A major star for half a century, Bing Crosby enjoyed unprecedented success as a singer and actor, selling half a billion records in his lifetime. His relaxed, crooning style dominated the swing era, creating a template for virtually every male singer who emerged in the post-war, pre-rock'n'roll era. The fourth of seven children, he adopted "Bing" from The Bingville Bugle, a column in his local paper and caught the singing bug after watching Al Jolson perform in Spokane. He played drums in a local band but it was in a duo with Al Rinker that he caught the eye of the famous bandleader Paul Whiteman, who hired him at $150 a week. As a member of Whiteman's Rhythm Boys, his popularity soared and by 1931 he'd become a major star, making his first movie The Big Broadcast in 1932. He also hosted his own radio show and took singing to a different level, recording his biggest hit White Christmas for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn. He also established a long partnership with Bob Hope in the Road To... movies.
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