After leaving the Whiteman Orchestra in May of 1930 the Rhythm Boys began singing with the Gus Arnheim band at the Cocoanut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Arnheim began pushing Bing to the forefront as a soloist, and on Jan. 19, 1931, Bing recorded what was to become his first credited solo hit, I Surrender Dear, written by Harry Barris and backed by the Arnheim Orchestra. The Grove had its own broadcast equipment, and Bing's voice could be heard throughout California. Increasingly crowds came to the Grove to hear Bing solo, and the Rhythm Boys as a group receded to the background. As Bing's solo career began to rise, he began skipping performances at the Grove, and this behavior led the manager to dock his pay. Crosby walked out in protest, and took the Rhythm Boys with him. The manager persuaded the local musicians' union to ban the trio for breach of contract, and the Rhythm Boys dissolved.
The Rhythm Boys performed together only one more time, July 4, 1943, on an NBC radio broadcast hosted by Paul Whiteman., "Paul Whiteman Presents." A musical excerpt of this program was included on the MCA CD anthology Bing: His Legendary Years. The entire program is available from collectors.
How did Bing get started in the movies?
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