posted 02/09/06 09:34 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I'm sorry to report that Bing's former butler, Alan Fisher, died a few weeks ago.
posted 02/09/06 06:28 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Sorry to hear about Alan. I liked him....he was a real character. However, he was quite obese, so I'm a little surprised he lasted this long.
posted 02/09/06 09:31 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Alan was yet another example of Bing surrounding himself with people who would not fuss over him, or even be impressed by him.
posted 02/09/06 09:40 PM Central Time (US) no email address given
Had the pleasure of meeting him at the stage door outside the Uris (now the Gershwin) Theatre in 197 6- and running into him a few years later in Central Park one Sunday morning. A true gentleman.
posted 02/09/06 11:38 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
I spoke to Mr. Fisher twice, briefly, in April of 1977 on the day I got to interview Bing, via phone, at his home (I was in Minnesota). Once, in the morning, and once more in the early evening as he transferred the phone over to Bing for my interview. Both times, his devilish sense of humor was evident. First of all, in the morning, I spoke to him via my bedroom phone as we made plans for my evening call. It must've been obvious to him that I was young, a broadcast novice, and tremendously awed by the thought of communicating directly with his boss. It was then that Fisher told me that Bing was to have "dental surgery" that afternoon (hence the entry in Malcolm's "Day By Day"). As we settled on a time for the interview call, Fisher said to please "just hold for a moment", and the line went to silence for a minute or so. When the line came back on, I heard the unmistakable voice of Bing, in the distance, finishing up a sentence: he had been in the room the whole time I was talking to Fisher! I went numb with excitement and said to Fisher, "That sounds like a very familiar voice in the backround!" To which Fisher said, in mock annoyance, "Who, him?" then he must've aimed the phone Bing's way, as Bing yelled "Hellooo, hellooo" towards the phone. The biggest, most awesome thrill of my life. Then Fisher, knowing that he probably made this kid pee himself, calmly came back on the phone and finished up our arrangements.
.....later that evening, at the appointed time, I called the Crosby household from the KUXL-AM studio. Talked to Fisher again briefly, tried to sound as professional and "together" as possible, but Fisher wouldn't have it: "Are you all ready, Mr. Fogel? ....Don't be so nervous! You sound too nervous!..." then, just before handing the phone over to his boss, he offered this clincher: "...You know, I'm not at all in awe of this LIVING LEGEND, try not to be yourself!.." - and with that, the next voice I heard was Crosby's. In retrospect, I realize that this man was one-of-a-kind, and trying his best to help this nervous nellie see the humor of the situation. At the time, I didn't even begin to understand where he was coming from, I was so petrified and excited, all at the same time - Imagine doing one of your very first radio interviews with the lifelong hero and idol. Well, I'm so glad I had that opportunity, and I'm glad Alan Fisher was there to enhance and color the experience with his own special humor and approach, which has helped to make the memory so much more vivid in my mind forever. Here's to you, Mr. Fisher!
posted 02/10/06 02:48 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Another quotation by Alan Fisher: "Iīve worked for the late Duke of Windsor in Paris and I found that he and Mr Crosby could have been twin brothers,in the way they reacted to things.They were always amazed at the way people reacted to them and were kind of surprised when they were recognised and adored by the millions. It isnīt a butler as such that the Crosbys need,itīs purely a man to live inthe house,someone that they can rely on.Itīs different from working for anybody else in the world.Itīs not like working for an ordinary rich American,because Mr Crosby-although a very wealthy man -lives the utmost simple life.
posted 02/13/06 02:18 AM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
Sorry. Don't know the exact date of death. Sometime towards the end of January. Haven't seen any obituaries but there will be one in the spring edition of BING magazine of course.
posted 03/24/06 05:49 PM Central Time (US) contact the author directly
My Memories of Alan Fisher: This gentleman's gentleman was always larger than life. At a cocktail party he hosted in Pubble Beach during uncle Bing's Pro-Am, Alan was in his glory doing this role reversal. Outfitted in a maroon smocking jacket with satin lapels and a white ascot, he welcomed every guest with his usual aplomb. We had a delightful time and as you would expect, everything was perfect.
When I first met him I was told to call him "Fisher", and as I recall, he wore something akin to a uniform. As his years of service passed however, he became "Alan" and his attire more casual.
On one occasion, when I was visiting at uncle Bing's Hillsborough house with my family, I asked my uncle for a favor. My teen-age sons were anxious to see the Elton John performance in near-by San Franisco. "Have Alan call and get tickets" uncle Bing said.
Later, I heard Alan on the telephone say, "I'm calling for Mr. Bing Crosby, he would like four tickets for his family for tomorrow night. "When he hung up rather quickly, I asked him what happened. "Sold out" he said, "and just as well, because they asked me, "Bing who?"
I know for a fact that Alan was approched many times by the media to reveal family secrets or personal scandal, which he never did. He told my mother, "I have nothing to say in that regard, and for three very good reasons: Harry, Mary Frances and Nathaniel".
That kind of loyality cannot be baught. He was a gentleman.