I've been listening to Bing Crosby of late. It started near Christmas, of course, but really long before. Crosby -- along with Sinatra and Presley -- is a favorite.
Makes me sad that he's all but forgotten now, remembered if at all for "White Christmas" and the "Road" pictures and the image of the pipe-smoking, ba-boo-ba-boo-ing paternal pap, or -- even worse -- the phony father figure who "beat" his kids and neglected his first wife when the colors faded. I'll save a rant on that (and son Gary's "Going My Own Way") for another day.
Now, I'll tell you about "Seasons." It turned out to be Bingo's swan song, a concept album collecting the spring, summer, fall and winter of this wonderful, terrible thing we call life.
I passed up on a sweet deal for the vinyl a few weeks ago. Went back to get it and it was gone. Didn't get too grumpy. Glad somebody got it. Bing needs to be moving round and around, not collecting dirty dust.
Anyhow, this is a gem. That velvet voice was there for 50-some years, whistling and scatting and singing (never shouting) until Crosby fell on a golf course in Spain, an unexpected adios.
He begins with "On The Very First Day of the Year," sprints through spring, introspects through autumn, and laments in the winter of his years on "Yesterday When I Was Young."
Then he recites pieces and poetry before crooning through a few more cuts on the deluxe edition of the disc. A super surprise is a perfect philosophy for life, Tim Rice and Marvin Hamlisch's "The Only Way To Go."
We'll be happy 'til we die; my foolish dreams and I; relax until they take us to that bar up in the sky; and up's the only way to go; and it's the only dream I know...
Sort of like spending four hours swinging away, winning by a stroke, shaking hands and calling it a day.