Bing Crosby and Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters' ABC-TV interview with Bing Crosby

This interview was conducted at Bing's San Francisco home in May, 1977, while he was recovering from a ruptured intervertebral disc suffered in a fall two months earlier following a concert commemorating his 50th anniversary in show business. His 17-year-old daughter, Mary, had already moved out of her parents' home into her own apartment and was contemplating moving in with her musician boyfriend, Eb Lottimer. Following her father's death, Mary and Lottimer did move in together and married in November of 1978. Neither Mary's mother nor her two brothers attended the wedding.

WALTERS: Suppose one of your sons came home and said, "Dad, I've got this girl and do you mind if we share a room here in the house?"

BING: In OUR house? No chance!

WALTERS: It happens in other families.

BING: Well, it wouldn't happen in MY family. If any one of them did that I wouldn't speak to them ever again.

WALTERS: Ever again?

BING: Ever again!

WALTERS: Do you mean that if one of your sons came home and said "I like this girl and I'm living with her and we're not married" you would never speak to him again?

BING: Aloha on the steel guitar.

WALTERS: That's awfully stern.

BING: Well, I was raised a Catholic. We believe in marriage.

WALTERS: And you'd rather he be married than maybe spend some time and found out what she was like?

BING: He doesn't have to take her to bed to find out what kind of woman he's marrying.

WALTERS: What would you do if Mary Frances, who is now 17, came to you at 19 or 20 and said "Dad, I'm having an affair. There's somebody I care about."?

BING: I'd say take your things and move where you're having the affair.

WALTERS: And you wouldn't talk to her or see her?


WALTERS: This daughter whom you adore?

BING: Yes.

Bing's flippant "aloha on the steel guitar" became Walters own favorite kiss-off phrase.

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