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Bing Crosby ROCKS With Jazz Greats!

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Published on Oct 19, 2010

This video has appeared numerous times on YouTube, all because folks are passionate enough about it to feel compelled to post it despite it already being present. I love this performance, but because it's been posted so many times on YouTube I wouldn't normally consider posting it again...except for the fact that this particular version looks and sounds somewhat better than any I've encountered on YouTube to date.

Like the other versions on YouTube, this is taken from a primitive public domain kinescope recording, so you can't expect much in the way of quality. Before videotape came along the kinescope process was the standard in television production, despite its limitations. This show was also recorded on videotape -- one of the first television shows to have been filmed in that manner -- but the videotaped version of it isn't readily available.

About the performance: On October 13, 1957 the Ford Motor Company purchased air time on CBS for a program called "The Edsel Show." This was done to promote their new car, the Edsel. Sort of an infomercial in the form of a variety show. While the very word "Edsel" would soon go on to become synonymous with anything that was a bad idea, the show itself -- and there was only one -- was a rousing success. One of the show's highlights was this rendition of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong and his band performing the Cole Porter song "Now You Has Jazz," which they'd performed a year earlier for the film "High Society." The performance shown here is essentially a re-creation of the song as it appeared in the film with Crosby introducing each of the band members during its course. The band shown here is the same as in High Society, with the exception of Squire Gersh on bass (Arvell Shaw was the band's bassist in High Society). There's plenty to like about both versions of this tune. The High Society version is refined, polished and edited in a manner ideal for a big-budget motion picture, whereas this version has a comparatively off-the-cuff feel to it with a charm of its own.

In the order Crosby introduced them, the band members are:

Edmond Hall - Clarinet
Trummy (aka James) Young - Trombone
Billy Kyle - Piano
Squire Gersh - Bass
Barrett Deems - Drums
Well, you know who! - Trumpet

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