The Fabulous Eddie Rice Recordings

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Cathie posted 03/03/06 01:16 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
We were recently informed by his granddaughter that our old friend, EDDIE RICE, who produced the famed RICE TAPES had passed away in late February. It is the granddaughters wish that we through the good offices of Bing's Friends and Collectors Society help the Rice Family in arranging matters dealing with the disposal of Mr. Rice's Crosby Collection. Details will be forthcoming at a future date.
Dieter Beier posted 03/03/06 09:18 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Look at Bing-A Voice For All Seasons by Sheldon O´Connell, pages 176/177 on chapter 21 Collectors And Collectibles. There is a fine report about Edward A. Rice and about how Ed meets John Scott Trotter until his work for Broadway Recordings.A very fine Bing Crosby fan,who made a lot to preserve Bing´s heritage-especially that one from the Kraft Music Hall. Dear Ed -thank you from the (younger) Crosby friends!!! (A 1962 photo from Ed with Bing is on page 164)
Ben Weaver posted 03/03/06 11:27 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Broadway Intermission LP #BR-116 contains "The Fabulous Rice Tapes" from The Kraft Music Hall programmes for the period June 10th,1937 to November 18,1937.
The notes to the album provide some interesting background information.
"This album contains the first twenty-one selections from what Crosby enthusiasts refer to as "the Rice tapes". These tracks are real rarities; we feel very fotunate to be able to present them on this album and share them with others.
Before the advent of tape, John Scott Trotter had the practice of recording on disc all the arrangements that he performed with Bing Crosby on the radio. Thus, if on any future show Bing would want to repeat a number or there was a question about an arrangement, Trotter would always have the disc to refer back to. This allowed him to check the arrangements, and make any changes that were necessary.
After several years the number of discs that Trotter accumulated numbered well over 500 selections. Eventually Trotter disposed of the discs to a friend, and after they were transferred to tape [or so the story goes] they became known as "the Rice tapes".
Fortunately for all of us, John Scott Trotter had the fore-sight to make these discs for his personal use; because these are the only known copies of these items. No known copies of any transcriptions of the complete shows have been turned up.
Of the twenty-one selections on this album only six were recorded and released commercially on 78 rpm records, the remainder are available for the first time on this album".
Thank-you Mr. Trotter and Eddie Rice for this great treasure. Rest In Peace.
Dieter Beier posted 03/04/06 08:09 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
The Rice tapes were also the source of 3 JSP LP´s(Bing Crosby In The Thirties),that were issued between 1984 to 86 by Geoff Milne with transfers and engeneering by Dave Bennett and John R. T. Davis from the Derek Parkes collection.The sound is good.Even better are the CD A Bing Crosby Calvacade Of Song(Festival-Interfusion also taken from Trotter acetates (Rice tapes?) and was mastered by David Carrington.

How Eddie Rice get to the "Rice tapes":

"...But he is a collector with a difference.When he began to rebuild his collection(His first collection Eddie sold financing the medical treatment for one of his parents)a mutual friend gave Ed Rice the address of John Scott Trotter,Bing´principal music director andorchestra leader.Rather than waste time writing letters,Ed impulsively drove to Trotter´s address and knocked on the door.Each discovered that the other was sincerely devoted to the music of Bing Crosby and they became great friends.Once during a visit Ed asked John Scott Trotter if he ever kept reference recordings of the Kraft Music Hall and was thrilled to learn that most had been kept.In fact,he was told,the reference recordings were beneath their feet,stored away in a crawl space under the floor boards!John Scott took his friend around to a small access door.In an instant his guest was under the floor where he discovered dusty stacks of acetate recordings;mostly 10" mixed with a few 12" records.He carried an armload back into the apartment and looked over them carefully.Their labels were blank white with date notations and a few song titles scribbled on them.As Ed sorted,John Scott explained how he had used them to compare musical passages or review a number with Bing they planned to repeat.Most were Bing solos with bits of dialogue before and after with cast and guests.Few collectors had ever been in such a remarkable position!Rice asked his friend if he might borrow and copy the material onto tape.Trotter hesitated only because the music on them was now old fashioned.He and Bing were into modern arrangements.In fact,Trotter had been considering donating them to a university anxious to use them as study-resource material.Ed Rice continues:

"well I was exited of course and cocerned too.I asked John Scott to consider that the material represented a great opportunity to share and preserve this once very popular style of orchestral composition.Since Bing had a legion of followers,these people too would be greatly enriched with copies of such material on a no cost basis.It seemed to me that preservation would be ensured among Bing´s friends in the collecting society around the world.I argued that the material could still be made available on a non-exclusive basis to a university but should not be limited to that.We talked many times about this and finally he generously agreed.I can still remember John Scott Trotter´s response,´Alright Eddie,take them home,put them on tape.`

For the next several months,I guess it was well into 1963,I spent most of my free time copying out the soft acetate recordings,the test or reference recordings.Most of the 500 were clear enough to tape although some had a few technical faults.I also compiled a list detailing all the known information such as broadcast,rehearsel dates,support musicians,titles and voices.I sent this along to fellow collectors knowing these would be copied endlessly.I expected this.Even the list I compiled has now become a kind of classic publication istributed among Bing´s admirers.Over the years that followed I´ve noticed some of the songs appear on óldtime´radio broadcasts and records.And I´m happy about it!Here he is still young as,so very lightly,he sang those ten years of Kraft Thursdays.Perhaps never again would Bing Crosby sing quite so easily and carefree as on those woderful radio programmes.

As a collector the most exiting time in my career was to be invited by Bing Crosby himself to put his personal record collection in library order.....""

(Sheldon O´Connell:Bing-A Voice For All Seasons)
Hobie and Cathie posted 03/04/06 12:22 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
EDWARD ALLEN RICE, "Eddie"to his friends was 91 at the time of his death. Cathie and I knew him for over 30 years and we shared many a good times at various Crosby functions during that period. Eddie was one of the few remaining serious Crosby collectors who took pride in his collection. He was very generous with fellow collectors as well.Shortly before he passed he had his caretaker call us to say he was "hanging in there" and that there are only a handful of the old gang left. REST IN PEACE OLD BUDDY
Steven Lewis posted 03/04/06 01:59 PM Central Time (US)     No E-mail no email address given
When you donate items to the Library of Congress, you might as well pack them for a trip on the next Mars probe. As things are now, you have to go to the LOC in Washington to access the items. They will make copies of their meager broadcast collections of Bing's but the duplication price is expensive and they make you sign a legal document you will not distribute or copy the item.

At least in the past Gonzaga has offered up its radio broadcast collection to distributors such as LaserLight. LaserLight's great set of WWII Kraft recordings were loaned from the Gonzaga collection and they were sold at a very modest price. Unfortunately, this transaction was more than 10 years ago and there has been no further activity along these lines from Gonzaga. Perhaps no one has expressed an interest in marketing Bing's old broadcasts. Perhaps Mrs. Crosby forbid it. I don't know the answer to this question. But I would much rather see a collection like Kraft transcription disks go to a source that would permit all Crosby fans to enjoy them at a modest cost. Bing should be spread around, not gather dust in any museum.
Ronald Sarbo posted 03/04/06 06:30 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
All of us have Crosby collections. Some collections are more "unique" then others.

With respect to such unique items as original transcription disks or letters Bing wrote and received I would prefer to see this type of material held in one place.

If it is Bing's family's wish that that place be Gonzaga then so be it.

Of course we want Crosby "spread around" but does it do any good to have it spread around in low quality sound? I think Bing's musical legacy deserves better.

I would prefer to have original source material be available to Ken Barnes or other producers who know how to properly restore it.

If precious archival material is properly kept and preserved in one place it reduces the chances of some of it being lost to everyone.
Steven Lewis posted 03/04/06 11:14 PM Central Time (US)     No E-mail no email address given
Ron, we agree. If those people who hold master broadcast disks of KMH (Dave Goldin, for example, former owner or Radiola and Radio Yesteryear) would donate or sell these items to the Kiners (Redmund Nostalgia) or the ICC or First Gneration Radio Archives we could at least get these high quality copies distributed to collectors. These organizations have all demonstrated they can produce high quality transcriptions from source material. Then they can donate the originals to Gonzaga or the LOC for safe keeping and dust gathering.
Arne posted 03/06/06 03:32 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Whoever it is that is passing himself off for "Dean" these days, should know (or perhaps does), that Judy has done more to help perpetuate the public awareness of Bing Crosby in the last two years than most of the rest of us will have done in a lifetime.

As regards the benefits of the Gonzaga Crosby Collection, the young lady has made herself more than clear. Yet you ignore her explanations and rationale re: the eventual circulation of Bing's works for the ultimate enjoyment of everybody, and go back to the same juvenile notion that a University or museum collection automatically equals "gathering dust" forever. And tell me how Bing's legacy quietly squirreled away in the cellars of a bunch of private, unaffiliated collectors, is going to enhance awareness of his works, or make his performances available to a wider audience?
DEAN posted 03/06/06 09:34 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Arne, Judy has done a lot of good for the Bing Crosby cause, I will give you that. But I have little faith in the Gonzaga collection. I live "across the pond" so I haven't been there, but I have called them, and they do not even have someone on staff there on a regular basis. All of those collections are just sitting there until the "funds" are available. Bing Crosby has been dead since 1977, as you may or may not know, so if the funds were not there in 2000 or 2001, they sure won't be made available in 2006. I am sure Gonzaga University's top priority is not Bing Crosby.

Again, it is all my opinion. I am not sure I am right, but it is how I feel. Maybe you "Yanks" do things differently. I guess I am more of a dying breed...I am a music lover, not a music collector.
Dieter Beier posted 03/06/06 11:14 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I´m also from "across the pond" and think too the songs, films, radio and TV shows must give a chance to get spread and therefore get alive.That Bing wasn´t present and alive enough in the last decades-Bing´s magic and legendary state-that Bing isn´t since a long time the big BC,El Bingo,Le Bing,Der Bingle or Der Bingel,Mr Music,Uncle Sam´s Whisker or whatever he was called around the world.And he isn´t rarely THE CROONER outside this discussion board.That were and are certainly a count of engaged Crosby fans and collectors,but there was no real marketing strategy to hold Bing to the great,common public living-around the world.There were also a lot of non English countries Bing was especially something like a trademark for America (and his way of living) and he was highrated -to name only Italy,Nederlands,Spain,France, Japan and Germany.The marketing of some other families like the Sinatras and Presleys were much more professional than from the Crosbys.Maybe I´m wrong and from across the pond,but many year after Bing´s death I have heard nothing on this side of the ocean from the Crosbys-even as highly interested fan,but a lot of Presley and Sinatra-to mention only the Nancy Sinatra biography beside many other Sinatra books,that were all issued too as German translated books-many are glamourous illustrated with a passable price.But where is Bing?Larry Hagman-something like a commercial icon in Germany(for milk and big media market)tries,if he is invited on German talkshows to mention Bing´s name.In one show he asked:"Do you know Bing Crosby?-You should know this great and wonderful singer."-No reaction from the talkmaster,he tried to change fastly the topic.
Eddie Rice-to get to the main topic -also wished,that Bing could "made be available on a non-excluvie basis to a university,but should not be limited on that....these would be copied endlessly.I exspected this."Museums and Universities on this side of this ocean collecting so much donations as possible in deep and big cellars and many times they don´t even archive and register their lot of donations ,because they have not enough personal and money.And a artist of the "lively arts" must have get present in all kinds of modern medias-TV, radio, CD, DVD, internet, books, magazines and newspapers - if he will also have as a nostalgic figure a future.Steven´s Bing Crosby Internet Museum is one fine step int the right way,that must be made even more popular.Do exist any Crosby forums in foreign languages-as their exist e.g. German Sinatra and Presley boards-to name only "historical" stars?Bing´s opus must be be spread with phantasy and modern marketing and also with some risk-not only the same again.An Bing have had a tremendous output-many unknown with an astounding quality.I was surprised to read that the the Jonzos are only pressed 600times each.Bing was once the "world " biggest record seller!There are huge CD boxes from Frank-limitaded and numerated to 30 or 40.000 copies.And 600 "fine" Jonzos "worldwide".I think this can´t be OK!!!
Leah posted 03/06/06 11:16 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
I visited the Gonzaga public collection last summer on campus in the old library, now the student union building. My impression was that they definitely could have put more effort into it, but it was still interesting. Later, I had a queston about it so I sent a message to the email listed on their website and was met with dead silence dispite sending 2nd and 3rd requests. At the very least, they should have responded telling me I had the wrong department or couldn't provide the information I wanted, or something! Otherwise, why have the email listed on their website.
Sue Horn posted 03/06/06 12:05 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
As far as I know, Gonzaga does have someone on staff on a regular basis for the Crosby collection. I can't remember her name right now, but I think it is Stephanie, and I met her when I was there. The collection is well-displayed and taken care of. Perhaps because of the huge time difference between Europe and Spokane, the time when Dean has called from across the pond has been when no one was on duty.

Judy's explanation about the funds being available was clear to me. They will be available when the collection is big enough to solicit grants to digitize the information. There are no funds for acquiring stuff, but there are funds for preserving it and making it available to fans once it has been acquired, in the for m of grants, etc.

Steven's suggestion of making materials available to those in a position to market them and then donating the masters to Gonzaga seems to be the best of both worlds.

I think these treasures are much more apt to gather dust in a private collection than if they are placed in the hands of respoonsible distributors and the permanent collection at Gonzaga.

My two cents,
Sue
Arne posted 03/06/06 01:18 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Dieter, I think most of what you are saying immediately above has more to do with an even bigger problem: The total refusal of Universal-MCA to view Bing's work as a complete "body", a "legacy", instead of as a series of piecemeal novelties to be dribbled out in limp, half-hearted fashion. I'm well aware of the fact that knowledgable, dedicated Crosby collectors and fans are often consulted regarding the release and preparation of these packages, but they are unfortunately still under the jurisdiction of the MCA "policy": that there are, perhaps, no more than 100 Crosby recordings or 10 or eleven of his films that are of any interest to anybody. Until this mindset is cracked open, there will be no more box sets. Quite simply, those in control of Bing's greatest body of work do not view said "body" as such - a totality; a legacy, a single "body of work".

Dean: I knew Bing died in 1977; thanks anyway. And I am also a music "lover" as well as a "collector"; the two can co-exist, don't you think?
Ron Field posted 03/06/06 01:32 PM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Prior to returning to the USA from Australia, I contacted the University of Wollongong, some 50 miles south of Sydney, asking if they would be interested in my collection of Crosbyana. I did receive a positive response. Told them I had a good collection of 78's, 45's LP's magazines, calendars and scrap books. The bloke who contacted me was going to contact other teachers at the University and were going to get back to me. They would certainly use the material and put in show cases. When I next return to Australia, I hope that I'll be able to start off and give them a good number of LP's and BING magazines. Regarding Gonzaga, they have a small amount of items on display. During the gathering in '03 more room was available and there were a good number of items on display. You can only have so much on display at once and if the Crosby Library building was available, everything they have would fit into the building, but at the moment the rest of the building is in use for other University activities. I'm sure they change the items on display every now and again. So, you folk, as Judy has said, check out the local library or even local university. I've taken action now, while I'm still alive as I'm sure that if I fell off the perch now, my brother wouldn't really know what to do with it all.
Steven Lewis posted 03/06/06 11:47 PM Central Time (US)     No E-mail no email address given
I hate to toot my own horn, but this private Bing collector has for the past 10 years spread his collection on the internet at no charge to anyone who wants to enjoy it. We can also thank the Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City for providing the support staff and server space to make the Bing Crosby Internet Museum possible. The thousands of messages chronicled over the years on the Crosby bulletin boards here requires an enormous amount of computing energy to sort and distribute. In other words, Gonzaga isn't the only college in the country supporting Bing Crosby, and MCC doesn't ask for a dime. And you always get a response when you email me.

Ronald, there is no legitimate topic regarding Bing that is off limits here. And anyone has the right to "correct" any misinformation that is passed in these forums. Regarding drinking and womanizing, are you so old you can't remember your youth?

Candace, Jim Bacon is a tabloid writer who knew how to make a buck out of a book. Don't confuse him with a serious historian like Gary Giddins.

Carmela, I'll be in New York next week. We'll see if you can resist.
Arne posted 03/07/06 01:48 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
To clarify a point I made here earlier today re: MCA-Universal (just in case some Universal folks are lurking!):
I have no complaints regarding the existing packages from this company. The four disc box-set is a gem, the centennial collection is thoughtfully assembled, the Irish collection is a winner, as is the Academy Award package, and of course, the Christmas packages. My only complaint is that they are samplers from a larger, more significant body of work that is not being represented, therefore giving a false impression of what Bing Crosby was all about. it is, in effect, re-writing history, and that's what bugs me. Universal can state that a more comprehensive set wouldn't sell, but their own catalogue jumped onto the charts when Gary Giddin's book came out in '01, and one nice, well-placed article in a New York newspaper sent Ken Barnes recent radio collection through the roof on Amazon. So, sorry, I think it's just historical ineptitude and generational arrogance on the part of some executives at work.
Judy Schmid posted 03/07/06 07:30 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Steven - TOOT away! And my apologies for not recognizing you and your college's support of all-things Bing. How can we help YOU? (and that's an honest question) This place is terrific, despite some grumpiness on all of our parts now and again, and the occasional troll...the sounds, the images, the friendships, and the education received here are priceless, but if there's any way we can help, let us know.

Your humble servant.
Ronald Sarbo posted 03/07/06 09:25 AM Central Time (US)    E-mail contact the author directly
Steven: Of course I agree that no legitimate topic should be off limits. However I believe there is enough "misinformation" out there about Bing as it is. I see no need to add to it.


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