A Pocketful of Dreams: 02/10/07
A Pocketful of Dreams: The Early Years covers the first half of Bing Crosby's life but so far there is no evidence that there will be a second volume to cover the remainder of his life. Regardless is worth reading even though it only covers half of the crooner's life. My favorite example of a biography written about a celebrity is The Real Mary Tyler Moore by Chris Bryers.
The book starts of slow as so many biographies do with unnecessarily details about Crosby's family background. I would have been happiest if the book had started the birth of Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby in Tacoma Washington. Yes, it's interesting that he had some sea captain relatives but I really didn't get into the book until he left Washington for California. No, that's not quite correct. The book gets interesting around the time that he takes on the nickname "Bing."
The best part of the book though is all the time spent on the business of music, radio and film, three industries that Bing was a star of. I especially liked the chapters about the Brunswick and Decca labels and the early performances on fledgling CBS radio. The CBS section made a nice follow up to CBS: Reflections in a Bloodshot Eye by Robert Metz.