Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Publisher 

Lost Audio Tape by Bob Hope Discovered for his 113th Birthday

Hope Sang "Of Bing I Sing" for his longtime friend, Bing Crosby.

 


"Of Bing I Sing" by comedian Bob Hope.

One day in 1984, an 81 year old immigrant turned entertainer, walked into to a Hollywood recording studio. Bob Hope came to Sunwest Recording Studio to sing a comedic number about another entertainer, an old friend of his named Bing Crosby. It lasts for three minutes and is entitled, Of Bing I Sing.

The song was intended to be incorporated into a television broadcast of the Pebble Beach Masters Golf Tournament of 1984. Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn't; but either way, the song was lost for thirty two years. Until it turned up in a Santa Monica Alley, to be discovered by a certain local newspaper publisher.

This town is filled with lost video and audio, and it's a shame because it's so much a part of LA history. James Hardy of Bob Hope Legacy, LLC (www.bobhope.com) says that he hasn't heard the tape before. Mark Brodka, spokesman for the Crosby family, confirms they don't have a copy of "Of Bing I Sing" either.

In honor of Memorial Day, and on Bob Hope's 113th birthday, May 29th; we have uploaded the audiotape to Youtube, and embedded it in this news story. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby are both gone, but not forgotten. On Memorial Day 2016, we make it available to you, the American public, through the magic of Youtube and embedded videos. Please share it on Facebook, as a reminder of those who gave so much.

Update: This comment from our YouTube Page: "Think you'll find that this was used as the introduction to a TV special starring Bing taped in Pasadena on March 3, 1977 and shown on CBS on March 20, 1977. Various stars gave voice overs in the parts where Hope does not sing."

Bob Hope's Bio

Wikipedia: Leslie Townes "Bob" Hope, KBE, KC*SG, KSS (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), was an American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author.

Celebrated for his long career performing United Service Organizations (USO) shows to entertain active service American military personnel-he made 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991-Hope was declared an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces in 1997 by act of the U.S. Congress.

Bob Hope was best known for his USO service. But with a career spanning nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in over 70 films and shorts, including a series of "Road" movies also starring Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.

In addition to hosting the Academy Awards 19 times (more than any other host), he appeared in many stage productions and television roles and was the author of fourteen books. The song "Thanks for the Memory" is widely regarded as Hope's signature tune.

Career

As a movie star, he was best known for comedies like My Favorite Brunette and the highly successful "Road" movies in which he starred with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. The series consists of seven films made between 1940 and 1962, Road to Singapore (1940), Road to Zanzibar (1941), Road to Morocco (1942), Road to Utopia (1946), Road to Rio (1947), Road to Bali (1952), and The Road to Hong Kong (1962). Hope had seen Lamour as a nightclub singer in New York, and invited her to work on his United Service Organizations (USO) tours. Lamour sometimes arrived for filming prepared with her lines, only to be baffled by completely re-written scripts or ad-lib dialogue between Hope and Crosby.

Hope and Lamour were lifelong friends, and she remains the actress most associated with his film career. Hope made movies with dozens of other leading ladies, including Katharine Hepburn, Paulette Goddard, Hedy Lamarr, Lucille Ball, Rosemary Clooney, Jane Russell and Elke Sommer.

Hope teamed with Crosby for the "Road" pictures and countless stage, radio, and television appearances over the decades, from their first meeting in 1932 until Crosby's death in 1977. The two invested together in oil leases and other business ventures, but did not see each other socially.

This is what an old audiotape looks like. If it's from the 1980's anyway.

Born in London, England, Hope arrived in America with his family at the age of four and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He began his career in show business in the early 1920s, initially on stage, and began appearing on the radio and in films in 1934.

He was praised for his comedy timing, specializing in one-liners and rapid-fire delivery of jokes-which were often self-deprecating, with Hope building himself up and then tearing himself down. He also appeared in numerous specials for NBC television, starting in 1950, and was one of the first users of cue cards.

Hope participated in the sports of golf and boxing, and owned a small stake in his hometown baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. He was married to performer Dolores Hope (née DeFina) for 69 years.

Hope died at age 100 at his home in Toluca Lake, California. Burbank Airport is named in his honor, as are several streets in Palm Springs, CA.

 

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