Bing Crosby is one of the most lovable actors and singers of his time. The famous blue-eyed guy who gave an emotional performance of “White Christmas” in “Holiday Inn” starred in dozens of films and recorded over 100 albums. However, as another young star rose to fame, Crosby had some negative opinions.
When Elvis Presley rose to fame in the 1950s, Crosby had a well-established career. He was known for his stunning voice and classic style. Crosby took a liking to jazz and was influenced by the blues. He didn’t believe that Elvis Presley had the stylings to create a ballad, but thought that would come with time.
“He’s going to be a very big star in a lot of fields, other than the one in rock and roll. And he’s got an appealing personality. He’s a good-looking kid. He sings in tune and he’s got good rhythm. He just hasn’t developed enough voice yet to handle a ballad, but that will come.” Crosby said in 1957, per Express. Of the rock and roll genre he added, “If he keeps yelling and screaming he’ll develop enough strength … He’s got a Peck’s bad boy look in him—a sly smile. Women like that.”
But as the years went by, Crosby’s opinion of the King of Rock and Roll shifted negatively. By 1975, Crosby had other things to say about Elvis.
“He never contributed a damn thing to music.” When pushed further on his opinion of the star, Bing continued: “He was successful – hard to account for. Oh, he sings well enough, I suppose,” Crosby said.
Bing Crosby Didn’t Speak Ill of Elvis Presley Following His Death
By this period, Elvis was a household name. He rose to fame with major motion pictures, soundtracks and over 23 albums. But Crosby wasn’t entirely impressed.
However, just two years later, Elvis died in 1977. And Crosby offered his condolences, never saying a bad word of the singer following his death.
“Oh, I’m shocked; it’s a sad thing to hear. A young man like Presley, just a young fella, so vibrant, so influential all through the years of American popular music, and now you tell me he’s gone. It’s hard to believe. It’ll be a great loss.”
It would only be another few months before Crosby died himself that same year. However, the singer and actor is thought of as the first multimedia actor. His career spanned from 1925 through 1977, when he died. Further, Crosby was awarded an Oscar for Best Actor in 1944 for “Going My Way.” Throughout his lifetime, the actor made over 70 feature films and recorded more than 1,600 songs.
Crosby was raised in Spokane, Washington where there’s also now a theater named in his honor.