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Friday, 14 August 2015

Famous Pipe Smokers

Today's famous pipe smoker was incredibly famous for smoking a pipe.  In fact it's safe to say that for a while he was the most famous pipe smoker... in the world.

Oh, yeah, he may also have been known for being the most recorded voice in human history, even to this day.

No Youtuber has yet to beat Bing Crosby.  And he was about a hell of a lot more than White Christmas. At least at one point in his career, a lot of what he did was surprisingly innovative.  In terms of how people sang in our culture, it can be divided into a "Before Bing Crosby" (when everyone was all stiff and loud and very  controlled and formal), and after Bing Crosby.  Before there was a Michael Jackson, or a Beatles, or an Elvis, or a Frank Sinatra, there was Bing Crosby: the first guy to figure out how music in the 20th century was going to work.

If something like this doesn't seem very radical to you:

That's only because today EVERYONE does the things Bing was the first to do. Before Crosby, there was no one who would put that kind of loose swinging casualness into singing. No one would move with the rhythm.  No one understood what the invention of things like microphones and film could allow a musician to do that couldn't have been done in the age of unassisted music-hall.

And yes, the crooner was a pipe-smoker.


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