactly what we mean, and we don't always mean exactly what we say! I wish we'd measure our words a bit, especially when they are negative.
Slatzer sure did have a penchant for distortion. Unfortunately, he is not alone!! 'Nuff said by me on this one.
posted 12/09/05 07:11 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Just stumbled on to this discussion during a google search. A search for Jerry Lewis info. I am a fan of his, and Dean's, and Bing's, so thought I would say something here.
First, Dean did not walk away from the act. Jerry made the decision to break it up because they both wanted to go on to other things and had been taking it out on each other for almost a year.
Dean did not tell Shirley Maclaine about the Sinatra incident, or anyone else I don't imagine. They shared an agent and the agent told her. This is what she said in her book. I nit pick here because that is what some of you are doing, but in doing so, you aren't getting a lot of things correct.
Dean was a loner and even his wife and children say he was unknowable. I believe Jerry explained him as well as anyone in Dean and Me. For those who haven't read it, you should. You will be surprised. He tries to explain what Dean was like, but with love and not in a cruel way as has been done in other books.
For those who say Jerry is sometimes an ass, you are correct. He's also a talented comic, actor, director, writer, producer, etc. and that is all well documented, as well as his charity work.
We expect people in show business to be perfect, I guess. As a teenager(a long time ago) I loved Bing Crosby and still listen to his music. The stories of his coldness didn't stop me from liking him and negative Jerry stuff won't stop me from liking him. I might add here that Dean's family seems to like Jerry now and invited him to speak at Dean's memorial service and he also wrote the forward to the book written by Dean's daughter, a book which describes Dean's personality much as Jerry described it.
As for Jerry's remarks in the book about Bing and on Larry King, I look at them as being his opinion, not necessarily mine.
posted 12/09/05 08:25 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
"First, Dean did not walk away from the act. Jerry made the decision to break it up..."
That is NOT true. Dean left and Jerry acted like a jilted lover.
If Dean had decided to stay he would have played the cop in "The Delicate Delinquent". Jerry gave Darren McGavin (DM) Dean's role and took all the song spots that Dean would have had.
Jerry's next "solo film": "The Sad Sack" had David Wayne in the part originally intended for Dean.
posted 12/09/05 11:05 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Ronald and Barb,
Actually, the issue is much more complicated than this, and they BOTH "broke up the act", yet BOTH tried to STOP the breakup, in a convoluted, alternating waltz of ego, financial concerns, second thoughts, etc.
Specifically, however, the issue of the Delicate Delinquent falls more into the "Jerry" side of the ledger. When Dean said he would NOT play a cop in uniform, Jerry's reply was, by all reports, "Then we'll have to get someone else", making him (Jerry) the heavy in this instance.
"Obligatory Bing Content":
Bing's songwriting buddy Sammy Cahn was an early supporter of Dean's, and encouraged him to break away from Jerry, being of the opinion that Dean would remain a big star without Jerry. Cahn wrote the score for two Martin and Lewis pictures, including "Pardners" which was a remake of Bing's film "Rhythm On The Range".
posted 12/10/05 07:42 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Arne: I agree that a break-up is always complicated and they had been having trouble since 1954.
However when they had their last meeting with Hal Wallis and the Paramount brass to discuss "The Delicate Delinquent" it was Dean who, when all eyes turned to him for an answer, said "Bullshit" and got up and walked out. Not Jerry.
BTW: Only kidding about the Beatles.
posted 12/10/05 03:09 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I wasn't there, of course, and Arne, you are correct, according to Jerry's book, they both wanted out, yet were afraid to break up, but he says he started the legal ball rolling and then when so many that they were obligated to balked, Dean said he could still work with Jerry, but Jerry said no, if the feeling was gone between them, he wouldn't go on. But who knows? The important thing to me was that when Dean died they were on speaking terms and warmly. They were too good, both of them, to be a team anymore, but they realized they had been more to each other than just show business partners.
Is Jerry all bad? Was Dean a drunk? LOL Who knows? But I liked them together and both of them as singles. I miss the old days. Guess that means I'm getting old myself.
posted 12/10/05 04:10 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Barb, thanks so much for both of your well-thought-out posts on this board. I agree that we should give celebrities the benefit of the doubt that we so expect Bing himself to be awarded, especially when we talk about them on this site. It's the least that Bing himself would have done. So hats off to Jerry and Dean.
posted 12/12/05 03:51 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Wow! What kinds of words could I contribute here? I just stumbled upon this site and read this entire topic. I am very overwhelmed. I suppose all that I can really say is that I am a big fan of Bing Crosby (Probably the youngest out there at 19) And I have read many biographies about Bing (from different points of views) and while I understand all the social issues that surrounded him but I cannot find myself to hate him in any way. As I once read, i think in a Bob Hope Biography, "Don't take Bing Personally, it's just the way he is." I take that into consideration and think, well that makes sense. After all Bing is human and i'm far from perfect also.
Earlier I read about Bing being a wife-beater and a child molester? I don't know if that was an example of some sort of a fact...but i haven't read anywhere that he was a child molester...I know that him and Dixie (His first wife) had alot of problems that made each other resort to heavy drinking at different points in their lives. (something like...his behavior caused her to drink and then her drinking caused him to drink...and so forth) But I can't recall, the best of my knowledge, that Bing was a proclaimed wife-beater...a philanderer and bad husband for sure...but what hollywood actor isn't, especially in these days?
Over all, the attraction i have for Bing, not only his performance style and singing talents, but that he makes a very very interesting character study. What makes this guy exactly tick is one thing that pushes me to study more and more on him.
And when it comes to Jerry Lewis. I just never liked him flat-out-period. You can all say that i am too young to know and all that, but i'm more interested then the old days of entertainment than todays. I suppose i couldn't tell anybody a true, solid reason why i don't like Jerry Lewis. I guess my only reason is that his humor makes me feel like an idiot.
posted 12/12/05 05:01 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
And just a comment on the Bing and Bob friendship. Bob always saw himself more friends with Bing than Bing saw his friendship with Bob. Even though they were on friendly terms with each other and put on tons of laughs with their fake feud…and had a share of laughs on the set. Outside of the work environment (this involves promotions, benefits, etc.) their ‘friendship’ wasn’t as strong as it appeared. There were many cases when Bing Crosby denied their friendship and didn’t show up, as an invited guest, to many of Bob Hope’s roasts or other events. Bing didn’t even have Bob and his family to the funeral which really put the comedian out. But they defiantly did not hold any hate against each other. They just kept butting-heads more times than needed because both men had egos that were out of this world and essentially, Bing usually saw Bob Hope as competition. But, like I said, the friendship was so much bigger than it really appeared to be. Hope put a lot more effort keeping a friendship than Bing did, well simply, as we all know, because Bing enjoyed his privacy and only kept a few close friendships. (Friendships that were tied more closely to the family).
This came from a Bob Hope biography I read, but a big portion was cut out for the ol’ groaner to explain their relationship to each other.
posted 12/12/05 05:06 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Anne, the "Wife-beating, Child-molester" reference in this thread, to which you are probably refering, came from my posting of 11-27. I think you need to read it, and the posts that led up to it, again. Very carefully. I was definitely NOT accusing Bing of being those things. However, many ignorant members of the public at large DO "think they read someplace" that Bing was that kind of monster, and the damage has been done. My point was simply to acknowledge that there are folks out there who believe these things about Bing, contrary to an opinion that had been stated in a previous post.
Your comment about Lewis is a concise and apt expression of your feelings, and I applaud it. Although I disagree with you, and enjoy Lewis immensely, I cannot argue with anyone who simply states that they personally do not find a comedian funny. Yours is a statement of personal taste only, and involves none of the falsehood or rumor-mongering that Lewis (and Bing!) are often victims of.
posted 12/12/05 05:08 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Anne, Bing was so private,that he wanted to his funeral only his wife and his seven children. But Kathryn Crosby works against Bing wishes and tried to find a compromise to allow Bing´s sisters and brother, Bob Hope with wife, Rosie Clooney, Alan Fisher and perhaps Bing´s nearest friend Phil Harris and some others to attend the funeral.But there were people who got insulted, e.g. Dorothy Lamour.
posted 01/06/06 08:53 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Could I put my own thougts here a moment? I am a big fan of Bing's. And have been for 11 years. And I have collected almost all of his movies and cds and tapes and books. I love the man with all my HEART AND SOUL , so much MORE THAN THAT. More than my soul can comprenend. I could never imaging a loving husband , father, friend-to everyone doing what those things Gary and others wrote in books ever. So i'll never belive any of it. I do think we are getting away from the REAL reason all of us are banding together -because we all love Bing with all our hearts. Arne said that we are whining about how Bing is forgotten and blah blah blah! Well, Arne, we aren't "whining" we just want him to have the same love and fame known, like he had.in the old days. Unless you sold millions of records and had the best selling single of all time. I think this has became a sort of a celebrity bashing, and forgetting Bing.
posted 01/07/06 01:03 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Dear Windy, I am taking time away from my BUSY day, which consists of introducing a BING CROSBY radio series tonight, and presenting a BING CROSBY-themed concert tomorrow, to tell you two SIMPLE things:
1. I LOVE BING TOO!
2. You have taken one measely little comment I made as part of a larger argument, and taken it so totally, ludicrously out of context, as to turn it's original meaning a full 180 degrees in the other direction. I turned to this board today to get some enjoyment and relief. Thanks for wrecking it.
posted 01/07/06 02:18 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Arne - she's new to the boards, and obviously doesn't really realize all the good stuff you (and others) do here, along with providing friendship to so many of us - Just let it go - if she sticks around, she'll figure it out!
Let's get your head screwed back on for you, let's get those vocal chords tuned up, have a little libation to relax those muscles...
And Arne? Break a leg tonite! ;-)Hope you've gotten back a smile!
posted 01/07/06 07:53 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Thanks to Windy, Arne will probably sing off key tomorrow and embarrass us all.
posted 01/08/06 06:08 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Unfortunately I never heard Arne sing, but I believe Arne is as much professional that he will sing in key,even if the stars will fall from heaven and he can enjoy all his Crosby friends.
posted 01/08/06 09:54 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Steven, I'll have you know I don't need anybody's help in order to sing off-key.... I'm entirely capable of doing that on my own! - So there! .....er.... wait a minute......
posted 01/08/06 09:44 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Oh, this Windy's a troll. "She" is just messing with everyone. It's probably that same old tart that posted that Bing was a monster a couple years ago. So "Windy" has been a big fan of Bing's for 11 years, has collected almost all of his movies and CDs, and she's just posting here for the first time? Uh-huh.
I sure wish this was a members-only bulletin board, where Steven had to approve everyone who posts, as is the case on EVERY other bulletin board I belong to. We'd get a lot less garbage on here. That's why I don't do a whole lot of posting here anymore... I get tired of reading the garbage.
posted 01/09/06 01:16 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Bob Hope was invited to the funeral. He's in the famous picture plain as day. He cancelled his show the night prior as he wasn't feeling funny and is in the picture we've all seen a thousand times. All of Bing's kids are there; Katherine is obscured but a woman who was likely her sister is standing behind her. In the back there appears to be a very young Howard Crosby, but that's a guess. They were assorted family members, so it could have been a Howard look alike. I keep reading how hurt Bob Hope was at not being invited but that is obviously made up nonsense. I think the funeral was held before dawn and that might have kept a few invitees away as well. From what I've read, Bing was always hospital/funeral phobic even before the funerals of Eddy Lang and Dixie Crosby. Those turned into circuses and he was merely planning ahead. By the way, Arne doesn't sing off key. I heard him at Hofstra. He was outstanding and He had to follow a full morning of rare Bing Crosby film performances. If that didn't throw him I doubt that Windy Anne can get to him.
posted 01/09/06 07:05 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Goodness......can't we all just get along?? I mean, really. We all have one wonderful thing in common, we all adore Bing Crosby. We all work to keep his contribution to music and movies alive. We all enjoy listening to his beautiful baritone.
Please don't attack each other. It's not necessary.
And, as for Brian's comment allowing members-only, well how would you continue to teach people about Bing? This is a public forum for people who have adored Bing all their life and those new to his talent.
Personally I think the more people able to participate the more people learn about Bing.
Take me for example. I have loved him since I was a little girl yet you don't see me posting on here all the time. Actually, I post very rarely if ever.
But, I appreciate the fact that this board exists so if I'm looking for information on Bing, wanting to speak to other Bing fans or just simply read various comments, I am able to do just that.
And, Brian, the fact that I do not post on here and have never really posted on here before does NOT make me any less of a Bing fan.
posted 01/09/06 08:34 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Oh, I think we all generally get along pretty good here. Sometimes I wish people would read the postings a little more carefully before making assumptions about what they think other posters are trying to say.... and I wish some of us weren't quite so quick to angry response (myself included). But, a little bit of controversy is fun from time to time..... And, I think most of us are becoming more adept at discerning the real differences of opinion expressed by caring Crosby fans, from the too frequent troll intrusions. Actually, there is one GOOD thing about the troll submissions: they are proof that more and more people are discovering this website and discovering Crosby.
And hey, David Robbins.....contrary to your kind words, I definitely hear myself hit a "pink" one from time to time. But I'm glad you liked that hour at Hofstra, which I would have approached in an entirely different way had I had more experience with that type of presentation (I would have prepared my topic in more detail and done without the singing entirely).
posted 01/10/06 05:35 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I suppose I should take resposibility for opening up this can of worms....I should make it a point to be more positive this year. It's just that Jerry's comments infuriated me and I made my posting right at that moment (after having had a couple of drinks, which never helps.) Maybe this is a textbook example as to how polarized we've become as a country - really, as a world - that even on such a gentle website, we can find each other at each other's throats. We've got to accentuate the posotive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative....
posted 01/10/06 08:43 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
OK, I realize that this is not about Bing....except that during his entire career he was such a NON POLARIZING figure, maybe it is.
Tom mentioned how polarized we have become as a nation...and yet I find this fascinating, because there is not a nickel's worth of difference between the two political parties! They may have a little different rhetoric, but they both DO the same things: big government spending, overseas meddling and military adventures, pork barrel projects, corrupt politicians lying, cheating and stealing, etc. etc. Never before have our major parties been so much alike!
I have no use for the Democans or the Republicrats...pox on both of their houses!!!
posted 01/10/06 07:07 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Why is Russ Columbo so POLARIZING?
In the "Big Broadcast" someone says "The problem with Bing is that he's everybody's type" as well as "And the kind of guy men want to be their best pal".
Those statements summed up Bing's enduring popularity.
posted 01/10/06 08:42 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Brian, I apologize if it came across that I was coming down on you. Not my intention at all. I just wanted to point out how helpful this site and bulletin board are to Crosby fans of all kinds.
Being a younger fan (I was barely 4 when he passed on in 1977) I never got the opportunity to see him on the big screen, hear him live in concert, or even have a brush of "celebrity" in meeting him or anyone linked to him.
Therefore this site is such a nice Bing Oasis, if you will, because I can read your stories/memories, hear your news, learn things about him and feel just a little closer to this man that I adore but was born too late to really know. I truly am grateful for this site and for all of you who post and keep his memory alive.
Also, I appreciate the tidbits so I can learn new CD's to buy, new DVD's to purchase and so forth and so on.
And, heck, even the occassional troll is welcomed because like Arne said - it means people are finding the site and in turn, finding Bing!
And, I still don't think it should be an exclusive club because the last thing you want to do is discourage anyone from joining in the discussions and learning something new.
posted 01/12/06 11:53 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Well said. I never thought of this bulletin board in that aspect. I too am a younger fan of Bing Crosby (I am 30), and if you need any help with your collection, just say the word. I can help you out if you are looking for particular recordings.
posted 01/12/06 11:04 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I understand that the opposite of Love is NOT hate. It is Indifference.
posted 01/13/06 09:33 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Hi, Arne I just wanted to say that i am sooooo sorry if i sounded negative or if i misquoted . That was not my intention. The last thing i wanted to do was hurt someone. I only meant to get my opinion accross really. I didn't mean to wreck your day. PLease accept my appology Im not that kind of person. i feel terrible about it. I really would like to get to know everyone, and become friends. I am not new to the site by its been awhile since ive been here (3 years LOL). The sentence "unless you made millions of dollars and sold records" was not meant to be there and unfinished. And I was not the one who said Bing was a monster, that was absolutley not me. Never.--- Let me tell you more about me , Okay:):)
My full name is Windy Ferguson. I am 25. I was born 5-15-80.I have lived in Virginia all my live. I work as nurse aide at Starling Manor. I knew about Bing all my life, but I wasn't a fan. Never paid him much attention. I became a fan when i was 14 near Christmas . My grandmother took me Christmas shopping. She was playing Christmas songs and one of them happened to be guess which??:))))) White christmas! I have never heard anyone sing that why . I can't explain it . Such a beautiful , wonderful, amazing voice. It was like unwrapping a Christmas present for the first time times 20;):) She took me to the store and asked which album of his do i want , and bought if for me.I was so exited and happy to have that i think i played it all day long!until bed! it was called White Christmas(album)I started collecting more and more and my love for him started growing more and more everyday. I started collecting his books the first "Call me lucky" , "My life with Bing" , "A pocketful of dreams." He has brought me so much joy and happiness that i can't describe for the best 11 years of my life. I know he is loved and adored my millions and there will never be another. Bing we love and miss you. i know you are #1 in heaven and have been for 28 years!!! I also want to devote my life to letting people remember him and putting them in their hearts too. I want to thank and commend Arne, and ALL of you for working for Bing and being his fans . Keep doing it. I appreciate it .