*Includes Crosby and Hope's quotes about each other and their own
lives and careers.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.
"You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it." - Bob
"I think popular music in this country is one of the few things in
the twentieth century that have made giant strides in reverse." -
In 1948, American polls rated Bing Crosby "the most admired man
alive," and it's no surprise given how popular he was across every
major form of entertainment during the decade. With a string of
major hits, Crosby was the most popular singer in the country
during that era, with classic songs like "White Christmas" helping
pave the way for other singers as varied as Bob Hope, Dean Martin,
and Frank Sinatra. In fact, young Sinatra modeled his clothing and
style after Crosby, who was his idol growing up. And as good as he
was at singing, Crosby's work with radio technology helped pave the
way for multitracking songs and making it possible to broadcast the
same radio programs across the country without cutting another live
version. All told, Crosby sold an estimated 500 million records in
the 20th century.
In addition to being one of America's most beloved singers and an
accomplished radio presence, Crosby not only made popular movies
but acted well enough to be critically acclaimed. His Road To...
movie series with Bob Hope produced some of the best-selling movies
of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and he won an Oscar for Best Actor
in Going My Way (1944) by playing Father Chuck O'Malley. When he
was nominated for the same role in the 1945 sequel The Bells of St.
Mary's, he became one of just 4 people nominated for two Oscars for
playing the same role.
Of all the show business icons in American history, one of the
most beloved was Bob Hope, whose career spanned over 6 decades
across film, television, vaudeville, comedy, and touring and earned
him too many accolades to count. On the day of his 100th birthday,
more than half of the states in America declared it "Bob Hope Day,"
a sign of just how monumental and influential he was as an
entertainer. Along the way, he performed so many United Service
Organization (USO) tours visiting troops that Congress made him the
"first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces."
Incredibly, he was given honorary awards for his career at the
Academy Awards nearly 40 years before his death, and decades before
he actually retired from public life. By the time he reached his
twilight, he was an instantly recognized institution unto himself.
All of that would have been impressive for any American, let alone
someone who was actually born in England with the name Leslie
Townes Hope. Indeed, the quintessential American entertainer
wouldn't actually move to the country until he was 4, and while his
English roots may have helped his impressive impersonation of
Charlie Chaplin when Hope was merely a teen, he quickly became an
American through and through. He later claimed he changed his first
name to Bob because it had a folksy feel to it, and he definitely
gave off that kind of aura throughout his 5 decades doing USO
tours, his 4 decades making films, his television career of . In
addition to his versatile career that ranged from Broadway to
comedy, he was an accomplished athlete who once quipped that all of
the money he made went towards his greens fees. In fact, Hope
became notorious for carrying a golf club around, so much so that
Stephen Colbert paid homage to him by carrying a golf club during
his own USO performances in 2009.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope examines the lives and careers of the two
most popular show business entertainers of the mid-20th century.
Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you
will learn about both men like never before.
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