Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who is Bing Crosby?

There is nothing in the world I wouldn't do for Hope, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for me... We spend our lives doing nothing for each other. -- Bing Crosby

A wonderful crooner was born in Tacoma on May 3, 1903. I've long loved his melodic voice so it was pretty neat to find the home Bing Crosby was born in as I strolled through the North Slope historic district.

The large two-story home with a manicured lawn looks awfully modern so I'm sure it has been renovated and repainted over the years. But.... it used to be Bing Crosby's house! His father (Harry Lincoln) built it high on a hill that overlooks the Sound. It sits right across from the Church of St. Patrick, which makes sense since Crosby's family was of the working-class Catholic Irish-Anglo variety. A side street near the home at 1112 N. J Street is still cobblestone, though the other streets in the neighborhood are asphalt.

The house is a blueish-gray color with pristine white trim. Rose
bushes grow on the side of the house and a set of cement stairs lead to a wide porch. A bronze plaque reading
"Birthplace of Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby
May 2, 1904
Placed by Sons of the American Revolution"
is inset in a step.

Now, astute readers may notice the difference in birth dates. There was a long-running dispute over when Bing was actually born
because a birth certificate was never issued. His official biography and gravestone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles list May 2, 1904, but Decca Records (the only label Bing ever recorded with) purports May 3, 1903 is his real birth date because that's what the superstar's baptismal certificate shows.

Bing's parents moved him and his seven siblings to Spokane in 1906.

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